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Saudi Arabia (2006)

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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 5,261,530/female 5,059,041)

15-64 years: 59.4% (male 9,159,519/female 6,895,616)

65 years and over: 2.4% (male 342,020/female 302,005) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products wheat, barley, tomatoes, melons, dates, citrus; mutton, chickens, eggs, milk
Airports 208 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 73

over 3,047 m: 32

2,438 to 3,047 m: 13

1,524 to 2,437 m: 24

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 135

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 75

914 to 1,523 m: 40

under 914 m: 12 (2006)
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. As part of this effort, the government permitted elections - held nationwide from February through April 2005 - for half the members of 179 municipal councils. A burgeoning population, aquifer depletion, and an economy largely dependent on petroleum output and prices are all ongoing governmental concerns.
Birth rate 29.34 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $143.7 billion

expenditures: $89.65 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Capital name: Riyadh

geographic coordinates: 24 38 N, 46 43 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
Coastline 2,640 km
Constitution governed according to Shari'a 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 2.58 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $36.78 billion (2005 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador James C. OBERWETTER

embassy: Collector Road M, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh

mailing address: American Embassy, 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

FAX: [1] (202) 944-3113

consulate(s) general: Houston, Los Angeles, 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; Saudi Arabia still maintains the concrete-filled pipe as a security barrier along sections of the border with Yemen in 2004 to stem illegal cross-border activities; Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue discussions on a maritime boundary with Iran; the United Arab Emirate 2006 Yearbook published a map and text rescinding the 1974 boundary with Saudi Arabia, as stipulated in a treaty filed with the UN in 1993, on the grounds that the agreement was not formally ratified
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 $230 million to development in Afghanistan; pledged $1 billion in export guarantees and soft loans to Iraq; pledged $133 million in direct grant aid, $187 million in concessional loans, and $153 million in export credits for Pakistan earthquake relief
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 5.5 million foreign workers play an important role in the Saudi economy, particularly, in the oil and service sectors. The government is encouraging private sector growth to lessen the kingdom's dependence on oil and increase employment opportunities for the swelling Saudi population. The government has begun to permit private sector and foreign investor participation in the power generation and telecom sectors. As part of its effort to attract foreign investment and diversify the economy, Saudi Arabia acceded to the WTO in 2005 after many years of negotiations. With high oil revenues enabling the government to post large budget surpluses, Riyadh has been able to substantially boost spending on job training and education, infrastructure development, and government salaries.
Electricity - consumption 134.9 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - production 145.1 billion kWh (2003)
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 - 3.747 (2005), 3.75 (2004), 3.75 (2003), 3.75 (2002), 3.75 (2001)
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: none; the monarch is hereditary
Exports 0 kWh (2003)
Exports $165 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2002)
Exports 7.92 million bbl/day (2003)
Exports - commodities petroleum and petroleum products 90%
Exports - partners US 16.4%, Japan 16.1%, South Korea 9.1%, China 6.9%, Singapore 5.1%, Taiwan 4.2% (2005)
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: 3.3%

industry: 61.3%

services: 35.4% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 6.5% (2005 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 6 (2006)
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; improving anti-money-laundering legislation and enforcement
Imports 0 kWh (2003)
Imports $44.93 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2002)
Imports 0 bbl/day (2003)
Imports - commodities machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, motor vehicles, textiles
Imports - partners US 13%, Germany 9.5%, Japan 7.9%, China 7.3%, France 4.7%, Italy 4.2% (2005)
Independence 23 September 1932 (unification of the kingdom)
Industrial production growth rate 5.3% (2005 est.)
Industries crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals; ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics; metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction
Infant mortality rate total: 12.81 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 14.71 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 0.4% (2005 est.)
Irrigated land 16,200 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Council of Justice
Labor force 6.76 million

note: more than 35% of the population in the 15-64 age group is non-national (2005 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% (2005)
Languages Arabic
Legal system based on Shari'a 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); 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 held nationwide from February through April 2005
Life expectancy at birth total population: 75.67 years

male: 73.66 years

female: 77.78 years (2006 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: 60 ships (1000 GRT or over) 837,272 GRT/1,064,377 DWT

by type: cargo 5, chemical tanker 15, container 4, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 18, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 9

foreign-owned: 9 (Egypt 2, Kuwait 5, Sudan 1, UAE 1)

registered in other countries: 55 (Bahamas 12, Comoros 3, Dominica 3, French Southern and Antarctic Lands 1, Liberia 24, Marshall Islands 1, Norway 3, Panama 8) (2006)
Military branches Land Forces (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 -4.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Pipelines condensate 212 km; gas 1,880 km; liquid petroleum gas 1,183 km; oil 4,531 km; refined products 1,150 km (2006)
Political parties and leaders none
Political pressure groups and leaders none
Population 27,019,731

note: includes 5,576,076 non-nationals (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line NA%
Population growth rate 2.18% (2006 est.)
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) (2005)
Religions Muslim 100%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.33 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.13 male(s)/female

total population: 1.2 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage adult male citizens age 21 or older

note: voter registration began in November 2004 for partial municipal council elections held nationwide from 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 3.8 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 13.3 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations 117 (1997)
Terrain mostly uninhabited, sandy desert
Total fertility rate 4 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 13% among Saudi males only (local bank estimate; some estimates range as high as 25%) (2004 est.)
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