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Countries > Libya Libya Flag

Languages   2 languages are spoken in Libya. We have 301 products available for those languages.

Capital: Tripoli
Population: 5,700,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Libya Map


Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates: 25 00 N, 17 00 E

Map references: Africa

total: 1,759,540 sq km
land: 1,759,540 sq km
water : 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Alaska

Land boundaries:
total: 4,383 km
border countries: Algeria 982 km, Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,150 km, Niger 354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km

Coastline: 1,770 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
note: Gulf of Sidra closing line - 32 degrees 30 minutes north

Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior

Terrain: mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures : 8%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 91% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,700 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues: desertification; very limited natural fresh water resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Desertification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea


Population: 5,368,585
note:includes 662,669 non-nationals, of which an estimated 500,000 or more are Africans living in Libya (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years : 35% (male 958,243; female 917,940)
15-64 years: 61% (male 1,694,986; female 1,581,400)
65 years and over: 4% (male 105,500; female 110,516) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.41% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 27.59 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 3.5 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 27.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 75.86 years
male :73.71 years
female: 78.11 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.57 children born/woman (2002 est.)

noun: Libyan(s)
adjective: Libyan

Ethnic groups: Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians

Religions: Sunni Muslim 97%

Languages: Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 76.2%
male: 87.9%
female: 63% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form : Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
conventional short form: Libya
local long form: Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah
local short form: none

Data code: LY

Government type: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in fact, a military dictatorship

National capital: Tripoli

Administrative divisions: 25 municipalities (baladiyah, singular - baladiyat); Ajdabiya, Al 'Aziziyah, Al Fatih, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jufrah, Al Khums, Al Kufrah, An Nuqat al Khams, Ash Shati', Awbari, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghadamis, Gharyan, Misratah, Murzuq, Sabha, Sawfajjin, Surt, Tarabulus, Tarhunah, Tubruq, Yafran, Zlitan
note: the 25 municipalities may have been replaced by 13 regions

Independence: 24 December 1951 (from Italy)

National holiday: Revolution Day, 1 September (1969)

Constitution: 11 December 1969, amended 2 March 1977

Legal system: based on Italian civil law system and Islamic law; separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state : Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI (since 1 September 1969); note - holds no official title, but is de facto chief of state
head of government: Secretary of the General People's Committee (Premier) Mubarak al-SHAMEKH (since 2 March 2000)
cabinet: General People's Committee established by the General People's Congress
elections : national elections are indirect through a hierarchy of people's committees; head of government elected by the General People's Congress; election last held 2 March 2000 (next to be held NA)
election results: Mubarak al-SHAMEKH elected premier; percent of General People's Congress vote - NA%

Legislative branch:unicameral General People's Congress (NA seats; members elected indirectly through a hierarchy of people's committees)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: none

Political pressure groups and leaders: various Arab nationalist movements with almost negligible memberships may be functioning clandestinely, as well as some Islamic elements

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CAEU, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAU, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US: Libya does not have an embassy in the US

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US suspended all embassy activities in Tripoli on 2 May 1980

Flag description: plain green; green is the traditional color of Islam (the state religion)


Economy - overview: The socialist-oriented economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and about one-quarter of GDP. These oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. Import restrictions and inefficient resource allocations have led to periodic shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs. The nonoil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit agricultural output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food. Higher oil prices in 1999 and 2000 led to an increase in export revenues, which improved macroeconomic balances and helped to stimulate the economy. The suspension of UN sanctions in 1999 also boosted growth. Libya's January 2002 51% devaluation of the official exchange rate of the dinar is another fiscal plus, although it will also bring higher inflation.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $40 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,600 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5%
industry : 55%
services: 40% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index:13.6% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.5 million (2000 est.)
by occupation:services 54%, industry 29%, agriculture 17% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate:30% (2000 est.)

revenues: $9.3 billion
expenditures: $9.2 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 4.6 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 19.4 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 18.042 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts; meat, eggs

total value:$13.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities:crude oil, refined petroleum products
partners:Italy 42%, Germany 19%, Spain 13%, Turkey 6%, France 4%, Switzerland 3%, Tunisia 2% (2000)

total value :$8.7 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: machinery, transport equipment, food, manufactured goods
partners: Italy 25%, Germany 10%, UK 8%, France 7%, Tunisia 7%, South Korea 4% (2000)

Debt - external: $4.7 billion (2001 est.) )

Economic aid:$7 million (1999 est.)

Currency: 1 Libyan dinar (LYD) = 1,000 dirhams

Exchange rates: Libyan dinars per US dollar - 0.6501 (December 2001), 0.6501 (2001), 0.5403 (2000), 0.5403 (1999), 0.3785 (1998), 0.3891 (1997); market rate for Libyan dinars per US dollar - 1.55 (January 2002)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones:380,000 (1996)

Telephone system: telecommunications system is being modernized; mobile cellular telephone system became operational in 1996
domestic:microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, cellular, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, NA Arabsat, and NA Intersputnik; submarine cables to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (1999)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 17, FM 4, shortwave 3 (1998)

Radios: 1.35 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 12 (plus one low-power repeater) (1998)

Televisions: 730,000 (1997)


note : Libya has had no railroad in operation since 1965, all previous systems having been dismantled; current plans are to construct a 1.435-m standard gauge line from the Tunisian frontier to Tripoli and Misratah, then inland to Sabha, center of a mineral-rich area, but there has been no progress; other plans made jointly with Egypt would establish a rail line from As Sallum, Egypt, to Tobruk with completion set for mid-1994; no progress has been reported

total: 24,484 km
paved: 6,798 km
unpaved : 17,686 km
note: data for the length of unpaved roads include the assumption that because they were listed as secondary roads, they are unpaved; some may be paved and some part of the primary roads may not be paved (1996)

Waterways: none

Pipelines: crude oil 4,383 km; petroleum products 443 km (includes liquefied petroleum gas or LPG 256 km); natural gas 1,947 km

Ports and harbors: Al Khums, Banghazi, Darnah, Marsa al Burayqah, Misratah, Ra's Lanuf, Tobruk, Tripoli, Zuwarah

Merchant marine:
total : 23 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 209,000 GRT/278,277 DWT
ships by type: cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas tanker 2, oil tanker 10, roll-on/roll-off cargo 4, short-sea passenger 4
note:includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Algeria 1, Kuwait 1, United Arab Emirates 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 136 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 58
over 3,047 m : 23
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 78
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m : 40
under 914 m: 18 (2001)


Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Command

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49 : 1,503,647 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 890,783 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 61,694 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.3 billion (FY99/00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 3.9% (FY99/00)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Chadian rebels from Aozou region reside in Libya; Libya claims about 19,400 sq km in Niger as well as part of southeastern Algeria in currently dormant disputes

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