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The 1997 CIA World Factbook


A Brief History of Basic Intelligence and the World Factbook
Notes and Definitions
Guide to Country Profiles (Categories, Fields and Subfields)

American Samoa
Antigua and Barbuda
Arctic Ocean
Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Atlantic Ocean
The Bahamas
Baker Island
Bassas da India
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bouvet Island
British Indian Ocean Territory
British Virgin Islands
Burkina Faso
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Christmas Island
Clipperton Island
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Republic of the
Cook Islands
Coral Sea Islands
Costa Rica
Cote d'Ivoire
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Europa Island
Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Faroe Islands
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Southern and Antarctic Lands
The Gambia
Gaza Strip
Glorioso Islands
Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Holy See (Vatican City)
Hong Kong
Howland Island
Indian Ocean
Jan Mayen
Jarvis Island
Johnston Atoll
Juan de Nova Island
Kingman Reef
Korea, North
Korea, South
Man, Isle of
Marshall Islands
Micronesia, Federated States of
Midway Islands
Navassa Island
Netherlands Antilles
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Norfolk Island
Northern Mariana Islands
Pacific Ocean
Palmyra Atoll
Papua New Guinea
Paracel Islands
Pitcairn Islands
Puerto Rico
Saint Helena
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Serbia and Montenegro
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
South Georgia and the
Spratly Islands
Sri Lanka
Trinidad and Tobago
Tromelin Island
Turks and Caicos Islands
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
United States
Virgin Islands
Wake Island
Wallis and Futuna
West Bank
Western Sahara
Western Samoa



The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for
the use of US Government officials, and the style, format, coverage,
and content are designed to meet their specific requirements.
Information was provided by the American Geophysical Union, Bureau of
the Census, Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency,
Defense Nuclear Agency, Department of State, Foreign Broadcast
Information Service, Maritime Administration, National Imagery and
Mapping Agency, National Maritime Intelligence Center, National
Science Foundation (Antarctic Sciences Section), Office of Insular
Affairs, US Board on Geographic Names, US Coast Guard, and other
public and private sources.

The Factbook is in the public domain. Accordingly, it may be copied
freely without permission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The official seal of the CIA, however, may NOT be copied without
permission as required by the CIA Act of 1949 (50 U.S.C. section
403m). Misuse of the official seal of the CIA could result in civil
and criminal penalties.

Comments and queries are welcome and may be addressed to:
Central Intelligence Agency
Attn: Public Affairs Staff
Washington, DC 20505
Telephone: [1](703)482-0623
FAX: [1](703)482-1739



The Intelligence Cycle is the process by which information is
acquired, converted into intelligence, and made available to
policymakers. Information is raw data from any source that may be
fragmentary, contradictory, unreliable, ambiguous, deceptive, or
wrong. Intelligence is information that has been collected,
integrated, evaluated, analyzed, and interpreted. Finished
intelligence is the final product of the Intelligence Cycle ready to
be delivered to the policymaker.

There are three types of finished intelligence: basic, current, and
estimative. Basic intelligence is the fundamental and factual
reference material on a country or issue, current intelligence reports
on new developments, and estimative intelligence judges probable
outcomes. The three are mutually supporting because basic intelligence
is the foundation on which the other two are based, current
intelligence helps to continually update the knowledge foundation, and
estimative intelligence serves to revise overall interpretations of
country and issue prospects for both basic and current intelligence.
The World Factbook, The President's Daily Brief, and National
Intelligence Estimates are examples of the three types of finished

The United States has carried on foreign intelligence activities since
the days of George Washington, but only since World War II have they
been coordinated on a governmentwide basis. Three programs have
highlighted the development of coordinated basic intelligence since
that time: (1) the Joint Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS), (2)
the National Intelligence Survey (NIS), and (3) The World Factbook.

During World War II intelligence consumers realized that the
production of basic intelligence by different components of the US
Government resulted in a great duplication of effort and conflicting
information. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought home
to Congressional and executive branch leaders the need for integrating
and coordinating departmental reports to national policymakers.
Detailed general information was needed not only on such major powers
as Germany and Japan, but also on places of little previous interest.
In the Pacific Theater, for example, the Navy and Marines had to
launch amphibious operations against many islands about which
information was unconfirmed or nonexistent. Intelligence authorities
resolved that the United States should never again be caught

In 1943, Gen. George B. Strong (G-2), Adm. H. C. Train (Office of
Naval Intelligence - ONI), and Gen. William J. Donovan (Director of
the Office of Strategic Services - OSS) decided that a joint effort
should be initiated. A steering committee was appointed on 27 April
1943 that recommended the formation of a Joint Intelligence Study
Publishing Board to assemble, edit, coordinate, and publish the Joint
Army Navy Intelligence Studies (JANIS). JANIS was the first
interdepartmental basic intelligence program and fulfilled the needs
of the US Government for an authoritative and coordinated digest of
strategic basic intelligence. Between April 1943 and July 1947, the
board published 34 JANIS studies. JANIS performed well in the war
effort, and numerous letters of commendation were received including a
statement from Adm. Forrest Sherman, Chief of Staff, Pacific Ocean
Areas, which said "JANIS has become the indispensable reference work
for the shore-based planners."

The need for even more comprehensive basic intelligence in the postwar
world was well expressed in 1946 by George S. Pettee, a noted author
on national security, when he wrote in The Future of American Secret
Intelligence (Infantry Journal Press, 1946, page 46) that world
leadership in peace requires more elaborate intelligence than war.
"The conduct of peace involves all countries, all human activities-not
just the enemy and his war production."

The Central Intelligence Agency was established on 26 July 1947 and
officially began operating 18 September 1947. Effective 1 October
1947, the Director of Central Intelligence assumed operational
responsibility for JANIS. On 13 January 1948, the National Security
Council issued Intelligence Directive (NSCID) No. 3, which officially
authorized the National Intelligence Survey (NIS) program as a
peacetime replacement for the wartime JANIS program. Before adequate
NIS sections could be produced, it was necessary to develop gazetteers
and maps for an accurate presentation of intelligence by the
contributing agencies. The US Board on Geographic Names (BGN) compiled
the names, the Department of the Interior produced the gazetteers, and
CIA produced the maps.

The Hoover Commission's Clark Committee, set up in 1954 to study the
structure and administration of the CIA, reported to Congress in 1955
that: "The National Intelligence Survey is an invaluable publication
which provides the essential elements of basic intelligence on all
areas of the world. . . . There will always be a continuing
requirement for keeping the Survey up-to-date." The Factbook was
created as an annual summary and update to the encyclopedic NIS
studies. The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962,
and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971. The NIS
program was terminated except for the Factbook and gazetteers in 1973.
The 1975 Factbook was the first to be made available to the public
with sales through the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The 1996
edition was the first to be printed by GPO. The year 1997 marks the
50th anniversary of the establishment of the Central Intelligence
Agency and the 54th year of continuous basic intelligence support to
the US Government by The World Factbook and its two predecessor



There have been some significant changes in this edition. A schema or
Guide to Country Profiles has been added. The new maps and flags
accompanying each country profile are in color. The country name Zaire
has been officially changed to Democratic Republic of the Congo. Congo
is now referred to as Republic of the Congo. New reference maps of the
United States, Ethnolinguistic Groups in Afghanistan, and Central
Africa have been included. Introduction is a new category with two
entries--Current issues and Historical perspective that now appear in
only a few country profiles, but will be added to all countries in the
future. The Area--comparative entry was separated from the Area entry.
The lowest point and highest point information has been removed from
the Terrain entry and put into a new entry called Elevation extremes.
The former Environment entry has been replaced by three new
entries--Natural hazards, Environment--current issues, and
Environment--international agreements. US diplomatic representation
has been renamed Diplomatic representation from the US in order to
parallel the Diplomatic representation in the US entry. The former
Airports entry has been split into three separate entries--Airports,
Airports--with paved runways, and Airports--with unpaved runways. The
Defense category has been renamed Military. The Branches entry has
been renamed Military branches. The former Manpower availability entry
has been replaced by four new entries--Military manpower--military
age, Military manpower--availability, Military manpower--fit for
military service, and Military manpower--reaching military age
annually. The former Defense expenditures entry has been replaced by
two new entries--Military expenditures--dollar figure, and Military
expenditures--percent of GDP. Transnational Issues is a new category
that now includes only two existing entries (Illicit drugs and
Disputes--international) but additional entries will be considered in
the future.

Abbreviations: This information is included in Appendix A:
Abbreviations which includes all abbreviations and acronyms used in
the Factbook with their expansions.

Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers,
designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as
approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have
been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.

Age structure: This entry provides the distribution of the population
according to age. Information is included by sex and age group (0-14
years, 15-64 years, 65 years and over). The age structure of a
population will affect a country's investment pattern. Countries with
young populations (high percentage under age 15) need to invest more
in schools, while countries with older populations (high percentage
ages 65 and over) need to invest more in the health sector. The age
structure can also be used to help predict potential political issues.
For example, the rapid growth of a young adult population unable to
find employment can lead to unrest.

Agriculture--products: This entry is a rank ordering of major crops
and products starting with the most important.

Airports: This entry gives the total number of airports. The runway(s)
may be paved (concrete or asphalt surfaces) or unpaved (grass, dirt,
sand, or gravel surfaces), but must be usable. Not all airports have
facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control.

Airports--with paved runways: This entry gives the total number of
airports with paved runways (concrete or asphalt surfaces). For
airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is
included according to the following five groups--(1) over 3,047 m, (2)
2,438 to 3,047 m, (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m, (4) 914 to 1,523 m, and (5)
under 914 m. Not all airports have facilities for refueling,
maintenance, or air traffic control. Only airports with usable runways
are included in this listing.

Airports--with unpaved runways: This entry gives the total number of
airports with unpaved runways (grass, dirt, sand, or gravel surfaces).
For airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is
included according to the following five groups--(1) over 3,047 m, (2)
2,438 to 3,047 m, (3) 1,524 to 2,437 m, (4) 914 to 1,523 m, and (5)
under 914 m. Not all airports have facilities for refueling,
maintenance, or air traffic control. Only airports with usable runways
are included in this listing.

Appendixes: This section includes Factbook-related material by topic.
Area: This entry includes three subfields. Total area is the sum of
all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or
coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by
international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water
bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Water area is the sum of all water
surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines,
including inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers).

Area--comparative: This entry provides an area comparison based on
total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US
or one of the 50 states based on area measurements (1990 revised)
provided by the US Bureau of the Census. The smaller entities are
compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in
Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).

Birth rate: This entry gives the average annual number of births
during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude
birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in
determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the
level of fertility and the age structure of the population.

Budget: This entry includes revenues, total expenditures, and capital

Climate: This entry includes a brief description of typical weather
regimes throughout the year.

Coastline: This entry gives the total length of the boundary between
the land area (including islands) and the sea.

Communications: This category deals with the means of exchanging
information and includes the radio, telephone, and television entries.

Communications--note: This entry includes miscellaneous communications
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Constitution: This entry includes the dates of adoption, revisions,
and major amendments.

Country map: Most versions of the Factbook provide a country map in
color. The maps were produced from the best information available at
the time of preparation. Names and/or boundaries may have changed

Country name: This entry includes all forms of the country's name
approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an
example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional
short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short
form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation.
See the Terminology note regarding the use of the term "country."

Currency: This entry identifies the local medium of exchange and its
basic subunit.

Current issues: This entry briefly characterizes major geographic,
social, political, and military developments in the past 12 months and
may include a statement about one or two key future trends. This entry
appears for only a few countries at the present time, but will be
added to all countries in the future.

Data code: This entry gives the official US Government digraph that
precisely identifies every land entity without overlap, duplication,
or omission. AF, for example, is the data code for Afghanistan. This
two-letter country code is a standardized geopolitical data element
promulgated in the Federal Information Processing Standards
Publication (FIPS) 10-4 by the National Institute of Standards and
Technology at the US Department of Commerce and maintained by the
Office of the Geographer and Global Issues at the US Department of
State. The data code is used to eliminate confusion and
incompatibility in the collection, processing, and dissemination of
area-specific data and is particularly useful for interchanging data
between databases. Appendix F cross-references various country codes
and Appendix G does the same thing for hydrographic codes. Data
codes-country: This information is presented in Appendix F:
Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes which includes the US
Government approved Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS),
the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Internet
country codes.

Data codes--hydrographic: This information is presented in Appendix G:
Cross-Reference List of Hydrographic Data Codes which includes the
International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), Aeronautical Chart and
Information Center (ACIC; now National Imagery and Mapping Agency or
NIMA), and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) hydrographic codes. The
US Government has not yet approved a standard for hydrographic data
codes similar to the FIPS 10-4 standard for country data codes.

Dates of information: The information cutoff date was 1 January 1997,
although a few important changes after that date have been included.
Most demographic statistics are estimates for 1997.

Death rate: This entry gives the average annual number of deaths
during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude
death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the
mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current
mortality impact on population growth. This indicator is significantly
affected by the age distribution, and most countries will eventually
show a rise in the rate, in spite of continued declines in mortality
at all ages, as declining fertility results in an aging population.

Debt--external: This entry gives the total amount of public foreign
financial obligations.

Dependency status: This entry describes the formal relationship
between a nonindependent entity and a sovereign nation.

Dependent areas: This entry contains an alphabetical listing of all
nonindependent entities associated in some way with a particular
sovereign nation.

Diplomatic representation: The US Government has diplomatic relations
with 184 nations, including 178 of the 185 UN members (excluded UN
members are Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, former Yugoslavia,
and the US itself). In addition, the US has diplomatic relations with
6 nations that are not in the UN--Holy See, Kiribati, Nauru,
Switzerland, Tonga, and Tuvalu. Diplomatic representation from the US:
This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing
address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations,
consulate general locations, and consulate locations. Diplomatic
representation in the US: This entry includes the chief of mission,
chancery address, telephone number, FAX number, consulate general
locations, consulate locations, honorary consulate general locations,
and honorary consulate locations.

Disputes--international: This entry includes a wide variety of
situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to
unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding
disputes over international terrestrial and maritime boundaries has
been reviewed by the US Department of State. References to other
situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such
as resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues,
however, inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance
or recognition by the US Government.

Economic aid: This entry refers to bilateral commitments of official
development assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF). ODA is
defined as financial assistance which is concessional in character,
has the main objective to promote economic development and welfare of
LDCs, and contains a grant element of at least 25%. OOF transactions
are also official government assistance, but with a main objective
other than economic development and with a grant element less than
25%. OOF transactions include official export credits (such as Ex-Im
Bank credits), official equity and portfolio investment, and debt
reorganization by the official sector that does not meet concessional
terms. Aid is considered to have been committed when agreements are
initialed by the parties involved and constitute a formal declaration
of intent. The entry is separated into two components--donor and

Economy: This category includes the entries dealing with the size,
development, and management of productive resources, i.e., land,
labor, and capital.

Economy--overview: This entry briefly describes the type of economy,
including the degree of market orientation, the level of economic
development, the most important natural resources, and the unique
areas of specialization. It also characterizes major economic events
and policy changes in the most recent 12 months and may include a
statement about one or two key future macroeconomic trends.

Electricity--capacity: This entry gives the maximum designed potential
for electricity production expressed in kilowatts.

Electricity--consumption per capita: This entry gives the figure for
annual electricity generation plus net imports or minus net exports,
divided by total population for the same year expressed in kilowatt

Electricity--production: This entry gives the annual amount of
electricity actually generated expressed in kilowatt hours.

Elevation extremes: This entry includes both the highest point and the
lowest point.

Entities: Some of the nations, dependent areas, areas of special
sovereignty, and governments included in this publication are not
independent, and others are not officially recognized by the US
Government. "Nation" refers to a people politically organized into a
sovereign state with a definite territory. "Dependent area" refers to
a broad category of political entities that are associated in some way
with a nation. "Country" names used in the table of contents or for
page headings are usually the short-form names as approved by the US
Board on Geographic Names and may include nations, dependencies, or
other geographic entities. There are a total of 266 separate
geographic entities in The World Factbook that may be categorized as


184 nations that are UN members (excluding the former Yugoslavia,
which is still counted by the UN)
7 nations that are not members of the UN--Holy See, Kiribati, Nauru,
Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland, Tonga, Tuvalu


1 Taiwan


6 Australian dependencies--Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas
Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and
McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island
2 Danish dependencies--Faroe Islands, Greenland
2 Dutch dependencies--Aruba, Netherlands Antilles
16 French dependencies--Bassas da India, Clipperton Island, Europa
Island, French Guiana, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic
Lands, Glorioso Islands, Guadeloupe, Juan de Nova Island, Martinique,
Mayotte, New Caledonia, Reunion, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Tromelin
Island, Wallis and Futuna
3 New Zealand dependencies--Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau
3 Norwegian dependencies--Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard
1 Portuguese dependency--Macau
16 UK dependencies--Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory,
British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar,
Guernsey, Hong Kong, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn
Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands,
Turks and Caicos Islands
14 US dependencies--American Samoa, Baker Island, Guam, Howland
Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands,
Navassa Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Puerto Rico,
Virgin Islands, Wake Island


6 Antarctica, Gaza Strip, Paracel Islands, Spratly Islands, West
Bank, Western Sahara


4 oceans--Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean
1 World

266 Total

Environment--current issues: This entry lists the most pressing and
important environmental problems.

Environment--international agreements: This entry separates country
participation in international environmental agreements into two
levels--party to and signed but not ratified. Agreements are listed in
alphabetical order by the abbreviated form of the full name.

Environmental agreements: This information is presented in Appendix D:
Selected International Environmental Agreements which includes the
name, abbreviation, date opened for signature, date entered into
force, objective, and parties by category.

Ethnic groups: This entry provides a rank ordering of ethnic groups
starting with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total
population. Exchange rates: This entry provides the official value of
a nation's monetary unit at a given date or over a given period of
time, as expressed in units of local currency per US dollar and as
determined by international market forces or official fiat.

Executive branch: This entry includes several subfields. Chief of
state includes the name and title of the titular leader of the country
who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may
not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government. Head
of government includes the name and title of the administrative leader
who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the
government. Cabinet includes the official name for this body of
advisers and the method of selection for members. Elections includes
the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last
election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the
percent of vote for each candidate in the last election. In the UK,
the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head
of government. In the US, the President is both the chief of state and
the head of government.

Exports: This entry includes three subfields. Total value is the total
US dollar amount of exports on an f.o.b. basis. Commodities is a rank
ordering of exported products starting with the most important and
sometimes includes the percent of dollar value. Partners is a rank
ordering of trading partners starting with the most important and
sometimes includes the percent of dollar value.

Fiscal year: This entry identifies the beginning and ending months for
a country's accounting period of 12 months, which often is the
calendar year but may begin in any month. FY93/94 refers to the fiscal
year that began in calendar year 1993 and ended in calendar year 1994.
All yearly references are for the calendar year (CY) unless indicated
as a noncalendar fiscal year (FY).

Flag description: This entry provides a written flag description
produced from actual flags or the best information available at the
time the entry was written. The flags of independent nations are used
by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local
flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.

Flag graphic: Most versions of the Factbook provide a color flag
available at the beginning of the country entry. The flag graphics
were produced from actual flags or the best information available at
the time of preparation. The flags of independent nations are used by
their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local
flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.

GDP: This entry gives the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all
final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. GDP
dollar estimates in the Factbook are derived from purchasing power
parity (PPP) calculations. See the note on GDP methodology for more

GDP methodology: In the Economy section, GDP dollar estimates for all
countries are derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations
rather than from conversions at official currency exchange rates. The
PPP method involves the use of standardized international dollar price
weights, which are applied to the quantities of final goods and
services produced in a given economy. The data derived from the PPP
method provide a better comparison of economic well-being between
countries. The division of a GDP estimate in domestic currency by the
corresponding PPP estimate in dollars gives the PPP conversion rate.
When converted at PPP rates, $1,000 will buy the same market basket of
goods in any country. Whereas PPP estimates for OECD countries are
quite reliable, PPP estimates for developing countries are often rough
approximations. Most of the GDP estimates are based on extrapolation
of PPP numbers published by the UN International Comparison Program
(UNICP) and by Professors Robert Summers and Alan Heston of the
University of Pennsylvania and their colleagues. In contrast, currency
exchange rates depend on a variety of international and domestic
financial forces that often have little relation to domestic output.
In developing countries with weak currencies the exchange rate
estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP
estimate. Furthermore, exchange rates may suddenly go up or down by
10% or more because of market forces or official fiat whereas real
output has remained unchanged. On 12 January 1994, for example, the 14
countries of the African Financial Community (whose currencies are
tied to the French franc) devalued their currencies by 50%. This move,
of course, did not cut the real output of these countries by half. One
important caution: the proportion of, say, defense expenditures as a
percentage of GDP in local currency accounts may differ substantially
from the proportion when GDP accounts are expressed in PPP terms, as,
for example, when an observer tries to estimate the dollar level of
Russian or Japanese military expenditures. Note: the numbers for GDP
and other economic data can not be chained together from successive
volumes of the Factbook because of changes in the US dollar measuring
rod, revisions of data by statistical agencies, use of new or
different sources of information, and changes in national statistical
methods and practices. For statistical series on GDP and other
economic variables, see the [1]Handbook of International Economic
Statistics available from the same sources as The World Factbook.

GDP--composition by sector: This entry gives the percentage
contribution of agriculture, industry, and services to total GDP.

GDP--per capita: This entry shows GDP on a purchasing power parity
basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year.

GDP--real growth rate: This entry gives GDP growth on an annual basis
adjusted for inflation and expressed as a percent.

Geographic coordinates: This entry includes rounded latitude and
longitude for finding purposes of the approximate geographic center of
the country and is based on the Gazetteer of Conventional Names, Third
Edition, August 1988, US Board on Geographic Names and on other

Geographic names: This information is presented in Appendix H:
Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names which indicates where various
geographic names--including the location of all US Foreign Service
Posts, alternate names of countries, former names, and political or
geographical portions of larger entities--can be found in The World
Factbook. Spellings are normally, but not always, those approved by
the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Alternate names are included
in parentheses, while additional information is included in brackets.

Geography: This category includes the entries dealing with the natural
environment and the effects of human activity.

Geography--note: This entry includes miscellaneous geographic
information of significance not included elsewhere.

GNP: Gross national product (GNP) is the value of all final goods and
services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income earned
by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners from
domestic production. The Factbook uses GDP rather than GNP to measure
national production.

Government: This category includes the entries dealing with the system
for the adoption and administration of public policy.

Government type: This entry gives the basic form of government (e.g.,
republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary
democracy, military dictatorship).

Government--note: This entry includes miscellaneous government
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Gross domestic product: see GDP

Gross national product: see GNP

Gross world product: see GWP

GWP: This entry gives the gross world product (GWP) or aggregate value
of all final goods and services produced worldwide in a given year.

Heliports: This entry gives the total number of helicopter takeoff and
landing sites (which may or may not have fuel or other services).

Highways: This entry includes the total length of the highway system
as well as the length of the paved and unpaved components.

Historical perspective: This entry contains a brief summary of the
background information necessary to understand the current situation
in a country. The entry appears for only a few countries at the
present time, but will be added to all countries in the future.

Illicit drugs: This entry gives information on the five categories of
illicit drugs--narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives),
hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs
legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally
produced and sold outside of medical channels.

Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides
hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana
(pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,
Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).

Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain the
stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa,
which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa,
and cocoa butter.

Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.

Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and
include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal,
phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone
(Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl,

Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental,
emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.

Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that
results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an

Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking,
self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid,
microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine
variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog),
phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin,

Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant
(Cannabis sativa).

Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.

Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.

Marijuana is the dried leaves of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis

Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in
Southwest Asia.

Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer
to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural
narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine
(MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with
codeine, Robitussan AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics include
heroin (horse, smack), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Synthetic
narcotics include meperidine or Pethidine (Demerol, Mepergan),
methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and others (Darvon, Lomotil).

Opium is the brown, gummy exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of
the opium poppy.

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the source for the natural and
semisynthetic narcotics.

Poppy straw concentrate is the alkaloid derived from the mature dried
opium poppy.

Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of Catha edulis
that is chewed or drunk as tea.

Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a
pharmaceutical depressant.

Imports: This entry includes three subfields. Total value is the total
US dollar amount of imports on a c.i.f. or f.o.b. basis. Commodities
is a rank ordering of imported products starting with the most
important and sometimes includes the percent of dollar value. Partners
is a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most
important and sometimes includes the percent of dollar value.

Independence: This entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved
and from what nation.

Industrial production growth rate: This entry gives the annual
percentage increase in industrial production (includes manufacturing,
mining, and construction).

Industries: This entry provides a rank ordering of industries starting
with the largest by value of annual output.

Infant mortality rate: This entry gives the number of deaths of
infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births
occurring in the same year. The infant mortality rate is often used an
indicator of the level of health in a country.

Inflation rate-consumer price index: This entry furnishes the annual
percent change in consumer prices compared with the previous year's
consumer prices.

International disputes: see Disputes--international

International organization participation: This entry lists in
alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations
in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other

International organizations: This information is presented in Appendix
C: International Organizations and Groups which includes the name,
abbreviation, address, telephone, FAX, date established, aim, and
members by category.

Introduction: This category includes two entries--Current issues and
Historical perspective.

Irrigated land: This entry gives the number of square kilometers of
land area that is artificially supplied with water.

Judicial branch: This entry contains the name(s) of the highest
court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.

Labor force: This entry contains the total labor force figure and a
rank ordering of component parts by occupation.

Land boundaries: This entry contains the total length of all land
boundaries and the individual lengths for each of the contiguous
border countries.

Land use: This entry contains the percentage shares of total land area
for five different types of land use. Arable land--land cultivated for
crops that are replanted after each harvest like wheat, maize, and
rice. Permanent crops--land cultivated for crops that are not
replanted after each harvest like citrus, coffee, and rubber.
Permanent pastures--land permanently used for herbaceous forage crops.
Forests and woodland--land under dense or open stands of trees.
Other--any land type not specifically mentioned above like urban
areas, roads, desert, etc.

Languages: This entry provides a rank ordering of languages starting
with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total
population speaking that language.

Legal system: This entry contains a brief description of the legal
system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of
International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.

Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure
(unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and
term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or
accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next
election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number
of seats held by each party in the last election.

Life expectancy at birth: This entry contains the average number of
years to be lived by a group of people born in the same year, if
mortality at each age remains constant in the future. The entry
includes total population as well as the male and female components.
Life expectancy at birth is also a measure of overall quality of life
in a country and summarizes the mortality at all ages. It can also be
thought of as indicating the potential return on investment in human
capital, and is necessary for the calculation of various actuarial

Literacy: This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census
Bureau percentages for the total population, males, and females. There
are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless
otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common
definition--the ability to read and write at a specified age.
Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the
ability to read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook.
Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational
results, is probably the most easily available and valid for
international comparisons. Low levels of literacy, and education in
general, can impede the economic development of a country in the
current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.

Location: This entry identifies the country's regional location,
neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water.

Map references: This entry includes the name of the Factbook reference
map on which a country may be found. The entry on Geographic
coordinates may be helpful in finding some smaller countries.

Maritime claims: This entry includes the following claims: contiguous
zone, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, exclusive fishing
zone, extended fishing zone, none (usually for a landlocked country),
other (unique maritime claims like Libya's Gulf of Sidra Closing Line
or North Korea's Military Boundary Line), and territorial sea. The
proximity of neighboring states may prevent some national claims from
being extended the full distance.

Merchant marine: Merchant marine may be defined as all ships engaged
in the carriage of goods; all commercial vessels (as opposed to all
nonmilitary ships) which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil
rigs, etc.; or a grouping of merchant ships by nationality or
register. This entry contains information in two subfields--total and
ships by type. Total includes the total number of ships (1,000 GRT or
over), total DWT for all ships, and total GRT for all ships. Ships by
type includes a listing of barge carriers, bulk cargo ships, cargo
ships, combination bulk carriers, combination ore/oil carriers,
container ships, intermodal ships, liquefied gas tankers, livestock
carriers, multifunction large-load carriers, oil tankers, passenger
ships, passenger-cargo ships, railcar carriers, refrigerated cargo
ships, roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, short-sea passenger ships,
specialized tankers, tanker tug-barges, and vehicle carriers.

Captive register is a register of ships maintained by a territory,
possession, or colony primarily or exclusively for the use of ships
owned in the parent country; also referred to as an offshore register,
the offshore equivalent of an internal register. Ships on a captive
register will fly the same flag as the parent country, or a local
variant of it, but will be subject to the maritime laws and taxation
rules of the offshore territory. Although the nature of a captive
register makes it especially desirable for ships owned in the parent
country, just as in the internal register, the ships may also be owned
abroad. The captive register then acts as a flag of convenience
register, except that it is not the register of an independent state.

Flag of convenience register is a national register offering
registration to a merchant ship not owned in the flag state. The major
flags of convenience (FOC) attract ships to their registers by virtue
of low fees, low or nonexistent taxation of profits, and liberal
manning requirements. True FOC registers are characterized by having
relatively few of the registered ships actually owned in the flag
state. Thus, while virtually any flag can be used for ships under a
given set of circumstances, an FOC register is one where the majority
of the merchant fleet is owned abroad. It is also referred to as an
open register.

Flag state is the nation in which a ship is registered and which holds
legal jurisdiction over operation of the ship, whether at home or
abroad. Maritime legislation of the flag state determines how a ship
is crewed and taxed and whether a foreign-owned ship may be placed on
the register.

Internal register is a register of ships maintained as a subset of a
national register. Ships on the internal register fly the national
flag and have that nationality but are subject to a separate set of
maritime rules from those on the main national register. These
differences usually include lower taxation of profits, use of foreign
nationals as crew members, and, usually, ownership outside the flag
state (when it functions as an FOC register). The Norwegian
International Ship Register and Danish International Ship Register are
the most notable examples of an internal register. Both have been
instrumental in stemming flight from the national flag to flags of
convenience and in attracting foreign-owned ships to the Norwegian and
Danish flags.

Merchant ship is a vessel that carries goods against payment of
freight; commonly used to denote any nonmilitary ship but accurately
restricted to commercial vessels only.

Register is the record of a ship's ownership and nationality as listed
with the maritime authorities of a country; also, the compendium of
such individual ships' registrations. Registration of a ship provides
it with a nationality and makes it subject to the laws of the country
in which registered (the flag state) regardless of the nationality of
the ship's ultimate owner.

Military: This category includes the entries dealing with a country's
military structure, manpower, and expenditures.

Military branches: This entry lists the names of the ground, naval,
air, marine, and other defense or military-type forces.

Military expenditures--dollar figure: This entry gives current
military expenditures in US dollars; the figure is calculated by
multiplying the estimated defense spending in percentage terms by the
gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.
The figure should be treated with caution because of different price
patterns and accounting methods among nations.

Military expenditures--percent of GDP: This entry gives current
military expenditures as an estimated percent of gross domestic
product (GDP).

Military manpower--availability: This entry gives the total numbers of
males and females age 15-49 and assumes that every individual is fit
to serve.

Military manpower--fit for military service: This entry gives the
number of males and females age 15-49 fit for military service. This
is a more refined measure of potential military manpower availability
which tries to correct for the health situation in the country and
reduces the maximum potential number to a more realistic estimate of
the actual number fit to serve.

Military manpower--military age: This entry gives the minimum age at
which an individual may volunteer for military service or be subject
to conscription.

Military manpower--reaching military age annually: This entry gives
the number of draft-age males and females entering the military
manpower pool in any given year and is a measure of the availability
of draft-age young adults.

Military--note: This entry includes miscellaneous military information
of significance not included elsewhere.

Money figures: All money figures are expressed in contemporaneous US
dollars unless otherwise indicated.

National capital: This entry gives the location of the seat of

National holiday: This entry gives the primary national day of
celebration--usually independence day.

Nationality: This entry provides the identifying terms for
citizens--noun and adjective.

Natural hazards: This entry lists potential natural disasters.

Natural resources: This entry lists a country's mineral, petroleum,
hydropower, and other resources of commercial importance.

Net migration rate: This entry includes the figure for the difference
between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during
the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of
persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (e.g.,
3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the
country as net emigration (e.g., -9.26 migrants/1,000 population). The
net migration rate indicates the contribution of migration to the
overall level of population change. High levels of migration can cause
problems such as increasing unemployment and potential ethnic strife
(if people are coming in) or reducing the labor force, perhaps in
certain key sectors (if people are leaving).

People: This category includes the entries dealing with the
characteristics of the people and their society.

People--note: This entry includes miscellaneous demographic
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Pipelines: This entry gives the lengths and types of pipelines for
transporting products like natural gas, crude oil, or petroleum

Political parties and leaders: This entry includes a listing of
political organizations and their leaders.

Political pressure groups and leaders: This entry includes a listing
of organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing
for legislative election.

Population: This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the
Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics
registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past,
and on assumptions about future trends. Starting with the 1993
Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African)
have taken into account the effects of the growing incidence of AIDS
infections; in 1997 these countries were Botswana, Brazil, Burkina
Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the
Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi,
Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zaire which
is now known as Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and
Zimbabwe. The total population presents one overall measure of the
potential impact of the country on the world and within its region.

Population growth rate: The average annual percent change in the
population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over
deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The
rate may be positive or negative. Also known as growth rate or average
annual rate of growth. The growth rate is a factor in determining how
rapidly a country responds to the changing needs of its people in
terms of infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads),
resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid population
growth can also be seen as threatening by neighboring countries.

Ports and harbors: This entry lists a few ports and harbors selected
on the basis of overall importance to each country. This is determined
by evaluating a number of factors (e.g., dollar value of goods
handled, gross tonnage, facilities, military significance).

Radio broadcast stations: This entry includes the total number of AM,
FM, and shortwave broadcast stations.

Radios: This entry gives the total number of radio receivers.

Railways: This entry includes the total length of the railway network
and component parts by gauge: broad, dual, narrow, standard, and

Reference maps: This section includes world, regional, and special or
current interest maps.

Religions: This entry includes a rank ordering of religions starting
with the largest and sometimes includes the percent of total

Sex ratio: This entry includes the number of males for each female in
five age groups-at birth, under 15 years, 15-64 years, 65 years and
over, and for the total population. Sex ratio at birth has recently
emerged as an indicator of certain kinds of sex discrimination in some
countries. For instance, high sex ratios at birth in some Asian
countries are now attributed to sex-selective abortion and infanticide
due to a strong preference for sons. This will affect future marriage
patterns and fertility patterns and could cause unrest among young
adult males who are unable to find partners. The sex ratio at birth
for the World is 1.06 (1997 est.).

Suffrage: This entry gives the age at enfranchisement and whether the
right to vote is universal or restricted.

Telephone numbers: All telephone numbers in the Factbook consist of
the country code in brackets, the city or area code (where required)
in parentheses, and the local number. The one component that is not
presented is the international access code which varies from country
to country. For example, an international direct dial telephone call
placed from the US to Madrid, Spain, would be as follows:

011 [34] (1) 577-xxxx where
011 is the international access code for station-to-station calls
(01 is for calls other than station-to-station calls),
[34] is the country code for Spain,
(1) is the city code for Madrid,
577 is the local exchange, and
xxxx is the local telephone number.

An international direct dial telephone call placed from another
country to the US would be as follows:

An international direct dial telephone call placed from another
country to the US would be as follows:

[1] is the country code for the US,
(202) is the area code for Washington, DC,
939 is the local exchange, and
xxxx is the local telephone number.

Telephone system: This entry includes a brief characterization of the
system with details on the domestic and international components. The
following terms and abbreviations are used throughout the entry:

Arabsat-Arab Satellite Communications Organization (Riyadh, Saudi

Autodin--Automatic Digital Network (US Department of Defense)

CB--citizen's band mobile radio communications

cellular telephone system--the telephones in this system are radio

transceivers, each instrument having its own private radio frequency
with sufficient radiated power to reach the booster station in its
area (cell), from which the telephone signal is fed to a regular
telephone exchange

Central American Microwave System--a trunk microwave radio relay
system that links the countries of Central America and Mexico with
each other

coaxial cable--a multichannel communication cable consisting of a
central conducting wire, surrounded by and insulated from a
cylindrical conducting shell; a large number of telephone channels can
be made available within the insulated space by the use of a large
number of carrier frequencies

DSN--Defense Switched Network (formerly Automatic Voice Network or
Autovon); basic general--purpose, switched voice network of the
Defense Communications System (US Department of Defense)

Eutelsat--European Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Paris)

fiber-optic cable--a multichannel communications cable using a thread
of optical glass fibers as a transmission medium in which the signal
(voice, video, etc.) is in the form of a coded pulse of light

HF--high-frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to 30,000-kHz

Inmarsat-International Mobile Satellite Organization (London);
provider of global mobile satellite communications for commercial and
distress and safety applications, at sea, in the air, and on land

Intelsat--International Telecommunications Satellite Organization
(Washington, DC)

Intersputnik--International Organization of Space Communications
(Moscow); first established in the former Soviet Union and the East
European countries, it is now marketing its services worldwide with
earth stations in North America, Africa, and East Asia

landline--communication wire or cable of any sort that is installed on
poles or buried in the ground

Marecs--Maritime European Communications Satellite used in the
Inmarsat system on lease from the European Space Agency

Marisat--satellites of the Comsat Corporation that participate in the
Inmarsat system

Medarabtel--the Middle East Telecommunications Project of the
International Telecommunications Union (ITU), providing a modern
telecommunications network, primarily by microwave radio relay,
linking Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Saudi
Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen (initially started
in Morocco in 1970 by the Arab Telecommunications Union (ATU) and
known at that time as the Middle East Mediterranean Telecommunications

NMT--Nordic Mobile Telephone; an analog cellular telephone system that
was developed jointly by the national telecommunications authorities
of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and

Orbita--a Russian television service; also the trade name of a
packet--switched digital telephone network

radiotelephone communications--the two--way transmission and reception
of sounds by broadcast radio on authorized frequencies using telephone

satellite communication system--a communication system consisting of
two or more earth stations and at least one satellite that provides
long distance transmission of voice, data, and television; the system
usually serves as a trunk connection between telephone exchanges; if
the earth stations are in the same country, it is a domestic system

satellite earth station--a communications facility with a microwave
radio transmitting and receiving antenna and required receiving and
transmitting equipment for communicating with satellites

satellite link--a radio connection between a satellite and an earth
station permitting communication between them, either one--way (down
link from satellite to earth station--television receive--only
transmission) or two-way (telephone channels)

SHF--super--high--frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to
30,000-MHz range

SHF--super-high-frequency; any radio frequency in the 3,000- to
30,000-MHz range

Solidaridad-geosynchronous satellites in Mexico's system of
international telecommunications in the Western Hemisphere

Statsionar--Russia's geostationary system for satellite

submarine cable--a cable designed for service under water

TAT--Trans--Atlantic Telephone; any of a number of high--capacity
submarine coaxial telephone cables linking Europe with North America

telefax--facsimile service between subscriber stations via the public
switched telephone network or the international Datel network

telegraph--a telecommunications system designed for unmodulated
electric impulse transmission

telex--a communication service involving teletypewriters connected by
wire through automatic exchanges

tropospheric scatter--a form of microwave radio transmission in which
the troposphere is used to scatter and reflect a fraction of the
incident radio waves back to earth; powerful, highly directional
antennas are used to transmit and receive the microwave signals;
reliable over-the-horizon communications are realized for distances up
to 600 miles in a single hop; additional hops can extend the range of
this system for very long distances

trunk network--a network of switching centers, connected by
multichannel trunk lines

UHF--ultra-high-frequency; any radio frequency in the 300- to
3,000-MHz range

VHF--very-high-frequency; any radio frequency in the 30- to 300-MHz

Telephones: This entry gives the total number of subscribers.

Television broadcast stations: This entry gives the total number of
separate broadcast stations plus any repeater stations.

Televisions: This entry gives the total number of television sets.

Terminology: Due to the highly structured nature of the Factbook
database, some collective generic terms have to be used. "Country
name" and "National capital", for example are used collectively to
include nations, dependent areas, uninhabited islands, areas of
special sovereignty, etc. The term "Military" is also used as an
umbrella term for various civil defense, security, and defense

Terrain: This entry contains a brief description of the topography.

Total fertility rate: This entry gives a figure for the average number
of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end
of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given
fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate is a more direct
measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it
refers to births per woman. This indicator shows the potential for
population growth in the country. High rates will also place some
limits on the labor force participation rates for women. Large numbers
of children born to women indicate large family sizes that might limit
the capacity of the families to educate their children.

Transnational Issues: This category includes only two entries at the
present time. Disputes--international and Illicit drugs--deal with
current issues going beyond national boundaries.

Transportation: This category includes the entries dealing with the
movement of people or material.

Transportation--note: This entry includes miscellaneous transportation
information of significance not included elsewhere.

Unemployment rate: This entry contains the percent of the labor force
that is without jobs. Substantial underemployment might be noted.

United Nations System: This information is presented in Appendix B:
United Nations System which is a chart, table, or text (depending on
the version of the Factbook) that shows the organization of the UN in

Waterways: This entry gives the total length and individual names of
navigable rivers, canals, and other inland bodies of water.

Weights and measures: This information is presented in Appendix E:
Weights and Measures which includes mathematical notations
(mathematical powers and names), metric interrelationships (prefix;
symbol; length, weight, or capacity; area; volume), and standard
conversion factors.

Years: All year references are for the calendar year (CY) unless
indicated as fiscal year (FY). The calendar year is an accounting
period of 12 months from 1 January to 31 December. The fiscal year is
an accounting period of 12 months other than 1 January to 31 December.
FY93/94 refers to the fiscal year that began in calendar year 1993 and
ended in calendar year 1994.

Note: Information for the US and US dependencies was compiled from
material in the public domain and does not represent Intelligence
Community estimates. The [2]Handbook of International Economic
Statistics, published annually in September by the Central
Intelligence Agency, contains detailed economic information for the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
countries, the successor nations to the Soviet Union, and selected
other countries. The Handbook can be obtained wherever the Factbook is


1. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/hies97/index.htm
2. http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/hies97/index.htm




Current issues
Historical perspective


Geographic coordinates
Map references

Land boundaries
border countries

Maritime claims
contiguous zone
continental shelf
exclusive economic zone
exclusive fishing zone
extended fishing zone
territorial sea

Elevation extremes
lowest point
highest point

Natural resources
Land use
arable land
permanent crops
permanent pastures
forests and woodland

Irrigated land
Natural hazards
Environment--current issues
Environment--international agreements
party to
signed, but not ratified



Age structure
0-14 years
15-64 years
65 years and over

Population growth rate
Birth rate
Death rate
Net migration rate
Sex ratio
at birthunder
15 years
15-64 years
65 years and over
total population

Infant mortality rate
Life expectancy at birth
total population

Total fertility rate

Ethnic groups
total population


Country name
conventional long form
conventional short form
local long form
local short form

Data code
Dependency status
Government type
National capital
Administrative divisions
Dependent areas
National holiday
Legal system
Executive branch
chief of state
head of government
election results

Legislative branch
election results

Judicial branch
Political parties and leaders
Political pressure groups and leaders
International organization participation
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission
consulate(s) general
honorary consulate(s)
honorary consulate(s) general

Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission
branch office
mailing address
consulate(s) general

Flag description


GDP--real growth
GDP--per capita
GDP--composition by sector

Inflation rate--consumer price index
Labor force
by occupation

Unemployment rate

Industrial production growth rate
Electricity--consumption per capita
total value

total value

Economic aid

Exchange rates
Fiscal year


Telephone system

Radio broadcast stations
Television broadcast stations


broad gauge
dual gauge
narrow gauge
other gauges
standard gauge


Ports and harbors
Merchant marine
ships by type

Airports--with paved runways
over 3,047m
2,438 to 3,047m
1,524 to 2,437m
914 to 1,523m
under 914m

Airports--with unpaved runways
over 3,047m
2,438 to 3,047m
1,524 to 2,437m
914 to 1,523m
under 914m



Military branches
Military manpower--military age
Military manpower--availability
males age 15-49
females age 15-49

Military manpower--fit for military service

Military manpower--reaching military age annually

Military expenditures--dollar figure
Military expenditures--percent of GDP

Transnational Issues

Illicit drugs




Location: Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E

Map references: Asia

total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 5,529 km
border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km,
Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Nowshak 7,485 m

Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, talc,
barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops : 0%
permanent pastures: 46%
forests and woodland: 3%
other: 39% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 30,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains;

Environment - current issues: soil degradation; overgrazing;
deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for
fuel and building materials); desertification

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

Geography - note: landlocked


Population: 23,738,085 (July 1997 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 5,201,585; female 5,003,503)
15-64 years: 54% (male 6,680,687; female 6,208,463)
65 years and over : 3% (male 341,301; female 302,546) (July 1997 est.)

Population growth rate: 4.48% (1997 est.)
note: this rate reflects the continued return of refugees

Birth rate: 42.72 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Death rate: 17.78 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Net migration rate: 19.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 146.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population : 46.34 years
male: 46.89 years
female: 45.76 years (1997 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.07 children born/woman (1997 est.)

noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan

Ethnic groups: Pashtun 38%, Tajik 25%, Uzbek 6%, Hazara 19%, minor
ethnic groups (Aimaks, Turkmen, Baloch, and others)

Religions: Sunni Muslim 84%, Shi'a Muslim 15%, other 1%

Languages: Pashtu 35%, Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Turkic languages
(primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily
Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 31.5%
male : 47.2%
female: 15% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Islamic State of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form : Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
former: Republic of Afghanistan

Data code: AF

Government type: transitional government

National capital: Kabul

Administrative divisions: 30 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat);
Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni,
Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Konar,
Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika,
Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, Zabol
note : there may be two new provinces of Nurestan (Nuristan) and

Independence: 19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign

National holiday: Victory of the Muslim Nation, 28 April; Remembrance
Day for Martyrs and Disabled, 4 May; Independence Day, 19 August

Constitution: none

Legal system: a new legal system has not been adopted but all factions
tacitly agree they will follow Islamic law (Shari'a)

Suffrage: undetermined; previously males 15-50 years of age

Executive branch: on 27 September 1996, the ruling members of the
Afghan Government were displaced by members of the Islamic Taliban
movement; the Islamic State of Afghanistan has no functioning
government at this time, and the country remains divided among
fighting factions
note: the Taliban have declared themselves the legitimate government
of Afghanistan; the UN has deferred a decision on credentials and the
Organization of the Islamic Conference has left the Afghan seat vacant
until the question of legitimacy can be resolved through negotiations
among the warring factions; the country is essentially divided along
ethnic lines; the Taliban controls the capital of Kabul and
approximately two-thirds of the country including the predominately

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