General information: On August 2, 1990, Kuwait was attacked and captured by Iraq. On February 23, 1991, after several weeks of air strikes, US-led UN forces launched a ground operation that completely liberated Kuwait four days later. Kuwait has spent more than $5 billion to rebuild the oil industry’s infrastructure, which was damaged in 1990-91.
Location: Middle East, located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Geographic coordinates: 29° 30′ N. latitude, 45° 45′ E
Reference map: Middle East.
Area: total: 17,820 km2; land surface area: 17,820 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of New Jersey.
Land borders: total: 464 km; with neighboring states: with Iraq 242 km, with Saudi Arabia 222 km.
Coastline: 499 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: dry desert; summer is extremely hot; winter is short and cool.
Relief: flat, slightly hilly desert plain.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m; highest point: unnamed point 306 m.
Natural resources: oil, fish, shrimp, natural gas.
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 8%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 92% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 20 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: From October to April, frequent sudden storms resulting in excessive rainfall that can damage roads and buildings; sand and dust storms that occur throughout the year and are especially frequent from March to August.
Actual problems of the environment: limited natural fresh water reserves (mainly the needs are met by several desalination plants, which are the largest and most modern in the world); water and air pollution; desertification.
International environmental treaties: party to: Climate change, Desertification, Environmental change, Hazardous waste, Law of the sea, Marine pollution, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection; signed but not ratified: Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Pollution.
Geography note: strategic location deep in the Persian Gulf.
Population: 2,041,961; note: including 1,159,913 foreign citizens (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 28.76% (male 299,080; female 288,125); 15 to 64 years old: 68.82% (male 897,839; female 507,527); over 65: 2.42% (male 31,843; female 17,547) (2001 est.)
Population growth: 3.38% (2001 est.); note: includes repatriation of persons who emigrated before the Gulf crisis.
Birth rate: 21.91 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 2.45 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 14.31 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.04 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.77 male/female; over 65: 1.81 male/female; for the general population: 1.51 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 11.18 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 76.27 years; men: 75.42 years; women: 77.15 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.2 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.12% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Kuwaiti; adjective: Kuwaiti.
Ethnic groups: Kuwaitis 45%, Arabs from other countries 35%, South Asians 9%, Iranians 4%, other 7%.
Believers: Muslims 85% (Sunnis 45%, Shiites 40%), Christians, Hindus, Parsis and representatives of other religions 15%.
Language(s): Arabic (official), English widely spoken.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 78.6%; men: 82.2%; women: 74.9% (1995 est.).
conventional long form: State of Kuwait;
conventional short form: Kuwait; local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt; local short form: Al Kuwayt.
State structure: nominally – a constitutional monarchy. See a2zgov.com to know more about Kuwait government and politics.
Capital: El Kuwait.
Administrative divisions: 5 governorates: Hawal-li, Ep-Asima, Al-Ahmadi, Al-Jahra, El-Farwaniya.
Independence: from June 19, 1961 (until 1961 – under the protectorate of Great Britain).
National holiday: Nation’s Day, 25 February (1950).
Constitution: Adopted and promulgated November 11, 1962
Legal system: civil law system; in interpersonal relations, the role of Islamic law is important; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: exists for adult males who naturalized 30 years ago or more, or for persons who lived in Kuwait before 1920 and their male descendants who have reached the age of 21; note: only 10% of the population is eligible to vote; in 1996, citizens who had not lived in Kuwait before 1920 but had naturalized 30 years earlier were given the right to vote for the first time. Executive:
Head of State: Emir JABIR al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah (since 31 December 1977);
head of the government: Prime Minister Crown Prince SAAD al-Abdallah al-Sapem al-Sabah (SAAD al-Abdallah al-Salim Al Sabah) (since February 8, 1978); First Deputy Prime Minister of SABAH al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah (SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir Al Sabah) (since October 17, 1992); Deputy Prime Ministers JABIR MUBARAK al-Hamud Al Sabah (since no data) and MUHAMMAD KHALID al-Hamed Al Sabah ( since when – no data);
Government: council of ministers appointed by the prime minister and approved by the emir; elections: not held; hereditary monarchy; the prime minister and deputy prime ministers are appointed by the monarch.
Legislature: unicameral National Assembly (Majlis al-Umma) (50 seats; members of the House are elected by popular vote for a four-year term); elections: last held 3 July 1999 (next to be held in 2003); election results: percentage of votes – no data; distribution of seats – independent 50; note – all cabinet ministers are also ex officio members of the National Assembly.
Judiciary: High Court of Appeal.
Political parties and leaders: none; formation of political parties is illegal.
Political influence groups and their leaders: Several political influence groups, effectively replacing parties: Bedouins, merchants, Sunni and Shia activists, secular leftists and nationalists.
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: head of mission: the place is vacant; office: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 966-0702; fax: [C (202) 966-0517.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador James A. LAROCCO; embassy: Wawap (near Bayan Palace), Kuwait City; mailing address: R. O. Box 77 Safat, 13001 Safat, Kuwait; Unit 69000, APO AE 09880-9000; phone:  539-5307; fax:  538-0282.
Flag Description: three equally sized horizontal stripes of green (top), white and red with a black trapezium resting on the side adjacent to the pole.