Kuwait Travel Information

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Facts About Kuwait

Background: Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that completely liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait has spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91.
Government type: nominal constitutional monarchy
Capital: Kuwait
Currency: 1 Kuwaiti dinar (KD) = 1,000 fils

Geography of Kuwait

Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 29 30 N, 45 45 E
Area:
total: 17,820 sq km
land: 17,820 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 464 km
border countries: Iraq 242 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km
Coastline: 499 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 306 m
Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 8%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 92% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 20 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April; they bring inordinate amounts of rain which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year, but are most common between March and August
Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Marine Dumping
Geography - note: strategic location at head of Persian Gulf

People of Kuwait

The people residing in the State of Kuwait are primarily Arab in origin, but less than half of them are from the Arabian Peninsula. Many Arabs from nearby states took up residence in Kuwait because of the prosperity brought by oil production after the 1940s. However, following the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991, the Kuwaiti Government undertook a serious effort to reduce the expatriate population. Kuwait still has a sizable Iranian and Indian population.

Seventy-five percent of native Kuwaitis are Sunni Muslims, and 25% are Shi'a Muslims. There are very few Kuwaiti Christians. The 79% literacy rate, one of the Arab world's highest, is due to extensive government support for the education system. Public school education, including Kuwait University, is free. 

Population: 2,335,648 (July 2005 est.)
note: includes 1,159,913 non-nationals
Age structure:
0-14 years:  28.76% 
15-64 years:  68.82%
65 years and over:  2.42%
Population growth rate: 3.38% 
note: this rate reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates
Birth rate: 21.91 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 2.45 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 14.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 11.18 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  76.27 years
male:  75.42 years
female:  77.15 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.2 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groups: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%
Religions: Muslim 85% (Sunni 45%, Shi'a 40%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.6%
male: 82.2%
female: 74.9% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Kuwait > Map Economy History