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Libya Facts

Full name: Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya


National name: Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah al Uzma

Independence: From Italy - 24 December 1951

Total area: 1.77 million sq km (685,524 sq miles)

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

Border countries: Algeria 982 km, Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,115 km, Niger 354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km.

Capital: Tripoli, 2,357,800 (metro. area), 1,269,700 (city proper)

Other large city: Benghazi, 734,900

Population (2007 est.): 6,036,914; Arabs and Berbers comprise 97% of the population; the remaining 3% include Europeans and Asians (Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians); growth rate: 2.3%; birth rate: 26.1/1000; infant mortality rate: 22.8/1000; life expectancy: 72 years (men), 77 years (women); density per sq mi: 9.

Literacy rate: 83% (2003 est.)

Official Language: Arabic. English and Italian are also spoken.

Religion: The state religion is Islam (Sunni Muslim).

Ethnicity/race: Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians.

Geography: More than 90% of the country is desert or semi-desert.

Surface: The total land area of Libya is around 1,759,540 sq km.

Climate: Libya has a Mediterranean climate. Winters are mild and wet and summers, hot and dry.

Elevation extremes:

  • Lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
  • Highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m
  • Administrative divisions: 25 municipalities
  • Government: Military dictatorship.

Current government officials

  • Chief of State: Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi (1969)
  • Prime Minister: al-Baghdadi Ali al-MAHMUDI (since 5 March 2006).
  • Legal system: Based on Italian and French civil law systems and Islamic law; separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Economic summary:

  • Currency: Libyan Dinar (1 € = 1, 72 LYD), 1 Libyan dinar (LD) = 1,000 dirhams
  • GDP/PPP (2005 est.): $57.06 billion (2007 est.)
  • GDP - real growth rate: 6.8% (2007 est.)
  • GDP - per capita (PPP): $12,300 (2007 est.)
  • Labor force: 1.83 million (2007 est.)
  • Unemployment rate: 30% (2004 est.)
  • Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.7% (2007 est.)
  • Investment (gross fixed): 8.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
  • Budget: revenues: $39.85 billion, expenditures: $19.47 billion (2007 est.)
  • Public debt: 4.7% of GDP (2007 est.)
  • Arable land: 1%.
  • Labor force: 1.64 million; agriculture 17%, industry 23%, services 60% (2004 est.).
  • Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $79.6 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
  • Debt - external: $4.837 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
  • Agriculture: Wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle.
  • Industries: Petroleum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement.
  • Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, gypsum.
  • Exports: $40.47 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.); crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas.
  • Imports: $14.47 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.); machinery, transport equipment, semi-finished goods, food, consumer products.
  • Major trading partners: Italy, Germany, Spain, Turkey, France, South Korea, UK, Tunisia (2004).
  • Oil - production: 1.72 million bbl/day (2006 est.)
  • Natural gas - production: 10.84 billion cu m (2005 est.)
  • Tourist cost: The average daily cost of living for a tourist is about 300–500 LYD; an average meal costs anywhere between 20–32 LYD.

Communications:

  • Telephones: main lines in use: 500,000 (1998); mobile cellular: 20,000 (1998).
  • Radio broadcast stations: AM 16, FM 3, shortwave 3 (2002). Radios: 1.35 million (1997).
  • Television broadcast stations: 12 (plus one low-power repeater) (1999). Televisions: 730,000 (1997).
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1 (2002). Internet users: 20,000 (2001).

Transportation:

  • Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 83,200 km.
  • Waterways: none
  • Ports and harbors: Al Khums, Banghazi, Darnah, Marsa al Burayqah, Misratah, Ra's Lanuf, Tobruk, Tripoli, Zuwarah.
  • Airports: 136 (2002).

International disputes: Libya has claimed more than 32,000 sq km in southeastern Algeria and about 25,000 sq km in Niger in currently dormant disputes; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern Libya.

Environment: Current issues: Desertification; 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

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

Time Zone: The Libya standard time is GMT + 1.

Internet domain: .ly

International dialling code: +218

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Last Updated on Monday 17th January 2011