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Saudi Arabia (2005)

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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: 38.2% (male 5,149,960/female 4,952,138)

15-64 years: 59.4% (male 8,992,348/female 6,698,633)

65 years and over: 2.4% (male 334,694/female 289,826) (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Airports 201 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 72

over 3,047 m: 32

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13

1,524 to 2,437 m: 23

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 129

over 3047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 72

914 to 1,523 m: 39

under 914 m: 12 (2004 est.)
Area total: 1,960,582 sq km

land: 1,960,582 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US
Background In 1902, ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman Al Saud captured Riyadh and set out on a 30-year campaign to unify the Arabian Peninsula. A son of ABD AL-AZIZ rules the country today, and the country's Basic Law stipulates that the throne shall remain in the hands of the aging sons and grandsons of the kingdom's founder. 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. The continuing presence of foreign troops on Saudi soil after Operation Desert Storm remained a source of tension between the royal family and the public until the US military's near-complete withdrawal to neighboring Qatar in 2003. The first major terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia in several years, which occurred in May and November 2003, prompted renewed efforts on the part of the Saudi government to counter domestic terrorism and extremism, which also coincided with a slight upsurge in media freedom and announcement of government plans to phase in partial political representation. A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all ongoing governmental concerns.
Birth rate 29.56 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Budget revenues: $104.8 billion

expenditures: $78.66 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2004 est.)
Capital Riyadh
Climate harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
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
Death rate 2.62 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Debt - external $34.35 billion (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador James Curtis OBERWETTER

embassy: 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

telephone: [966] (1) 488-3800

FAX: [966] (1) 488-3989

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

chancery: 601 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

telephone: [1] (202) 342-3800

consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, and New York
Disputes - international despite resistance from nomadic groups, the demarcation of the Saudi Arabia-Yemen boundary established under the 2000 Jeddah Treaty is almost complete; Yemen protests Saudi erection of a concrete-filled pipe as a security barrier in 2004 to stem illegal cross-border activities in sections of the boundary; Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue discussions on a maritime boundary with Iran; because the treaties have not been made public, the exact alignment of the boundary with the UAE is still unknown
Economic aid - donor pledged $100 million in 1993 to fund reconstruction of Lebanon; since 2000, Saudi Arabia has committed $307 million for assistance to the Palestinians; pledged $240 million to development in Afghanistan; pledged $1 billion in export guarantees and soft loans to Iraq
Economy - overview This is an oil-based economy with strong government controls over major economic activities. Saudi Arabia possesses 25% of the world's proven petroleum 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, 45% of GDP, and 90% of export earnings. About 40% of GDP comes from the private sector. Roughly five and a half million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, for example, in the oil and service sectors. The government in 1999 announced plans to begin privatizing the electricity companies, which follows the ongoing privatization of the telecommunications company. The government is encouraging private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. Priorities for government spending in the short term include additional funds for education and for the water and sewage systems. Economic reforms proceed cautiously because of deep-rooted political and social conservatism.
Electricity - consumption 128.5 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - production 138.2 billion kWh (2002)
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: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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 - 3.745 (2004), 3.745 (2003), 3.745 (2002), 3.745 (2001), 3.745 (2000)
Executive branch chief of state: King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 1 August 2005); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SULTAN bin Abd al- Aziz Al Saud (half brother of the monarch, born 5 January 1928) note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: King and Prime Minister ABDALLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 1 August 2005); Heir Apparent Crown Prince SULTAN bin Abd al- Aziz Al Saud (half brother of the monarch, born 5 January 1928) note - the monarch is both the chief of state and head of government

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

elections: note - in October 2003, Council of Ministers announced its intent to introduce elections for half of the members of local and provincial assemblies and a third of the members of the national Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura, incrementally over a period of four to five years; in November 2004, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs initiated voter registration for partial municipal council elections scheduled nationwide for February through April 2005
Exports 0 kWh (2002)
Exports $113 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2002)
Exports 7.92 million bbl/day (2003)
Exports - commodities petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners US 18.2%, Japan 14.9%, South Korea 9.5%, China 6.1%, Taiwan 4.5%, Singapore 4.1% (2004)
Fiscal year 1 March - 28 February
Flag description green, a traditional color in Islamic flags, with the Shahada or Muslim creed in large white Arabic script (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); design dates to the early twentieth century and is closely associated with the Al Saud family which established the kingdom in 1932
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 4.2%

industry: 67.2%

services: 28.6% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $12,000 (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 5% (2004 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 (2004 est.)
Highways total: 152,044 km

paved: 45,461 km

unpaved: 106,583 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA
Illicit drugs death penalty for traffickers; increasing consumption of heroin, cocaine, and hashish; not a major money-laundering center, improving anti-money-laundering legislation
Imports 0 kWh (2002)
Imports $36.21 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2002)
Imports 0 bbl/day (2003)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners US 15.3%, Japan 9.8%, Germany 8.1%, China 6.6%, UK 5.7% (2004)
Independence 23 September 1932 (unification of the kingdom)
Industrial production growth rate 2.8% (2004 est.)
Industries crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, construction, fertilizer, plastics, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair
Infant mortality rate total: 13.24 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 15.19 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 11.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 0.8% (2004 est.)
International organization participation ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, BIS, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Irrigated land 16,200 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Council of Justice
Labor force 6.62 million

note: more than 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 12%, industry 25%, services 63% (1999 est.)
Land boundaries total: 4,431 km

border countries: Iraq 814 km, Jordan 744 km, Kuwait 222 km, Oman 676 km, Qatar 60 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1,458 km
Land use arable land: 1.67%

permanent crops: 0.09%

other: 98.24% (2001)
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 Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (120 members and a chairman appointed by the monarch for four-year terms)
Life expectancy at birth total population: 75.46 years

male: 73.46 years

female: 77.55 years (2005 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 78.8%

male: 84.7%

female: 70.8% (2003 est.)
Location Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen
Map references Middle East
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 18 nm

continental shelf: not specified
Merchant marine total: 64 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 1,306,706 GRT/1,963,191 DWT

by type: cargo 5, chemical tanker 12, container 4, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 23, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 9

foreign-owned: 14 (Egypt 2, Hong Kong 1, Kuwait 5, Singapore 1, Sudan 1, UAE 1, United Kingdom 3)

registered in other countries: 54 (2005)
Military branches Land Force (Army), Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, National Guard, Ministry of Interior Forces (paramilitary)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $18 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 10% (2002)
National holiday Unification of the Kingdom, 23 September (1932)
Nationality noun: Saudi(s)

adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian
Natural hazards frequent sand and dust storms
Natural resources petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper
Net migration rate -3.85 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Pipelines condensate 212 km; gas 1,780 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,191 km; oil 5,068 km; refined products 1,162 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders none
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 26,417,599

note: includes 5,576,076 non-nationals (July 2005 est.)
Population below poverty line NA
Population growth rate 2.31% (2005 est.)
Ports and harbors Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Jiddah, Yanbu' al Sinaiyah
Radio broadcast stations AM 43, FM 31, shortwave 2 (1998)
Railways total: 1,392 km

standard gauge: 1,392 km 1.435-m gauge (with branch lines and sidings) (2004)
Religions Muslim 100%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.34 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.16 male(s)/female

total population: 1.21 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Suffrage adult male citizens age 21 or older

note: voter registration began in November 2004 for partial municipal council elections scheduled nationwide for February through April 2005
Telephone system general assessment: modern system

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

international: country code - 966; 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 3,502,600 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 7,238,200 (2003)
Television broadcast stations 117 (1997)
Terrain mostly uninhabited, sandy desert
Total fertility rate 4.05 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 25% (unofficial estimate) (2004 est.)
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