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Saudi Arabia (2001)

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 Saudi Arabia
Administrative divisions 13 provinces (mintaqat, singular - mintaqah); Al Bahah, Al Hudud ash Shamaliyah, Al Jawf, Al Madinah, Al Qasim, Ar Riyad, Ash Sharqiyah (Eastern Province), 'Asir, Ha'il, Jizan, Makkah, Najran, Tabuk
Age structure 0-14 years:
42.52% (male 4,932,465; female 4,743,908)

15-64 years:
54.8% (male 7,290,840; female 5,179,393)

65 years and over:
2.68% (male 334,981; female 275,505) (2001 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Airports 206 (2000 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total:

over 3,047 m:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
2 (2000 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total:

2,438 to 3,047 m:

1,524 to 2,437 m:

914 to 1,523 m:

under 914 m:
15 (2000 est.)
Area total:
1,960,582 sq km

1,960,582 sq km

0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US
Background In 1902 Abdul al-Aziz Ibn SAUD captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian peninsula. In the 1930s, the discovery of oil transformed the country. Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, Saudi Arabia accepted the Kuwaiti royal family and 400,000 refugees while allowing Western and Arab troops to deploy on its soil for the liberation of Kuwait the following year. A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all major governmental concerns.
Birth rate 37.34 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Budget revenues:
$66 billion

$66 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital Riyadh
Climate harsh, dry desert with great extremes of temperature
Coastline 2,640 km
Constitution governed according to Shari'a (Islamic law); the Basic Law that articulates the government's rights and responsibilities was introduced in 1993
Country name conventional long form:
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

conventional short form:
Saudi Arabia

local long form:
Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah

local short form:
Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah
Currency Saudi riyal (SAR)
Death rate 5.94 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Debt - external $26.3 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission:
Ambassador Wyche FOWLER, Jr.

Collector Road M, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh

mailing address:
American Embassy Riyadh, Unit 61307, APO AE 09803-1307; International Mail: P. O. Box 94309, Riyadh 11693

[966] (1) 488-3800

[966] (1) 488-7360

consulate(s) general:
Dhahran, Jiddah (Jeddah)
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission:
Ambassador BANDAR bin Sultan bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud

601 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

[1] (202) 342-3800

consulate(s) general:
Houston, Los Angeles, and New York
Disputes - international a final border resolution was agreed to with Qatar in March of 2001; location and status of boundary with UAE is not final, de facto boundary reflects a 1974 agreement; a June 2000 treaty delimited the boundary with Yemen, but final demarcation requires adjustments based on tribal considerations
Economic aid - donor pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon; since 1993, Saudi Arabia has committed $208 million for assistance to the Palestinians
Economy - overview This is an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia has the largest reserves of petroleum in the world (26% of the proved reserves), ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum, and plays a leading role in OPEC. The petroleum sector accounts for roughly 75% of budget revenues, 40% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 35% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly 5 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. Saudi Arabia was a key player in the successful efforts of OPEC and other oil producing countries to raise the price of oil in 1999-2000 to its highest level since the Gulf war by reducing production. Riyadh expects to have a moderate budget deficit in 2001, in part because of increased spending for education and other social programs. The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. The government is expected to continue calling for private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. Shortages of water and rapid population growth will constrain government efforts to increase self-sufficiency in agricultural products.
Electricity - consumption 111.6 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (1999)
Electricity - production 120 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel:



0% (1999)
Elevation extremes lowest point:
Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point:
Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m
Environment - current issues desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills
Environment - international agreements party to:
Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Ethnic groups Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%
Exchange rates Saudi riyals per US dollar - 3.7450 (fixed rate since June 1986)
Executive branch chief of state:
King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 13 June 1982); Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (half-brother to the monarch, heir to the throne since 13 June 1982, regent from 1 January to 22 February 1996); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government:
King and Prime Minister FAHD bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 13 June 1982); Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (half-brother to the monarch, heir to the throne since 13 June 1982, regent from 1 January to 22 February 1996); note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government

Council of Ministers is appointed by the monarch and includes many royal family members

none; the monarch is hereditary
Exports 0 kWh (1999)
Exports $81.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Exports - commodities petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners Japan 18%, US 18%, France 4%, South Korea, Singapore, India (1999)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description green with large white Arabic script (that may be translated as There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God) above a white horizontal saber (the tip points to the hoist side); green is the traditional color of Islam
GDP purchasing power parity - $232 billion (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture:


47% (1998 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $10,500 (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 4% (2000 est.)
Geographic coordinates 25 00 N, 45 00 E
Geography - note extensive coastlines on Persian Gulf and Red Sea provide great leverage on shipping (especially crude oil) through Persian Gulf and Suez Canal
Heliports 5 (2000 est.)
Highways total:
146,524 km

44,104 km

102,420 km (1997 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%:

highest 10%:
Illicit drugs death penalty for traffickers; increasing consumption of heroin and cocaine
Imports 0 kWh (1999)
Imports $30.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners US 25%, Japan 10%, Germany 7%, Italy 5%, France, UK (1999)
Independence 23 September 1932 (Unification of the Kingdom)
Industrial production growth rate 1% (1997 est.)
Industries crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics
Infant mortality rate 51.25 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 0.5% (2000)
International organization participation ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BIS, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO (observer)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 42 (2001)
Irrigated land 4,350 sq km (1993 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Council of Justice
Labor force 7 million

35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (July 1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 12%, industry 25%, services 63% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total:
4,415 km

border countries:
Iraq 814 km, Jordan 728 km, Kuwait 222 km, Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km
Land use arable land:

permanent crops:

permanent pastures:

forests and woodland:

41% (1993 est.)
Languages Arabic
Legal system based on Islamic law, several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch a consultative council (90 members and a chairman appointed by the monarch for four-year terms)
Life expectancy at birth total population:
68.09 years

66.4 years

69.85 years (2001 est.)
Literacy definition:
age 15 and over can read and write

total population:


50.2% (1995 est.)
Location Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Map references Middle East
Maritime claims contiguous zone:
18 NM

continental shelf:
not specified

territorial sea:
12 NM
Merchant marine total:
71 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,154,619 GRT/1,533,732 DWT

ships by type:
cargo 11, chemical tanker 8, container 5, liquefied gas 1, livestock carrier 3, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 13, short-sea passenger 8 (2000 est.)
Military branches Land Force (Army), Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, National Guard, Ministry of Interior Forces (paramilitary)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $18.3 billion (FY00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 13% (FY00)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49:
5,894,691 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49:
3,291,185 (2001 est.)
Military manpower - military age 17 years of age
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males:
233,402 (2001 est.)
National holiday Unification of the Kingdom, 23 September (1932)
Nationality noun:

Saudi or Saudi Arabian
Natural hazards frequent sand and dust storms
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Net migration rate 1.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)
Pipelines crude oil 6,400 km; petroleum products 150 km; natural gas 2,200 km (includes natural gas liquids 1,600 km)
Political parties and leaders none allowed
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 22,757,092

includes 5,360,526 non-nationals (July 2001 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 3.27% (2001 est.)
Ports and harbors Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Duba, Jiddah, Jizan, Rabigh, Ra's al Khafji, Mishab, Ras Tanura, Yanbu' al Bahr, Madinat Yanbu' al Sinaiyah
Radio broadcast stations AM 43, FM 31, shortwave 2 (1998)
Radios 6.25 million (1997)
Railways total:
1,390 km

standard gauge:
1,390 km 1.435-m gauge (448 km double track) (1992)
Religions Muslim 100%
Sex ratio at birth:
1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years:
1.41 male(s)/female

65 years and over:
1.22 male(s)/female

total population:
1.23 male(s)/female (2001 est.)
Suffrage none
Telephone system general assessment:
modern system

extensive microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and fiber-optic cable systems

microwave radio relay to Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, and Sudan; coaxial cable to Kuwait and Jordan; submarine cable to Djibouti, Egypt and Bahrain; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)
Telephones - main lines in use 3.1 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1 million

in 1998, the government contracted for the installation of 575,000 additional Group Speciale Mobile (GSM) cellular telephone lines over 15 months to raise the total number of subscribers to more than one million; Riyadh planned to further expand the GSM system in 1999 by adding an additional one million lines (1998)
Television broadcast stations 117 (1997)
Terrain mostly uninhabited, sandy desert
Total fertility rate 6.25 children born/woman (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate NA%
Waterways none
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