Kuwait Population: 2,695,316


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Britain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. 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 liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991 and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive. The country witnessed the historic election in May 2009 of four women to its National Assembly. Amid the 2010-11 uprisings and protests across the Arab world, stateless Arabs, known as bidoon, staged small protests in February and March 2011 demanding citizenship, jobs, and other benefits available to Kuwaiti nationals. Youth activist groups - supported by opposition legislators and the prime minister's rivals within the ruling family - rallied repeatedly in 2011 for an end to corruption and the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet. Opposition legislators forced the prime minister to resign in late 2011. In October-December 2012, Kuwait witnessed unprecedented protests in response to the Amir's changes to the electoral law by decree reducing the number of votes per person from four to one. The opposition, led by a coalition of Sunni Islamists, tribalists, some liberals, and myriad youth groups, boycotted the December 2012 legislative election, resulting in a historic number of Shia candidates winning seats. Since 2006, the Amir has dissolved the National Assembly on five occasions (the Constitutional Court annulled the Assembly once in June 2012) and reshuffled the cabinet 12 times, usually citing political stagnation and gridlock between the legislature and the government.

Strategic location at head of Persian Gulf
Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 29 30 N, 45 45 E
Area: total: 17,818 sq km
land: 17,818 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: 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 elevation 306 m
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use: arable land: 0.62%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 99.1% (2011)
Irrigated land: 86 sq km (2007)
Natural hazards: sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and 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
Current Environment Issues: limited natural freshwater resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
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Nationality: noun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groups: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Religions: Muslim (official) 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%
Population: 2,695,316 (July 2013 est.) note: includes 1,291,354 non-nationals
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.6% (male 358,415/female 330,467)
15-24 years: 15.4% (male 228,147/female 187,035)
25-54 years: 52.3% (male 896,693/female 514,196)
55-64 years: 4.5% (male 70,863/female 51,660)
65 years and over: 2.1% (male 27,995/female 29,845) (2013 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 37.2 %
youth dependency ratio: 34 %
elderly dependency ratio: 3.2 %
potential support ratio: 31.3 (2013)
Median age: total: 28.8 years
male: 30 years
female: 26.6 years (2013 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.79% note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates (2013 est.)
Birth rate: 20.61 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Death rate: 2.14 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 98.3% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.42% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: KUWAIT (capital) 2.23 million (2009)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.22 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.75 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.4 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 1.43 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 14 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Infant mortality rate: total: 7.68 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.41 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.46 years
male: 76.24 years
female: 78.75 years (2013 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.56 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 52% (1999)
Health expenditures: 2.6% of GDP (2010)
Physicians density: 1.79 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density: 2 beds/1,000 population (2009)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population

urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2010 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population (2010 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA (2007 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 42% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 1.7% (2009)
Education expenditures: 3.8% of GDP (2006)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.9%
male: 95%
female: 91.8% (2008 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years
male: 13 years
female: 15 years (2004)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 11.3%
male: 11.8%
female: 10% (2005)
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Country name: conventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
local short form: Al Kuwayt
Government type: constitutional emirate
Capital: name: Kuwait City
geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir
Independence: 19 June 1961 (from the UK)
National holiday: National Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitution: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
Legal system: mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic religious law
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal; note - males in the military or police are by law not allowed to vote; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years
Executive branch: chief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (born 25 June 1937)

head of government: Prime Minister JABIR AL-MUBARAK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 30 November 2011); First Deputy Prime Minister KHALID al-Jarrah al-Sabah; Deputy Prime Ministers MUHAMMAD AL-KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah, SALIM al-Abd al-Aziz al-Saud al-Sabah, Mustafa al-Jassim al-SHAMALI

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the amir; new cabinet formed in February 2012 (For more information visit the World Leaders website )

elections: none; the amir is hereditary; the amir appoints the prime minister and deputy prime ministers
Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (65 seats - 50 members elected by popular vote plus 16 cabinet ministers, one of whom is also an elected MP, appointed by the prime minister as ex officio voting members; elected members serve four-year terms)

elections: last held 27 July 2013 (next to be held in July 2017)

election results: percent of vote - NA; seats won - tribal and liberal groups 27, Shiite 8, Sunni 7, other 8
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Constitutional Court (five judges); Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (organized into several circuits, each with five judges) judge selection and term of office: all Kuwaiti judges appointed by the Amir upon recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, a consultative body comprised of Kuwaiti judges and Ministry of Justice officials

subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; Court of First Instance; Summary Court
Political parties and leaders: none; while the formation of political parties is not permitted, they are not forbidden by law
Political pressure groups and leaders: other: Islamists; merchants; political groups; secular liberals and pro-governmental deputies; Shia activists; tribal groups
International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CD, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
National symbol(s): golden falcon
National anthem: name: "Al-Nasheed Al-Watani" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Ahmad MUSHARI al-Adwani/Ibrahim Nasir al-SOULA

note: adopted 1978; the anthem is only used on formal occasions
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador SALIM al-Abdallah al-Jabir al-Sabah
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
FAX: [1] (202) 364-2868
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Matthew H. TUELLER
embassy: Bayan 36302, Block 13, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat 13001 Kuwait; or PSC 1280 APO AE 09880-9000
telephone: [965] 2259-1001
FAX: [965] 2538-0282
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Kuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - about 7% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 95% of export revenues, and 95% of government income. Kuwaiti officials have committed to increasing oil production to 4 million barrels per day by 2020. The rise in global oil prices throughout 2011 and 2012 is reviving government consumption and economic growth. Kuwait has experienced a 20% increase in government budget revenue, which has led to higher budget expenditures, particularly wage hikes for many public sector employees. Kuwait has done little to diversify its economy, in part, because of this positive fiscal situation, and, in part, due to the poor business climate and the historically acrimonious relationship between the National Assembly and the executive branch, which has stymied most movement on economic reforms. In 2010, Kuwait passed an economic development plan that pledges to spend up to $130 billion over five years to diversify the economy away from oil, attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $153.4 billion (2012 est.) $146 billion (2011 est.) $137.4 billion (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $173.4 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.1% (2012 est.) 6.3% (2011 est.) -2.4% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $40,500 (2012 est.) $39,700 (2011 est.) $38,300 (2010 est.)

note: data are in 2012 US dollars
Gross national saving: 59.2% of GDP (2012 est.) 57.3% of GDP (2011 est.) 51.1% of GDP (2010 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 21.8%
government consumption: 14.5%
investment in fixed capital: 14%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 73.7%
imports of goods and services: -24% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 21.8%
government consumption: 14.5%
investment in fixed capital: 14%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 73.7%
imports of goods and services: -24% (2012 est.)
Agriculture - products: fish
Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate: 10.2% (2012 est.)
Labor force: 2.304 million note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate: 2.2% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $115.8 billion
expenditures: $58.08 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 66.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Public debt: 6% of GDP (2012 est.) 7.5% of GDP (2011 est.)
Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.9% (2012 est.) 4.7% (2011 est.)
Current account balance: $73.26 billion (2012 est.) $70.78 billion (2011 est.)
Exports: $121 billion (2012 est.) $102.9 billion (2011 est.)
Exports - commodities: oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partners: South Korea 16%, India 15.7%, Japan 13.4%, US 11.7%, China 9.2%, Singapore 4.2% (2012)
Imports: $22.79 billion (2012 est.) $22.08 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities: food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partners: US 11.8%, China 9.2%, Saudi Arabia 8.3%, Japan 8.2%, South Korea 7%, Germany 5.1%, Italy 4.7%, India 4.6%, UAE 4.2% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $29 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $25.91 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Debt - external: $30.3 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $32.01 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $4.645 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $2.768 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $56.07 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $48.4 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $100.9 billion (31 December 2011) $119.6 billion (31 December 2010) $95.94 billion (31 December 2009)
Exchange rates: Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per US dollar - 0.2799 (2012 est.) 0.276 (2011 est.) 0.2866 (2010 est.) 0.2877 (2009) 0.2679 (2008)
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Electricity - production: 51.32 billion kWh (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50
Electricity - consumption: 43.41 billion kWh (2009 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 10.94 million kW (2009 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Crude oil - production: 2.682 million bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 1.365 million bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 101.5 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 902,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 339,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 717,700 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Natural gas - production: 11.73 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 12.62 billion cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 890 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.798 trillion cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 81.33 million Mt (2010 est.)
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Telephones in use: 514,700 (2011)
country comparison to the world: 98
Cellular Phones in use: 4.935 million (2011)
Telephone system: general assessment: the quality of service is excellent

domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and open-wire and fiber-optic cable; a mobile-cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well supplied with pay telephones

international: country code - 965; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 6 (3 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean, and 2 Arabsat) (2011)
Broadcast media: state-owned TV broadcaster operates 4 networks and a satellite channel; several private TV broadcasters have emerged since 2003; satellite TV available with pan-Arab TV stations especially popular; state-owned Radio Kuwait broadcasts on a number of channels in Arabic and English; first private radio station emerged in 2005; transmissions of at least 2 international radio broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .kw
Internet hosts: 2,771 (2012)
Internet users: 1.1 million (2009)
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Airports: 7 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 168
Airports (paved runways): total 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Heliports: 4 (2013)
Pipelines: gas 261 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2013)
Roadways: total 5,749 km
paved: 4,887 km
unpaved: 862 km (2004)
Merchant marine: total 34

by type: bulk carrier 2, carrier 3, container 6, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 19

registered in other countries: 45 (Bahamas 1, Bahrain 5, Comoros 1, Libya 1, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 2, Panama 12, Qatar 6, Saudi Arabia 4, UAE 10) (2010)
Ports and terminals: Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi
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Military branches: Kuwaiti Land Forces (KLF), Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya; includes Kuwaiti Air Defense Force, KADF), Kuwaiti National Guard (KNG) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription suspended (2012)
Manpower available for military service: males age 16-49: 1,002,480
females age 16-49: 616,958 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service: males age 16-49: 840,912
females age 16-49: 523,206 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually: male: 17,653
female: 16,232 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures: 3.7% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue negotiating a joint maritime boundary with Iran; no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
stateless persons: 93,000 (2012); note - Kuwait's 1959 Nationality Law defined citizens as persons who settled in the country before 1920 and who had maintained normal residence since then; one-third of the population, descendants of Bedouin tribes, missed the window of opportunity to register for nationality rights after Kuwait became independent in 1961 and were classified as bidun (meaning without); since the 1980s Kuwait's bidun have progressively lost their rights, including opportunities for employment and education, amid official claims that they are nationals of other countries who have destroyed their identification documents in hopes of gaining Kuwaiti citizenship; Kuwaiti authorities have delayed processing citizenship applications and labeled biduns as "illegal residents," denying them access to civil documentation, such as birth and marriage certificates; 2011 bidun demonstrations for the recognition of their Kuwaiti nationality led to several arrests
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