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Libya - Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
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Libya Flag

Capital City: Tripoli

Border countries: Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia

Official Sites of Libya

Mission of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the United Nations

Libyan Statistics

Political Map of Libya

Map of North Africa and the Middle East



Background:  Since he took power in a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu
Minyar al-QADHAFI has espoused his own political system - a combination
of socialism and Islam - which he calls the Third International
Theory. Viewing himself as a revolutionary leader, he used oil funds
during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside Libya,
even supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end of
Marxism and capitalism. Libyan military adventures failed, e.g., the
prolonged foray of Libyan troops into the Aozou Strip in northern Chad
was finally repulsed in 1987. Libyan support for terrorism decreased
after UN sanctions were imposed in 1992. Those sanctions were suspended
in April 1999.

Geography Libya

Location:  Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between
Egypt and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates:  25 00 N, 17 00 E

Map references:  Africa

Area:  total: 1,759,540 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 1,759,540 sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than Alaska

Land boundaries:  total: 4,348 km border countries: Algeria 982 km,
Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,115 km, Niger 354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km

Coastline:  1,770 km

Maritime claims:  territorial sea: 12 NM note: Gulf of Sidra closing
line - 32 degrees, 30 minutes north

Climate:  Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior

Terrain:  mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m highest point:
Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

Natural resources:  petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Land use:  arable land: 1% permanent crops: 0% other: 99% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  4,700 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards:  hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting
one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues:  desertification; very limited natural
fresh water resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest
water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water
from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities

Environment - international agreements:  party to: Biodiversity, Climate
Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer
Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified: Geography - note:  more
than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert

People Libya

Population:  5,368,585 note: includes 662,669 non-nationals, of which
an estimated 500,000 or more are Africans living in Libya (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 35% (male 958,243; female 917,940) 15-64
years: 61% (male 1,694,986; female 1,581,400) 65 years and over: 4%
(male 105,500; female 110,516) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  2.41% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  27.59 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  3.5 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.95 male(s)/female total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  27.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   78.11 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  3.57 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  0.05% (1999 est.)

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

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Libyan(s) adjective: Libyan

Ethnic groups:  Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians,
Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians

Religions:  Sunni Muslim 97%

Languages:  Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the
major cities

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 76.2% male: 87.9% female: 63% (1995 est.)

Government Libya

Country name:  conventional long form: Great Socialist People's Libyan
Arab Jamahiriya
 none local long form:
Government type:  Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed
by the populace through local councils; in fact, a military dictatorship

Capital:  Tripoli

Administrative divisions:  25 municipalities (baladiyat, singular -
baladiyah); Ajdabiya, Al 'Aziziyah, Al Fatih, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al
Jufrah, Al Khums, Al Kufrah, An Nuqat al Khams, Ash Shati', Awbari, Az
Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghadamis, Gharyan, Misratah, Murzuq, Sabha,
Sawfajjin, Surt, Tarabulus, Tarhunah, Tubruq, Yafran, Zlitan; note -
the 25 municipalities may have been replaced by 13 regions

Independence:  24 December 1951 (from Italy)

National holiday:  Revolution Day, 1 September (1969)

Constitution:  11 December 1969, amended 2 March 1977

Legal system:  based on Italian civil law system and Islamic law;
separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial
review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage:  18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:  chief of state: Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar
Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI (since 1 September 1969); note - holds no official
title, but is de facto chief of state elections: national elections are
indirect through a hierarchy of people's committees; head of government
elected by the General People's Congress; election last held 2 March 2000
(next to be held NA) election results: Mubarak al-SHAMEKH elected premier;
percent of General People's Congress vote - NA% cabinet: General People's
Committee established by the General People's Congress head of government:
(since 2 March 2000)

Legislative branch:  unicameral General People's Congress (NA seats;
members elected indirectly through a hierarchy of people's committees)

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:  none

Political pressure groups and leaders:  various Arab nationalist movements
with almost negligible memberships may be functioning clandestinely,
as well as some Islamic elements

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:  Libya does not have an embassy in
the US

Diplomatic representation from the US:  the US suspended all embassy
activities in Tripoli on 2 May 1980

Flag description:  plain green; green is the traditional color of Islam
(the state religion)

Economy Libya

Economy - overview:  The socialist-oriented economy depends primarily upon
revenues from the oil sector, which contributes practically all export
earnings and about one-quarter of GDP. These oil revenues and a small
population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but
little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. Import
restrictions and inefficient resource allocations have led to periodic
shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs. The nonoil manufacturing and
construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded
from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production
of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Climatic conditions and
poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about
75% of its food.  Higher oil prices in 1999 and 2000 led to an increase
in export revenues, which improved macroeconomic balances and helped
to stimulate the economy. The suspension of UN sanctions in 1999 also
boosted growth. Libya's January 2002 51% devaluation of the official
exchange rate of the dinar is another fiscal plus, although it will also
bring higher inflation.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $40 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $7,600 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 7% industry: 47% services: 46%
(1997 est.)

Population below poverty line:  NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  13.6% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  1.5 million (2000 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:  services 54%, industry 29%, agriculture 17%
(1997 est.)

Unemployment rate:  30% (2000 est.)

Budget:  revenues: $9.3 billion expenditures: $9.2 billion, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

Industrial production growth rate:  NA%

Electricity - production:  19.4 billion kWh (2000)

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

Electricity - consumption:  18.042 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products:  wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables,
peanuts, soybeans; cattle

Exports:  $13.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  crude oil, refined petroleum products

Exports - partners:  Italy 42%, Germany 19%, Spain 13%, Turkey 6%,
France 4%, Switzerland 3%, Tunisia 2% (2000)

Imports:  $8.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  machinery, transport equipment, food, manufactured

Imports - partners:  Italy 25%, Germany 10%, UK 8%, France 7%, Tunisia
7%, South Korea 4% (2000)

Debt - external:  $4.7 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $7 million (1999 est.)

Currency:  Libyan dinar (LYD)

Currency code:  LYD

Exchange rates:  Libyan dinars per US dollar - 0.6501 (December 2001),
0.6501 (2001), 0.5403 (2000), 0.5403 (1999), 0.3785 (1998), 0.3891 (1997);
market rate for Libyan dinars per US dollar - 1.55 (January 2002) note:
Libya devalued its official rate for foreign trade on 1 January 2002 to
21.30 dinars per US dollar; the previous official rate was 0.63 dinar
per US dollar (Dec 2001)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Libya

Telephones - main lines in use:  380,000 (1996)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  NA

Telephone system:  general assessment: telecommunications system is
being modernized; mobile cellular telephone system became operational in
1996 domestic:  and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international:  submarine cables to France and Italy; microwave radio
relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant
in Medarabtel (1999)

Radio broadcast stations:  AM 17, FM 4, shortwave 3 (1998)

Radios:  1.35 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:  12 (plus one low-power repeater) (1998)

Televisions:  730,000 (1997)

Internet country code:  .ly

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  20,000 (2001)

Transportation Libya

Railways:  note: Libya has had no railroad in operation since 1965, all
previous systems having been dismantled; current plans are to construct
a 1.435-m standard-gauge line from the Tunisian frontier to Tripoli
and Misratah, then inland to Sabha, center of a mineral-rich area, but
there has been little progress; other plans made jointly with Egypt would
establish a rail line from As Sallum, Egypt, to Tobruk with completion
originally set for mid-1994; Libya signed contracts with two private
companies - Bahne of Egypt and Jez Sistemas Ferroviarios of Spain -
in 1998 for the supply of crossings and pointwork (2001)

Highways:  total: 24,484 km paved: 6,798 km unpaved: 17,686 km note:
data for the length of unpaved roads include the assumption that because
they were listed as secondary roads, they are unpaved; some may be paved
and some part of the primary roads may not be paved (1996)

Waterways:  none

Pipelines:  crude oil 4,383 km; petroleum products 443 km (includes
liquefied petroleum gas or LPG 256 km); natural gas 1,947 km

Ports and harbors:  Al Khums, Banghazi, Darnah, Marsa al Burayqah,
Misratah, Ra's Lanuf, Tobruk, Tripoli, Zuwarah

Merchant marine:  total: 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 209,000
GRT/278,277 DWT ships by type: cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, liquefied
gas 3, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 4, short-sea passenger 4
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of
convenience: Algeria 1, Kuwait 1, United Arab Emirates 1 (2002 est.)

Airports:  136 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 58 over 3,047 m: 23 2,438 to
3,047 m: 6 914 to 1,523 m: 5 under 914 m: 2 (2001) 1,524 to 2,437 m: 22

Airports - with unpaved runways:   4 2,438 to 3,047 m: Heliports:  1

Military Libya

Military branches:  Armed Peoples on Duty (Army), Navy, Air and Air
Defense Command (includes Air Force)

Military manpower - military age:  17 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 1,503,647 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 890,783
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 61,694
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $1.3 billion (FY99/00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  3.9% (FY99/00)

Transnational Issues Libya

Disputes - international:  Chadian rebels from Aozou region reside
in Libya; Libya claims about 19,400 sq km in Niger as well as part of
southeastern Algeria in currently dormant disputes

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Issues Libya

The National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL)

al Fajer al Jadeed

al Shames

General Press Corporation - Libyan Press

Jamahiria Nwes Agency (Jana)

Libya: News and Views

Arts & Culture
Libya: Libyan Arts, Music and Literature



National Library of Libya

Business & Economy

Country Guides
Facts about Libya

Find Out More About Libya

Libya Tourism

Wesaam Touring Service

Garyounis University

The Green Book Studies Center

Chronology of Libyan History

ArabNet Libya History

National Center for Research and Scientific Studies


Libya Resources on the Internet

WWW Libya
The .ly Domain Registry





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