|Background: Since he took power in a 1969 military coup, Col.
Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI has espoused his own political system - a
combination of socialism and Islam - which he calls the Third
International Theory. Viewing himself as a revolutionary leader, he used
oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside
Libya, even supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end
of Marxism and capitalism. Libyan military adventures failed, e.g., the
prolonged foray of Libyan troops into the Aozou Strip in northern Chad was
finally repulsed in 1987. Libyan support for terrorism decreased after UN
sanctions were imposed in 1992. Those sanctions were suspended in April
Government type: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in fact, a military dictatorship
Currency: 1 Libyan dinar (LD) = 1,000 dirhams
Geography of Libya
Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and
Environment - international agreements:
People of Libya
Libya has a small population in a large land area. Population density is about 50 persons per sq. km. (80/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per sq. km. (1.6/sq. mi.) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. More than half the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. 50% of the population is estimated to be under age 15.
Native Libyans are primarily a mixture of Arabs and Berbers. Small Tebou and Touareg tribal groups in southern Libya are nomadic or seminomadic. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations, including North Africans (primarily Egyptians and Tunisians), West Africans and Sub-Saharan Africans.
Population: 5,765,563 (July 2005 est.)
SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State
Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Libya > Map Economy History