The 1999 CIA Factbook
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The World Factbook 1999

In general, information available as of 1 January 1999 was used in the preparation of this edition.

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 is provided by the Bureau of the Census (Department of Commerce), Bureau of Labor Statistics (Department of Labor), Central Intelligence Agency, Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs, Defense Intelligence Agency (Department of Defense), Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Department of Defense), Department of State, Fish and Wildlife Service (Department of the Interior), Maritime Administration (Department of Transportation), National Imagery and Mapping Agency (Department of Defense), Antarctic Information Program (National Science Foundation), Naval Facilities Engineering Command (Department of Defense), Office of Insular Affairs (Department of the Interior), Office of Naval Intelligence (Department of Defense), US Board on Geographic Names (Department of the Interior), 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.: Office of Public Affairs Washington, DC 20505 Telephone: [1] (703) 482-0623 FAX: [1] (703) 482-1739


Country Listings


Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Arctic Ocean Argentina Armenia Aruba Ashmore and Cartier Islands Atlantic Ocean Australia Austria Azerbaijan


Bahamas, The Bahrain Baker Island Bangladesh Barbados Bassas da India Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi


Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d'Ivoire Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic


Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic


Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Europa Island


Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands


Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Glorioso Islands Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana


Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City) Honduras Hong Kong Howland Island Hungary


Iceland India Indian Ocean Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy


Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jarvis Island Jersey Johnston Atoll Jordan Juan de Nova Island


Kazakhstan Kenya Kingman Reef Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kuwait Kyrgyzstan


Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg


Macau Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Man, Isle of Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Midway Islands Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique


Namibia Nauru Navassa Island Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway




Pacific Ocean Pakistan Palau Palmyra Atoll Panama Papua New Guinea Paracel Islands Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico




Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda


Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia and Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Spain Spratly Islands Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria


Taiwan entry follows Zimbabwe Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tromelin Island Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu


Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan


Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands


Wake Atoll Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World




Zaire (see Democratic Republic of the Congo) Zambia Zimbabwe




A. Abbreviations

B. United Nations System

C. International Organizations and Groups

D. Selected International Environmental Agreements

E. Weights and Measures

F. Cross-Reference List of Country Data Codes

G. Cross-Reference List of Hydrographic Data Codes

H. Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names


Notes and Definitions

In addition to the updating of information, the following changes have been made in this edition of The World Factbook. The name Wake Island has been officially changed to Wake Atoll. The Historical perspective and Current issues entries in the Introduction category have been combined into a new Background entry. It appears in only a few country profiles at this time. There are new entries on Population below poverty line, Household income or consumption by percentage share, Electricity—production by source (fossil fuel, hydro, nuclear, other), Electricity—exports, and Electricity—imports. A new reference map of Kosovo has been included and terrain has been added to most of the reference maps.

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 affects a nation's key socioeconomic issues. 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. Only airports with usable runways are included in this listing. Not all airports have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control.

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. Only airports with usable runways are included in this listing. Not all airports have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control.

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).

Background: This entry usually highlights major historic events, current issues, 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.

Birth rate: This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 persons in the 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 expenditures. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

Capital: This entry gives the location of the seat of government.

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 telephone, radio, 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 subsequently.

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. Also see the Terminology note.

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

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 data codes and Appendix G does the same thing for hydrographic data 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) codes, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) codes, and Internet codes for land entities.

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

Date of information: In general, information available as of 1 January 1999, was used in the preparation of this edition.

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 age distribution, and most countries will eventually show a rise in the overall death rate, in spite of continued decline 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 particular nonindependent entity and an independent state.

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

Diplomatic representation: The US Government has diplomatic relations with 184 independent states, 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 independent states 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 the foreign 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—donor: This entry refers to net official development assistance (ODA) from OECD nations to developing countries and multilateral organizations. ODA is defined as financial assistance that 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%. The entry does not cover other official flows (OOF) or private flows.

Economic aid—recipient: This entry, which is subject to major problems of definition and statistical coverage, refers to the net inflow of Official Development Finance (ODF) to recipient countries. The figure includes assistance from the World Bank, the IMF, and other international organizations and from individual nation donors. Formal commitments of aid are included in the data. Omitted from the data are grants by private organizations. Aid comes in various forms including outright grants and loans. The entry thus is the difference between new inflows and repayments.

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—consumption: This entry consists of total electricity generated annually plus imports and minus exports, expressed in kilowatt hours.

Electricity—exports: This entry is the total exported electricity in kilowatt hours.

Electricity—imports: This entry is the total imported electricity in kilowatt hours.

Electricity—production: This entry is the annual electricity generated expressed in kilowatt hours.

Electricity—production by source: This entry indicates the percentage share of annual electricity production of each energy source. These are fossil fuel, hydro, nuclear, and other (solar, geothermal, and wind).

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

Entities: Some of the independent states, dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, and governments included in this publication are not independent, and others are not officially recognized by the US Government. "Independent state" refers to a people politically organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory. "Dependencies" and "areas of special sovereignty" refer to a broad category of political entities that are associated in some way with an independent state. "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 independent states, dependencies, and areas of special sovereignty, or other geographic entities. There are a total of 266 separate geographic entities in The World Factbook that may be categorized as follows:


191 Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Holy See, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, North Korea, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Federated States of Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, NZ, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, UAE, UK, US, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe


1 Taiwa n


6 Australia—Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Norfolk Island 1 China—Hong Kong 2 Denmark—Faroe Islands, Greenland 16 France—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 2 Netherlands—Aruba, Netherlands Antilles 3 New Zealand—Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau 3 Norway—Bouvet Island, Jan Mayen, Svalbard 1 Portugal—Macau 15 UK—Anguilla, Bermuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, Isle of Man, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands 14 US—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 Atoll


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 Tota l 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 normally includes the percent of total population.

Exchange rates: This entry provides the official value of a country'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 top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. Cabinet includes the official name for this body of high-ranking advisers and the method for selection of 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 provides the total US dollar amount of exports on an f.o.b. (free on board) basis.

Exports—commodities: This entry provides a rank ordering of exported products starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.

Exports—partners: This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total 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 which 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 states 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 include a color flag at the beginning of the country profile. The flag graphics were produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time of preparation. The flags of independent states 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 information.

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 the best available starting point for comparisons of economic strength and 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. 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 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 figures for the purpose of finding the approximate geographic center of an entity and is based on the Gazetteer of Conventional Names, Third Edition, August 1988, US Board on Geographic Names and on other sources.

Geographic names: This information is presented in Appendix H: Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names which indicates where various geographic names—including alternate names, former names, political or geographical portions of larger entities, and the location of all US Foreign Service posts—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, following current practice, uses GDP rather than GNP to measure national production. However, the user must realize that in certain countries net remittances from citizens working abroad may be important to national well-being.

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 established 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.

Household income or consumption by percentage share: Data on household income or consumption come from household surveys, the results adjusted for household size. Nations use different standards and procedures in collecting and adjusting the data. Surveys based on income will normally show a more unequal distribution than surveys based on consumption. The quality of surveys is improving with time, yet caution is still necessary in making inter-country comparisons.

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, Valmid).

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 individual.

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, psilocyn).

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 sativa).

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.

Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines (Desoxyn, Dexedrine), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and others (Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate).

Imports: This entry provides the total US dollar amount of imports on a c.i.f. (cost, insurance, and freight)or f.o.b. (free on board) basis.

Imports—commodities: This entry provides a rank ordering of imported products starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.

Imports—partners: This entry provides a rank ordering of trading partners starting with the most important; it sometimes includes the percent of total dollar value.

Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved, and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as traditional founding date, date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. Also see the Terminology note.

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 in the same year. This rate is often used an indicator of the level of health in a country.

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 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 way.

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 one entry, Background. At present it appears in only a few country profiles, but will be added to others in the future.

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.

Labor force—by occupation: This entry contains a rank ordering of component parts of the labor force 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, such as 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 measures.

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 those ships, and total GRT for those 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.

A 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; it is 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.

A 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.

A 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. An 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.

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

A register is the record of a ship's ownership and nationality as listed with the maritime authorities of a country; also, it is 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 security 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) calculated on an exchange rate basis not purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. The figure should be treated with caution because of different price patterns and accounting methods among nations, as well as wide variations in the strength of their currencies.

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 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 a reduction in 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.

Personal Names—Capitalization: The Factbook capitalizes the surname or family name of individuals for the convenience of our users who are faced with a world of different cultures and naming conventions. An example would be President SADDAM Husayn of Iraq. Saddam is his name and Husayn is his father's name. He may be referred to as President SADDAM Husayn or President SADDAM, but not President Husayn. The need for capitalization, bold type, underlining, italics, or some other indicator of the individual's surname is apparent in the following examples: MAO Zedong, Fidel CASTRO Ruz, William Jefferson CLINTON, and TUNKU SALAHUDDIN Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Hisammuddin Alam Shah. By knowing the surname, a short form without all capital letters can be used with confidence as in President Saddam, President Castro, Chairman Mao, President Clinton, or Sultan Tunku Salahuddin. The same system of capitalization is extended to the names of leaders with surnames that are not commonly used such as Queen ELIZABETH II.

Personal Names—Spelling: The romanization of personal names in the Factbook normally follows the same transliteration system used by the US Board on Geographic Names for spelling place names. At times, however, a foreign leader expressly indicates a preference for, or the media or official documents regularly use, a romanized spelling that differs from the transliteration derived from the US Government standard. In such cases, the Factbook uses the alternative spelling.

Personal Names—Titles: The Factbook capitalizes any valid title (or short form of it) immediately preceding a person's name. A title standing alone is lowercased. Examples: President YEL'TSIN and President CLINTON are chiefs of state. In Russia, the president is chief of state and the premier is the head of the government, while in the US, the president is both chief of state and head of government.

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

Political parties and leaders: This entry includes a listing of significant 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. The total population presents one overall measure of the potential impact of the country on the world and within its region. Note: 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. These countries are Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Population below poverty line: National estimates of the percentage of the population lying below the poverty line are based on surveys of sub-groups, with the results weighted by the number of people in each group. Definitions of poverty vary considerably among nations. For example, rich nations generally employ more generous standards of poverty than poor nations.

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. The growth rate is a factor in determining how great a burden would be imposed on a country by the changing needs of its people for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. Rapid population growth can be seen as threatening by neighboring countries.

Ports and harbors: This entry lists the major 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 other.

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 population.

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. Eventually it could cause unrest among young adult males who are unable to find partners. The sex ratio at birth for the World is 1.06 (1999 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:

international access code + [1] (202) 939-xxxx, where

[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 Arabia).

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, with each instrument having its own private radio frequency and 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.

Comsat—Communications Satellite Corporation (US).

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 range.

Inmarsat—International Mobile Satellite Organization (London); provider of global mobile satellite communications for commercial, 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; it was initially started in Morocco in 1970 by the Arab Telecommunications Union (ATU) and was known at that time as the Middle East Mediterranean Telecommunications Network.

microwave radio relay—transmission of long distance telephone calls and television programs by highly directional radio microwaves that are received and sent on from one booster station to another on an optical path.

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 Sweden).

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 handsets.

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.

shortwave—radio frequencies (from 1.605 to 30 MHz) that fall above the commercial broadcast band and are used for communication over long distances.

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

Statsionar—Russia's geostationary system for satellite telecommunications.

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 range.

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. For example, the word Country in the Country name entry refers to a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states. Military is also used as an umbrella term for various civil defense, security, and defense activities in many entries. The Independence entry includes the usual colonial independence dates and former ruling states as well as other significant nationhood dates such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, or state succession that are not strictly independence dates. Dependent areas have the nature of their dependency status noted in this same entry.

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 ability of the families to feed and educate their children.

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

Transportation: This category includes the entries dealing with the means for movement of people and goods.

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 as a chart, table, or text (depending on the version of the Factbook) that shows the organization of the UN in detail.

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 and 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 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 available.


A Brief History of Basic Intelligence and The World Factbook

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, data 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.

The three types of finished intelligence are: basic, current, and estimative. Basic intelligence provides the fundamental and factual reference material on a country or issue. Current intelligence reports on new developments. Estimative intelligence judges probable outcomes. The three are mutually supportive: basic intelligence is the foundation on which the other two are constructed; current intelligence continually updates the inventory of knowledge; and estimative intelligence revises overall interpretations of country and issue prospects for guidance of basic and current intelligence. The World Factbook, The President's Daily Brief, and the National Intelligence Estimates are examples of the three types of finished intelligence.

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 leaders in Congress and the executive branch the need for integrating departmental reports to national policymakers. Detailed coordinated 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 unprepared.

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 to fulfill the needs of the US Government for an authoritative and coordinated appraisal 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 more comprehensive basic intelligence in the postwar world was well expressed in 1946 by George S. Pettee, a noted author on national security. He wrote in The Future of American Secret Intelligence (Infantry Journal Press, 1946, page 46) that world leadership in peace requires even 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 on 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 authorized the National Intelligence Survey (NIS) program as a peacetime replacement for the wartime JANIS program. Before adequate NIS country sections could be produced, government agencies had to develop more comprehensive gazetteers and better maps. 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 in 1973 except for the Factbook, map, and gazetteer components. 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 printed by GPO and the 1997 edition was reprinted by GPO. The year 1999 marks the 52nd anniversary of the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency and the 56th year of continuous basic intelligence support to the US Government by The World Factbook and its two predecessor programs


Purchasing Information

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prepares The World Factbook in printed, CD-ROM, and Internet versions. US Government officials may obtain information about availability of the Factbook directly from their own organizations or through liaison channels to the CIA. Other users may obtain sales information about printed copies and CD-ROMs from the following:

Superintendent of Documents P.O. Box 371954 Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954 Telephone: [1] (202) 512-1800 FAX: [1] (202) 512-2250

National Technical Information Service 5285 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22161 Telephone: [1] (800) 553-6847 (only in the US); [1] (703) 605-6000 (for outside US) FAX: [1] (703) 605-6900

The Internet version may be accessed through the following World-Wide Web uniform resource locator (URL):

Electronic file preparation by Printing and Photography Group, Central Intelligence Agency.


@Afghanistan —————-


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

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E

Map references: Asia

Area: 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 stones

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; flooding

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: 25,824,882 (July 1999 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 43% (male 5,640,841; female 5,422,460) 15-64 years: 54% (male 7,273,681; female 6,776,750) 65 years and over: 3% (male 374,666; female 336,484) (1999 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.95% (1999 est.) note: this rate reflects the continued return of refugees

Birth rate: 41.93 births/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 17.02 deaths/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 14.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1999 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 1.11 male(s)/female total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 140.55 deaths/1,000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 47.33 years male: 47.82 years female: 46.82 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.94 children born/woman (1999 est.)

Nationality: 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

Literacy: 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; note—the self-proclaimed Taliban government refers to the country as Islamic Emirate 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

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 Khowst

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

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 Shari'a (Islamic law)

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 ethnic Pashtun areas in southern Afghanistan; opposing factions have their stronghold in the ethnically diverse north

Legislative branch: non-functioning as of June 1993

Judicial branch: non-functioning as of March 1995, although there are local Shari'a (Islamic law) courts throughout the country

Political parties and leaders: Taliban (Religious Students Afghanistan comprised of Jumbesh-i-Melli Islami (National Islamic other smaller parties are Hizbi Islami-Gulbuddin (Islamic Party) SAYYAF]; Harakat-Inqilab-i-Islami (Islamic Revolutionary Movement) GAILANI]; Hizbi Wahdat-Akbari faction (Islamic Unity Party)

Political pressure groups and leaders: tribal elders represent traditional Pashtun leadership; Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Australia, US, and elsewhere have organized politically; Peshawar, Pakistan-based groups such as the Coordination Council for National

International organization participation: AsDB, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US: note: embassy operations suspended 21 August 1997 chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant) chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008 consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US embassy in Kabul has been closed since January 1989 due to security concerns

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and black with a gold emblem centered on the three bands; the emblem features a temple-like structure with Islamic inscriptions above and below, encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bolder Islamic inscription above, all of which are encircled by two crossed scimitars note: the Taliban uses a plain white flag


Economy—overview: Afghanistan is an extremely poor, landlocked country, highly dependent on farming and livestock raising (sheep and goats). Economic considerations have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals during two decades of war, including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation (which ended 15 February 1989). During that conflict one-third of the population fled the country, with Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of more than 6 million refugees. Now, only 750,000 registered Afghan refugees remain in Pakistan and about 1.2 million in Iran. Another 1 million have probably moved into and around urban areas within Afghanistan. Gross domestic product has fallen substantially over the past 20 years because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport. Much of the population continues to suffer from insufficient food, clothing, housing, and medical care. Inflation remains a serious problem throughout the country, with one estimate putting the rate at 240% in Kabul in 1996. International aid can deal with only a fraction of the humanitarian problem, let alone promote economic development. Government efforts to encourage foreign investment have not worked. The economic situation did not improve in 1998. Numerical data are likely to be either unavailable or unreliable.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$20 billion (1998 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity?$800 (1998 est.)

GDP—composition by sector: agriculture: 53% industry: 28.5% services: 18.5% (1990)

Population below poverty line: NA%

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

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 240% (1996 est.)

Labor force: 7.1 million

Labor force—by occupation: agriculture and animal husbandry 67.8%, industry 10.2%, construction 6.3%, commerce 5%, services and other 10.7% (1980 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8% (1995 est.)

Budget: revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, and cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, oil, coal, copper

Electricity—production: 540 million kWh (1996)

Electricity—production by source: fossil fuel: 35.19% hydro: 64.81% nuclear: 0% other: 0% (1996)

Electricity—consumption: 660 million kWh (1996)

Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996) (1996)

Electricity—imports: 120 million kWh (1996)

Agriculture—products: wheat, fruits, nuts, karakul pelts; wool, mutton

Exports: $80 million (1996 est.)

Exports—commodities: fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems

Exports—partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, India, UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Czech Republic

Imports: $150 million (1996 est.)

Imports—commodities: food and petroleum products; most consumer goods

Imports—partners: FSU, Pakistan, Iran, Japan, Singapore, India, South Korea, Germany

Debt—external: $2.3 billion (March 1991 est.)

Economic aid—recipient: $214.6 million (1995); note?US provided $450 million in bilateral assistance (1985-93); US continues to contribute to multilateral assistance through the UN programs of food aid, immunization, land mine removal, and a wide range of aid to refugees and displaced persons

Currency: 1 afghani (AF) = 100 puls

Exchange rates: afghanis (Af) per US$1—4,750 (February 1999), 17,000 (December 1996), 7,000 (January 1995), 1,900 (January 1994), 1,019 (March 1993), 850 (1991); note—these rates reflect the free market exchange rates rather than the official exchange rate, which was fixed at 50.600 afghanis to the dollar until 1996, when it rose to 2,262.65 per dollar, and finally became fixed again at 3,000.00 per dollar on April 1996

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