Map Kuwait
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Kuwait


Background: 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.
Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Area land: 17,818 sq km
Area water: 0 sq km
Coastline: 499 km
Country name conventional long form: State of Kuwait
Country name conventional short form: Kuwait
Country name former: State of Kuwait
Population: 2,595,628
Age structure: 0-14 years: 25.8% (male 348,816/female 321,565); 15-64 years: 72.2% (male 1,153,433/female 720,392); 65 years and over: 2% (male 25,443/female 25,979) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.986%
Birth rate: 21.32 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 2.11 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.65 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.047 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.79 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 1.65 male(s)/female; total population: 1.54 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 8.07 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 7.76 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 8.39 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 77.09 years; male: 75.95 years; female: 78.3 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.64 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: NA (2007 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA;
Nationality: noun: Kuwaiti(s); adjective: Kuwaiti;
Ethnic groups: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%;
Religions: Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%;
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken;
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 93.3%; male: 94.4%; female: 91% (2005 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $144.3 billion (2010 est.); $139.8 billion (2009 est.); $146.5 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $117.3 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 3.2% (2010 est.); -4.6% (2009 est.); 8.5% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $51,700 (2010 est.); $51,900 (2009 est.); $56,400 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.3%; industry: 48.1%; services: 51.6% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: NA%;
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%; highest 10%: NA%;
Labor force: 2.154 million;
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA%; industry: NA%; services: NA%;
Unemployment rate: 2.2% (2004 est.);
Budget: revenues: $64.81 billion; expenditures: $38.12 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials;
Industrial production growth rate: 2.1% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 45.83 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 40.21 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.



(Pro-government), Kuwait City

Al-Ra'i al-Aam

(Pro-government), Kuwait City


(Pro-government), Kuwait City


(Independent), Kuwait City

Arab Times

(Pro-government), Kuwait City

Kuwait in the News

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Displaying 1 to 4 of 8 items.

Interview with Author Frank Touby

Author of "Burning Sands," Touby talks about his experience putting out the oil fires that Saddam Hussein lit in Kuwait, alternatives to oil dependency, and the veins of corruption connecting corporations to government.

Will U.S. Foreign Policy Increase Terrorism?

As long as American foreign policy remains the same and the Palestinian issue is left unresolved, the U.S.

Arab Terrorists, Arab Victims

Saudi and Kuwaiti newspapers react to the spate of terrorist attacks on Saudi soil.

Kuwait: Majority of One

Alone among Arab countries, Kuwait has supported the U.S.-led war against Iraq. World Press Review contributing editor Peter Valenti surveys the Kuwaiti press.