The World Factbook, also known as the CIA World Factbook, is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official print version is available from the Government Printing Office. Other companies—such as Skyhorse Publishing—also print a paper edition. The Factbook is available in the form of a website that is partially updated every week. It is also available for download for use off-line. It provides a two- to three-page summary of the demographics, geography, communications, government, economy, and military of each of 267 international entities including U.S.-recognized countries, dependencies, and other areas in the world.
The World Factbook is prepared by the CIA for the use of U.S. government officials, and its style, format, coverage, and content are primarily designed to meet their requirements. However, it is frequently used as a resource for academic research papers and news articles. As a work of the U.S. government, it is in the public domain in the United States.
|The World Factbook|
Cover of the U.S. government print edition of The World Factbook (2016–17 edition)
|Genre||Almanac about the countries of the world|
|Publisher||Central Intelligence Agency|
|See frequency of updates and availability, no longer published in paper book form by the CIA|
In researching the Factbook, the CIA uses the sources listed below. Other public and private sources are also consulted.
Because the Factbook is in the public domain, people are free under United States law to redistribute it or parts of it in any way that they like, without permission of the CIA. However, the CIA requests that it be cited when the Factbook is used. Copying the official seal of the CIA without permission is prohibited by U.S. federal law—specifically, the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 (50 U.S.C. § 403m).
Before November 2001 The World Factbook website was updated yearly; from 2004 to 2010 it was updated every two weeks; since 2010 it has been updated weekly. Generally, information currently available as of January 1 of the current year is used in preparing the Factbook.
The first, classified, edition of Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version in June 1971. The World Factbook was first available to the public in print in 1975. In 2008 the CIA discontinued printing the Factbook themselves, instead turning printing responsibilities over to the Government Printing Office. This happened due to a CIA decision to "focus Factbook resources" on the online edition. The Factbook has been on the World Wide Web since October 1994. The web version receives an average of 6 million visits per month; it can also be downloaded. The official printed version is sold by the Government Printing Office and National Technical Information Service. In past years, the Factbook was available on CD-ROM, microfiche, magnetic tape, and floppy disk.
Many Internet sites use information and images from the CIA World Factbook. Several publishers, including Grand River Books, Potomac Books (formerly known as Brassey's Inc.), and Skyhorse Publishing have re-published the Factbook in recent years.
The Factbook is full of usually minor errors, inaccuracies, and out-of-date information, which are often repeated elsewhere due to the Factbook's widespread use as a reference. For example, Albania was until recently, described in the Factbook as 70% Muslim, 20% Eastern Orthodox, and 10% Roman Catholic, which was based on a survey conducted in 1939, before World War II; numerous surveys conducted since the fall of the Communist regime since 1990 have given quite different figures. Another example is Singapore, which the Factbook states has a total fertility rate of 0.78 children per woman, despite figures in Statistics Singapore which state that the rate has been about 1.2–1.3 children per woman for at least the past several years, and it is unclear when, or even whether, it ever dropped as low as 0.78. This low and inaccurate value then gets cited in news articles which state that Singapore has the world's lowest fertility, or at least use the figure for its shock value. Another serious problem is that the Factbook never cites its sources, making verification of the information it presents difficult if not impossible.
In June 2009, National Public Radio (NPR), relying on information obtained from the CIA World Factbook, put the number of Israeli Jews living in settlements in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem at 250,000. However, a better estimate, based on State Department and Israeli sources put the figure at about 500,000. NPR then issued a correction. Chuck Holmes, foreign editor for NPR Digital, said, "I'm surprised and displeased, and it makes me wonder what other information is out-of-date or incorrect in the CIA World Factbook."
Scholars have acknowledged that some entries in the Factbook are out of date.
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for the use of US Government officials, and the style, format, coverage, and content are designed to meet their specific requirements. Information is provided by other public and private sources. The Factbook is in the public domain. Accordingly, it may be copied freely without permission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The World Factbook remains the CIA's most widely disseminated and most popular product, now averaging almost 6 million visits each month. In addition, tens of thousands of government, commercial, academic, and other Web sites link to or replicate the online version of the Factbook. * * * Included among the 271 geographic entries is one for the "World," which incorporates data and other information summarized where possible from the other 270 country listings.
The World Factbook is in the public domain and may be used freely by anyone at anytime without seeking permission.* * * As a courtesy, please cite The World Factbook when used.
Formerly our Web site (and the published Factbook) were only updated annually. Beginning in November 2001 we instituted a new system of more frequent online updates. The World Factbook is currently updated every two weeks.
Since 2004, The World Factbook website has been updated on a bi-weekly schedule. Culminating a three-month trial effort, we are pleased to announce that the Factbook will now be updated on a weekly basis.
In general, information available as of 1 January 2007 was used in the preparation of this edition.
The first classified Factbook was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971.
Printing of the Factbook turned over to the Government Printing Office.
The Government Printing Office has assumed production of The World Factbook print edition. The CIA has decided to focus Factbook resources exclusively on the World Wide Web online edition...
Other users may obtain sales information about printed copies from the following: Superintendent of Documents...National Technical Information Service
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prepares The World Factbook in printed, CD-ROM, and Internet versions.
This publication is also available in microfiche, magnetic tape, or computer diskettes.
Hundreds of "Factbook" look-alikes exist on the Internet. The Factbook site at: www.cia.gov is the only official site.
The world factbook (Handbook of the Nations). Detroit, Mich.: Grand River Books, 1981–.
"Independent state" refers to a people politically organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory. * * * There are a total of 266 separate geographic entities in The World Factbook that may be categorized as follows...
Also included in the Factbook are entries on parts of the world whose status has not yet been resolved (e.g., West Bank, Spratly Islands). Specific regions within a country or areas in dispute among countries are not covered.
The World Factbook provides national-level information on countries, territories, and dependencies, but not subnational administrative units within a country. A comprehensive encyclopedia might be a source for state/province-level information.
The reason the four entities are no longer in The World Factbook is because their status has changed. While they are overseas departments of France, they are also now recognized as French regions, having equal status to the 22 metropolitan regions that make up European France.
The Indian Ocean island entity of Mayotte became an overseas department of France on 31 March. The change in status makes it an integral part of France and so its description is now included in the France country profile of The World Factbook.(Archived by WebCite at )
Territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United States Government are not shown on US Government maps.
Taiwan is listed after the regular entries because even though the mainland People's Republic of China claims Taiwan, elected Taiwanese authorities de facto administer the island and reject mainland sovereignty claims. * * * The European Union (EU) is not a country, but it has taken on many nation-like attributes and these are likely to be expanded in the future.
since 1989 the military authorities in Burma have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; this decision was not approved by any sitting legislature in Burma, and the US Government did not adopt the name, which is a derivative of the Burmese short-form name Myanma Naingngandaw
Bosnia and Hercegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia have replaced Yugoslavia.
The name of Macedonia was changed to The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Greece has protested strongly at a decision by the US to refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) simply as "Macedonia".
The World Factbook provides national-level information on countries, territories, and dependencies, but not on subnational administrative units within a country or supranational entities like the European Union.
The five former entities of Bassas da India, Europa Island, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island, previously grouped as Iles Eparses (Scattered Islands), now constitute a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
(Serbia and Montenegro have asserted the formation of a joint independent state, but this entity has not been recognized as a state by the United States.)
On May 21, 1992, the United States announced that it did not recognize the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was composed of the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro, as a successor state of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Since 1992, the United States has taken the position that the SFRY has ceased to exist, that there is no state representing the continuation of the SFRY, and that five successors have arisen—the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) ("FRY(S&M)"), the Republic of Slovenia ("Slovenia"), the Republic of Croatia ("Croatia"), the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina ("Bosnia-Herzegovina"), and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ("FYROM")
Serbia and Montenegro have asserted the formation of a joint independent state, but this entity has not been formally recognized as a state by the US. The US view is that the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) has dissolved and that none of the successor republics represents its continuation.
The entity of Serbia and Montenegro is now officially known as Yugoslavia.
Serbia and Montenegro have signed an accord which will consign the name Yugoslavia to history and shelve any immediate plans for Montenegrin independence.
From now on it will be called just Serbia and Montenegro—the two remaining republics joined in a loose union.
Yugoslavia has been renamed Serbia and Montenegro as of 4 February 2003.
Serbia opposes the declaration of independence* * *
The US Board on Geographic Names (BGN) now recognizes Timor-Leste as the short form name for East Timor* * *
Central Africa is the core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda. Middle Africa (as used by the United Nations when categorising geographic subregions) is an analogous term that includes Angola, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, and São Tomé and Príncipe. All of the states in the UN subregion of Middle Africa, plus those otherwise commonly reckoned in Central Africa (11 states in total), constitute the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). Since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has also been commonly included in the region.Demographics of Bhutan
This article is about the demographic features of the population of Bhutan, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.Elections by country
For each de jure and de facto sovereign state and dependent territory an article on elections in that entity has been included and information on the way the head of state, head of government, and the legislature is selected. Merged cells for "head of state" and "head of government" indicate the office is the same for that country; merged cells for "lower house" and "upper house" indicate a unicameral legislature. The linked articles include the results of the elections. For a chronological order, see the electoral calendar.Geography of Slovakia
Slovakia is a landlocked Central European country with mountainous regions in the north and flat terrain in the south.History of Andorra
Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), also called the Principality of the Valleys of Andorra (Catalan: Principat de les Valls d'Andorra), is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France.International rankings of Taiwan
The following are the international rankings of Taiwan.Islam by country
Adherents of Islam constitute the world's second largest religious group. According to a study in 2015, Islam has 1.8 billion adherents, making up about 24.1% of the world population. Most Muslims are either of two denominations: Sunni (80–90%, roughly 1.5 billion people) or Shia (10–20%, roughly 170–340 million people). Islam is the dominant religion in Central Asia, Indonesia, Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel and some other parts of Asia. The diverse Asia-Pacific region contains the highest number of Muslims in the world, easily surpassing the Middle East and North Africa.About 31% of all Muslims are of South Asian origin, therefore South Asia contains the largest population of Muslims in the world. Within this region, however, Muslims are second in numbers to Hindus, as Muslims are a majority in Pakistan and Bangladesh, but not India.
The various Hamito-Semitic (including Arab, Berber), Turkic, and Iranic countries of the greater Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region, where Islam is the dominant religion in all countries other than Israel, hosts 23% of world Muslims.
The country with the single largest population of Muslims is Indonesia in Southeast Asia, which on its own hosts 13% of the world's Muslims. Together, the Muslims in the countries of Southeast Asia constitute the world's third largest population of Muslims. In the countries of the Malay Archipelago Muslims are majorities in each country other than Singapore, the Philippines, and East Timor.
About 15% of Muslims reside in Sub-Saharan Africa, and sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, the Caucasus, China, Europe, the Philippines and Russia.Western Europe hosts many Muslim immigrant communities where Islam is the second largest religion after Christianity, where it represents 6% of the total population or 24 million people. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world.Languages of Africa
The languages of Africa are divided into six major language families:
Afroasiatic languages are spread throughout Western Asia, North Africa, the Horn of Africa and parts of the Sahel.
Austronesian languages are spoken in Madagascar.
Indo-European languages are spoken in South Africa and Namibia (Afrikaans, English, German) and are used as lingua francas in the former colonies of Britain and Liberia (English), former colonies of France and of Belgium (French), former colonies of Portugal and remaining Afro-Portuguese islands (Portuguese), former colonies of Italy (Italian), former colonies of Spain (Spanish) and the current Spanish territories of Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands (Spanish).
Niger–Congo languages (Bantu and non-Bantu) cover West, Central, Southeast and Southern Africa.
Nilo-Saharan languages (unity debated) are spoken from Tanzania to Sudan and from Chad to Mali.There are several other small families and language isolates, as well as languages that have yet to be classified. In addition, Africa has a wide variety of sign languages, many of which are language isolates (see below).
The total number of languages natively spoken in Africa is variously estimated (depending on the delineation of language vs. dialect) at between 1,250 and 2,100, and by some counts at "over 3,000".Nigeria alone has over 500 languages (according to the count of SIL Ethnologue), one of the greatest concentrations of linguistic diversity in the world. However, "One of the notable differences between Africa and most other linguistic areas is its relative uniformity. With few exceptions, all of Africa’s languages have been gathered into four major phyla."Around a hundred languages are widely used for inter-ethnic communication. Arabic, Somali, Berber, Amharic, Oromo, Igbo, Swahili, Hausa, Manding, Fulani and Yoruba are spoken by tens of millions of people. Twelve dialect clusters (which may group up to a hundred linguistic varieties) are spoken by 75 percent, and fifteen by 85 percent, of Africans as a first or additional language. Although many mid-sized languages are used on the radio, in newspapers and in primary-school education, and some of the larger ones are considered national languages, only a few are official at the national level. The African Union declared 2006 the "Year of African Languages".Languages of Gibraltar
As Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, its sole official language is English, which is used by the Government and in schools. The eponymous Gibraltarian English accent is spoken in the territory.
Most locals are bilingual, also speaking Spanish, because of Gibraltar's proximity to Spain. Most Gibraltarians converse in Llanito, their vernacular which is mostly based on Andalusian Spanish but with numerous loanwords from English as well other Mediterranean languages. However, because of the varied mix of ethnic groups which reside there, other languages such as Moroccan Berber, Moroccan Arabic and Hindi are also spoken on The Rock.List of countries by external debt
This is a list of countries by external debt, which is the total public and private debt owed to nonresidents repayable in internationally accepted currencies, goods or services, where the public debt is the money or credit owed by any level of government, from central to local, and the private debt the money or credit owed by private households or private corporations based in the country under consideration.
For informational purposes, several non-sovereign entities are also included in this list.
Note that while a country may have a relatively large external debt (either in absolute or per capita terms) it could actually be a "net international creditor" if its external debt is less than the total of the external debt of other countries held by it. For example, although the UK has more external debt than France, it has more external assets giving it a stronger NIIP.List of countries by labour force
This is a list of countries by size of the labour force mostly based on The World Factbook.List of religious populations
This is a list of religious populations by number of adherents and countries.Muslims
Muslims (Arabic: مُسلِم) are people who follow or practice Islam, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion. Muslims consider the Quran, their holy book, to be the verbatim word of God as revealed to the Islamic prophet and messenger Muhammad. The majority of Muslims also follow the teachings and practices of Muhammad (sunnah) as recorded in traditional accounts (hadith). "Muslim" is an Arabic word meaning "submitter" (to God).The beliefs of Muslims include: that God (Arabic: الله Allāh) is eternal, transcendent and absolutely one (tawhid); that God is incomparable, self-sustaining and neither begets nor was begotten; that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that has been revealed before through many prophets including Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, and Jesus; that these previous messages and revelations have been partially changed or corrupted over time (tahrif) and that the Qur'an is the final unaltered revelation from God (Final Testament).Religion in Africa
Religion in Africa is multifaceted and has been a major influence on art, culture and philosophy. Today, the continent's various populations and individuals are mostly adherents of Christianity, Islam, and to a lesser extent several Traditional African religions. In Christian or Islamic communities, religious beliefs are also sometimes characterized with syncretism with the beliefs and practices of traditional religions.Telecommunications in Antarctica
This article is about telecommunications in Antarctica.Telecommunications in Aruba
This article is about communications systems in Aruba.Telecommunications in Georgia (country)
Telecommunications in Georgia include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.Telecommunications in Switzerland
Extensive telecommunication facilities exist in Switzerland. They include the telephone system, internet, and broadcast media.Transport in Ecuador
Transportation in Ecuador uses six transportation methods to transport passengers and freight (more specifically, oil). They are aviation, highways, pipelines, ports and harbors, railways, and waterways