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Kuwait Flag


Country Profile

Capital City: Kuwait (pop. about 238 000)

Other Towns: Ahmadi, Jahra, Fahaheel.

Local Time: UTC +3h

Location: Middle East, in the northwestern corner of the Arabian, or Persian Gulf.
Area: 17.820 sq. km. (about 6.880 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Flat sandy desert; no rivers or mountains.

Climate: Intensely hot and dry in summers; short, cool winters with limited rain.

Type: Constitutional Hereditary Amirate (Constitutional monarchy)
Independence: 19 June 1961
Constitution: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Kuwaiti(s)
Population (1999): 2,274 million, including non-Kuwaiti citizens.
GNI per capita PPP: $ 16 29 (year) Ethnic groups: Kuwaitis 798 200 (35% of total), Arab, South Asian, Iranian, Southeast Asian. Religion: Islam 85% (most Kuwaiti citizens are Muslim). Languages: Arabic (official); English widely spoken. Literacy: male 82%, female 75%.


Currency: Kuwaiti Dinar (KWD)

Natural resources: Petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas.

Agriculture products: Practically no crops; fish.

Industries: Petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing, construction materials.

Exports partners:
Japan 21.3%, South Korea 14.9%, USA 11.5%, Singapore 9.8%, Taiwan 9.3% (2003)

Imports partners: USA 14.7%, Japan 10.3%, Germany 9.6%, China 6.6%, UK 6.1%, Saudi Arabia 5.5%, Italy 5%, France 4.2% (2003)

Internet Links

Official Sites of Kuwait

Majlis al Umma

Ministry of Communications

Ministry of Information

Kuwait E-Government

Diplomatic Missions
The Permanent Mission of the State of Kuwait to the UN

Embassy of Kuwait

Embassies in Kuwait

Central Statistical Office, Ministry of Planning

Map of Kuwait

Map of the Middle East region



Background:  Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August
1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led UN coalition
began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that completely liberated
Kuwait in four days.  Kuwait has spent more than $5 billion to repair
oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91.

Geography Kuwait

Location:  Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and
Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates:  29 30 N, 45 45 E

Map references:  Middle East

Area:  total: 17,820 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 17,820 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries:  total: 462 km border countries: Iraq 240 km, Saudi
Arabia 222 km

Coastline:  499 km

Maritime claims:  territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate:  dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters

Terrain:  flat to slightly undulating desert plain

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m highest point:
unnamed location 306 m

Natural resources:  petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas

Land use:  arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  60 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April;
they bring heavy rain which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and
dust storms occur throughout the year, but are most common between March
and August

Environment - current issues:  limited natural fresh water resources;
some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities
provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Climate Change,
Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the
Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection signed, but not ratified:
Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping

Geography - note:  strategic location at head of Persian Gulf

People Kuwait

Population:  2,111,561 note: includes 1,159,913 non-nationals (July
2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 28.3% (male 304,200; female 292,900) 15-64
years: 69.2% (male 934,115; female 527,331) 65 years and over: 2.5%
(male 34,106; female 18,909) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  3.33% note: this rate reflects a return to
pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  21.84 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  2.46 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  13.88 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.77 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
1.8 male(s)/female total population: 1.52 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  10.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:  total population: 76.46 years male: 75.56
years female: 77.39 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate:  3.14 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.12% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Kuwaiti(s) adjective: Kuwaiti

Ethnic groups:  Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%,
other 7%

Religions:  Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi,
and other 15%

Languages:  Arabic (official), English widely spoken

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 78.6% male: 82.2% female: 74.9% (1995 est.)

Government Kuwait

Country name:  conventional long form: State of Kuwait conventional short
form: Kuwait local short form: Al Kuwayt local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt

Government type:  nominal constitutional monarchy

Capital:  Kuwait

Administrative divisions:  5 governorates (muhafazat, singular -
muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al Farwaniyah, Al 'Asimah, Al Jahra', Hawalli

Independence:  19 June 1961 (from UK)

National holiday:  National Day, 25 February (1950)

Constitution:  approved and promulgated 11 November 1962

Legal system:  civil law system with Islamic law significant in personal
matters; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more
or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants
at age 21 note: only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote; in 1996,
naturalized citizens who do not meet the pre-1920 qualification but have
been naturalized for 30 years were eligible to vote for the first time

Executive branch:  chief of state: Amir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah
(since 31 December 1977) head of government: Prime Minister and Crown
Prince SAAD al-Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah (since 8 February 1978);
First Deputy Prime Minister SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 17
October 1992); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamud Al Sabah
(since NA) and MUHAMMAD KHALID al-Hamed Al Sabah (since NA) cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by
the monarch elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister
and deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma
(50 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 3 July 1999 (next to be held NA 2003) election
results: percent of vote - NA%; seats - independents 50; note - all
cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly

Judicial branch:  High Court of Appeal

Political parties and leaders:  none; formation of political parties
is illegal

Political pressure groups and leaders:  several political groups act
as de facto parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shi'a activists,
and secular leftists and nationalists

International organization participation:  ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF,

Diplomatic representation in the US:   Ambassador Sheikh Salem Abdullah
Al Jaber AL SABAH FAX:  Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Richard H. JONES embassy: Bayan, near the Bayan palace, Kuwait City
mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat, 13001 Safat, Kuwait Unit 69000,
APO AE 09880-9000 telephone: [965] 539-5307, ext. 2240 FAX: [965] 538-0282

Flag description:  three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white,
and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side

Economy Kuwait

Economy - overview:  Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open
economy with proved crude oil reserves of 94 billion barrels - 10%
of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 90%
of export revenues, and 75% of government income. Kuwait's climate
limits agricultural development.  Consequently, with the exception of
fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable
water must be distilled or imported. Higher oil prices put the FY99/00
budget into a $2 billion surplus. The FY00/01 budget covers only nine
months because of a change in the fiscal year. The budget for FY01/02
envisioned higher expenditures for salaries, construction, and other
general categories. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil
companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $30.9 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $15,100 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  industry: 60% services: 39.7% agriculture:
0.3% (2000)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  2.7% (2001)

Labor force:  1.3 million (1998 est.)  note: 68% of the population in
the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%

Unemployment rate:  1.8% (official 1996 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $11.5 billion expenditures: $17.2 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (FY01/02)

Industries:  petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing,
construction materials

Industrial production growth rate:  1% (1997 est.)

Electricity - production:  31.2 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0%
(2000) nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  29.016 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  practically no crops; fish

Exports:  $16.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  oil and refined products, fertilizers

Exports - partners:  Japan 23%, US 14%, South Korea 13%, Singapore 7%,
Netherlands 6%, Pakistan 6%, Indonesia 4%, UK 2% (2000)

Imports:  $7.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  food, construction materials, vehicles and parts,

Imports - partners:  US 12%, Japan 8%, UK 8%, Germany 7%, China 5%,
France 4%, Australia 3%, Netherlands 2% (2000)

Debt - external:  $6.9 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  NA

Currency:  Kuwaiti dinar (KD)

Currency code:  KWD

Exchange rates:  Kuwaiti dinars per US dollar - 0.3075 (January 2002),
0.3066, (2001), 0.3067 (2000), 0.3044 (1999), 0.3047 (1998), 0.3033 (1997)

Fiscal year:  1 April - 31 March

Communications Kuwait

Telephones - main lines in use:  412,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  210,000 (1997)

Telephone system:   the quality of service is excellent domestic:
trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable,
open wire, and fiber-optic cable; a cellular telephone system operates
throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones
international: coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia;
linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable;
satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean, 2 Indian Ocean),
1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean), and 2 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 6, FM 11, shortwave 1 (1998)

Radios:  1.175 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  13 (plus several satellite channels)

Televisions:  875,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .kw

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  3 (2000)

Internet users:  165,000 (2001)

Transportation Kuwait

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 4,450 km paved: 3,590 km unpaved: 860 km (1999 est.)

Waterways:  none

Pipelines:  crude oil 877 km; petroleum products 40 km; natural gas 165 km

Ports and harbors:  Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Kuwait, Mina' 'Abd Allah,
Mina' al Ahmadi, Mina' Su'ud

Merchant marine:  total: 38 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 2,274,515
GRT/3,627,835 DWT ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 1, container 6, liquefied
gas 6, livestock carrier 5, petroleum tanker 19 note: includes some
foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Monaco 1,
Saudi Arabia 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  7 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 3 over 3,047 m: 1 2,438 to 3,047 m:
2 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 4 under 914 m: 3 (2001) 1,524
to 2,437 m: 1

Heliports:  3 (2001)

Military Kuwait

Military branches:  Army, Navy, Air Force (including Air Defense Force),
National Police Force, National Guard, Coast Guard

Military manpower - military age:  18 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 812,059 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 486,906
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 18,309
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $1,967,300,000 (FY01) note:
Kuwait is changing its fiscal year; the above figure is for July-March
2001; future budget years will be April-March annually

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  5.5% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Kuwait

Disputes - international:  in November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the
UN-demarcated border with Kuwait which had been spelled out in Security
Council Resolutions 687 (1991), 773 (1993), and 883 (1993); this formally
ends earlier claims to Kuwait and to Bubiyan and Warbah islands, although
the Iraqi Government continues periodic rhetorical challenges

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Kuwait News
Kuwait News Agency - KUNA

Kuwait Times Newspaper

Radio Kuwait

Al Qabas


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History of Kuwait

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Newsgroup of Kuwait




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