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Middle East :: Lebanon Print
Page last updated on November 24, 2020
  • Introduction :: Lebanon
  • Background field listing
    Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920 and granted this area independence in 1943. Since independence, the country has been marked by periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its position as a regional center for finance and trade. The country's 1975-90 civil war, which resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability. Sectarianism is a key element of Lebanese political life. Neighboring Syria has historically influenced Lebanon's foreign policy and internal policies, and its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005. The Lebanon-based Hizballah militia and Israel continued attacks and counterattacks against each other after Syria's withdrawal, and fought a brief war in 2006. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.
  • Geography :: Lebanon
  • Location field listing
    Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
    Geographic coordinates field listing
    33 50 N, 35 50 E
    Map references field listing
    Middle East
    Area field listing
    total: 10,400 sq km
    land: 10,230 sq km
    water: 170 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Area - comparative field listing
    about one-third the size of Maryland
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries field listing
    total: 484 km
    border countries (2): Israel 81 km, Syria 403 km
    Coastline field listing
    225 km
    Maritime claims field listing
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    Climate field listing
    Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows
    Terrain field listing
    narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains
    Elevation field listing
    mean elevation: 1,250 m
    lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
    highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m
    Natural resources field listing
    limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land
    Land use field listing
    agricultural land: 63.3% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 11.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 12.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 39.1% (2011 est.)
    forest: 13.4% (2011 est.)
    other: 23.3% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land field listing
    1,040 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution field listing
    the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density
    Natural hazards field listing
    earthquakes; dust storms, sandstorms
    Environment - current issues field listing
    deforestation; soil deterioration, erosion; desertification; species loss; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills; waste-water management
    Environment - international agreements field listing
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
    Geography - note field listing
    smallest country in continental Asia; Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity
  • People and Society :: Lebanon
  • Population field listing
    5,469,612 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    Nationality field listing
    noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
    adjective: Lebanese
    Ethnic groups field listing
    Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

    note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendants of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians

    Languages field listing
    Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
    Religions field listing
    Muslim 61.1% (30.6% Sunni, 30.5% Shia, smaller percentages of Alawites and Ismailis), Christian 33.7% (Maronite Catholics are the largest Christian group), Druze 5.2%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, and Hindus (2018 est.)

    note: data represent the religious affiliation of the citizen population (data do not include Lebanon's sizable Syrian and Palestinian refugee populations); 18 religious sects recognized

    MENA religious affiliation: PDF
    Age structure field listing
    0-14 years: 20.75% (male 581,015/female 554,175)
    15-24 years: 14.98% (male 417,739/female 401,357)
    25-54 years: 46.69% (male 1,296,250/female 1,257,273)
    55-64 years: 9.62% (male 250,653/female 275,670)
    65 years and over: 7.96% (male 187,001/female 248,479) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios field listing
    total dependency ratio: 48.4
    youth dependency ratio: 37.2
    elderly dependency ratio: 11.2
    potential support ratio: 8.9 (2020 est.)
    Median age field listing
    total: 33.7 years
    male: 33.1 years
    female: 34.4 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Population growth rate field listing
    -6.68% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 237
    Birth rate field listing
    13.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 138
    Death rate field listing
    5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    Net migration rate field listing
    -88.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 228
    Population distribution field listing
    the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density
    Urbanization field listing
    urban population: 88.9% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.75% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030: PDF
    Major urban areas - population field listing
    2.424 million BEIRUT (capital) (2020)
    Sex ratio field listing
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
    total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate field listing
    29 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    Infant mortality rate field listing
    total: 6.8 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Life expectancy at birth field listing
    total population: 78.3 years
    male: 76.9 years
    female: 79.8 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Total fertility rate field listing
    1.71 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Drinking water source field listing
    improved: total: 100% of population
    unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure field listing
    8.2% (2017)
    Physicians density field listing
    2.03 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density field listing
    2.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access field listing
    improved: total: 99% of population
    unimproved: total: 1% of population (2017 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate field listing
    <.1% (2019 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS field listing
    2,700 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 134
    HIV/AIDS - deaths field listing
    <100 (2019 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate field listing
    32% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Education expenditures field listing
    2.5% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Literacy field listing
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 95.1%
    male: 96.9%
    female: 93.3% (2018)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) field listing
    total: 11 years
    male: 12 years
    female: 11 years (2014)
  • Government :: Lebanon
  • Country name field listing
    conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
    conventional short form: Lebanon
    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
    local short form: Lubnan
    former: Greater Lebanon
    etymology: derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon
    Government type field listing
    parliamentary republic
    Capital field listing
    name: Beirut
    geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    etymology: derived from the Canaanite or Phoenician word "ber'ot," meaning "the wells" or "fountain," which referred to the site's accessible water table
    Administrative divisions field listing
    8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa (Bekaa), Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord (North Lebanon), Liban-Sud (South Lebanon), Mont-Liban (Mount Lebanon), Nabatiye
    Independence field listing
    22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
    National holiday field listing
    Independence Day, 22 November (1943)
    Constitution field listing
    history: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the National Assembly or proposed by at least 10 members of the Assembly and agreed upon by two thirds of its members; if proposed by the National Assembly, review and approval by two-thirds majority of the Cabinet is required; if approved, the proposal is next submitted to the Cabinet for drafting as an amendment; Cabinet approval requires at least two-thirds majority, followed by submission to the National Assembly for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 1989
    International law organization participation field listing
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship field listing
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: unknown
    Suffrage field listing
    21 years of age; authorized for all men and women regardless of religion; excludes persons convicted of felonies and other crimes or those imprisoned; excludes all military and security service personnel regardless of rank
    Executive branch field listing
    chief of state: President Michel AWN (since 31 October 2016)
    head of government:  Prime Minister Saad HARIRI (since 22 October 2020)
    cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and National Assembly
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds majority vote in the first round and if needed absolute majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); last held on 31 October 2016 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly; deputy prime minister determined during cabinet formation
    election results: Michel AWN elected president in second round; National Assembly vote - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; note - in the initial election held on 23 April 2014, no candidate received the required two-thirds vote, and subsequent attempts failed because the Assembly lacked the necessary quorum to hold a vote; the president was finally elected in its 46th attempt on 31 October 2016
    Legislative branch field listing
    description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic or Assemblee Nationale in French (128 seats; members directly elected by listed-based proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms); prior to 2017, the electoral system was by majoritarian vote
    elections: last held on 6 May 2018 (next to be held in 2022)
    election results: percent of vote by coalition - NA; seats by coalition – Strong Lebanon Bloc (Free Patriotic Movement-led) 25; Future Bloc (Future Movement-led) 20; Development and Liberation Bloc (Amal Movement-led) 16; Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc (Hizballah-led) 15; Strong Republic Bloc (Lebanese Forces-led) 15; Democratic Gathering (Progressive Socialist Party-led) 9; Independent Centre Bloc 4; National Bloc (Marada Movement-led) 3; Syrian Social Nationalist Party 3; Tashnaq 3; Kata’ib 3; other 8; independent 4;  composition - men 122, women 6, percent of women 4.6%

    note: Lebanon’s constitution states the National Assembly cannot conduct regular business until it elects a president when the position is vacant

    Judicial branch field listing
    highest courts: Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (organized into 8 chambers, each with a presiding judge and 2 associate judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 10 members)
    judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body headed by the chief justice, and includes other judicial officials; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the Council of Ministers and 5 by parliament; members serve 5-year terms
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized tribunals, religious courts; military courts
    Political parties and leaders field listing

    Al-Ahbash or Association of Islamic Charitable Projects [Adnan TARABULSI]
    Amal Movement [Nabih BERRI]
    Azm Movement [Najib MIQATI]
    Ba’th Arab Socialist Party of Lebanon [Fayiz SHUKR]
    Free Patriotic Movement or FPM [Gibran BASSIL]
    Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad al-HARIRI]
    Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH]
    Islamic Actions Front [Sheikh Zuhayr al-JU’AYD]
    Kata'ib Party [Sami GEMAYEL]
    Lebanese Democratic Party [Talal ARSLAN]
    Lebanese Forces or LF [Samir JA'JA]
    Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
    Progressive Socialist Party or PSP [Walid JUNBLATT]
    Social Democrat Hunshaqian Party [Sabuh KALPAKIAN]Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Ali QANSO]
    Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Hanna al-NASHIF]
    Tashnaq or Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Hagop PAKRADOUNIAN]

    International organization participation field listing
    Diplomatic representation in the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Gabriel ISSA (since 24 January 2018)
    chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
    FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
    consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles
    Diplomatic representation from the US field listing
    chief of mission: Ambassador Dorothy SHEA (since 11 March 2020)
    telephone: [961] (04) 543 600
    embassy: Awkar-Facing the Municipality, Main Street, Beirut
    mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Lebanon; from US: US Embassy Beirut, 6070 Beirut Place, Washington, DC 20521-6070
    FAX: [961] (4) 544136
    Flag description field listing
    three horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band; the red bands symbolize blood shed for liberation, the white band denotes peace, the snow of the mountains, and purity; the green cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and represents eternity, steadiness, happiness, and prosperity
    National symbol(s) field listing
    cedar tree; national colors: red, white, green
    National anthem field listing
    name: "Kulluna lil-watan" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)
    lyrics/music: Rachid NAKHLE/Wadih SABRA

    note: adopted 1927; chosen following a nationwide competition

  • Economy :: Lebanon
  • Economy - overview field listing

    Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and inadequate intellectual property rights protection. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism.

    The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern banking hub. Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007, following the July 2006 war. The "CEDRE" investment event hosted by France in April 2018 again rallied the international community to assist Lebanon with concessional financing and some grants for capital infrastructure improvements, conditioned upon long-delayed structural economic reforms in fiscal management, electricity tariffs, and transparent public procurement, among many others.

    The Syria conflict cut off one of Lebanon's major markets and a transport corridor through the Levant. The influx of nearly one million registered and an estimated 300,000 unregistered Syrian refugees has increased social tensions and heightened competition for low-skill jobs and public services. Lebanon continues to face several long-term structural weaknesses that predate the Syria crisis, notably, weak infrastructure, poor service delivery, institutionalized corruption, and bureaucratic over-regulation. Chronic fiscal deficits have increased Lebanon’s debt-to-GDP ratio, the third highest in the world; most of the debt is held internally by Lebanese banks. These factors combined to slow economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-17, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Weak economic growth limits tax revenues, while the largest government expenditures remain debt servicing, salaries for government workers, and transfers to the electricity sector. These limitations constrain other government spending, limiting its ability to invest in necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water, electricity, and transportation. In early 2018, the Lebanese government signed long-awaited contract agreements with an international consortium for petroleum exploration and production as part of the country’s first offshore licensing round. Exploration is expected to begin in 2019.

    GDP (purchasing power parity) field listing
    $88.25 billion (2017 est.)
    $86.94 billion (2016 est.)
    $85.45 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 92
    GDP (official exchange rate) field listing
    $54.18 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate field listing
    1.5% (2017 est.)
    1.7% (2016 est.)
    0.2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    GDP - per capita (PPP) field listing
    $19,600 (2017 est.)
    $19,500 (2016 est.)
    $19,300 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 91
    Gross national saving field listing
    -0.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    0.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    4.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    GDP - composition, by end use field listing
    household consumption: 87.6% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 13.3% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 21.8% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 23.6% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -46.4% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin field listing
    agriculture: 3.9% (2017 est.)
    industry: 13.1% (2017 est.)
    services: 83% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products field listing
    citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
    Industries field listing
    banking, tourism, real estate and construction, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating
    Industrial production growth rate field listing
    -21.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 201
    Labor force field listing
    2.166 million (2016 est.)

    note: excludes as many as 1 million foreign workers and refugees

    country comparison to the world: 120
    Labor force - by occupation field listing
    agriculture: 39% NA (2009 est.)
    industry: NA
    services: NA
    Unemployment rate field listing
    9.7% (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Population below poverty line field listing
    28.6% (2004 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share field listing
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Budget field listing
    revenues: 11.62 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 15.38 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues field listing
    21.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 136
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) field listing
    -6.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    Public debt field listing
    146.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    145.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data cover central government debt and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment

    country comparison to the world: 4
    Fiscal year field listing
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices) field listing
    4.5% (2017 est.)
    -0.8% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 167
    Current account balance field listing
    -$12.37 billion (2017 est.)
    -$11.18 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    Exports field listing
    $3.524 billion (2017 est.)
    $3.689 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    Exports - partners field listing
    China 13%, UAE 9.9%, South Africa 7.5%, Saudi Arabia 6.5%, Syria 6.5%, Iraq 5.8%, Turkey 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities field listing
    jewelry, base metals, chemicals, consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper
    Imports field listing
    $18.34 billion (2017 est.)
    $17.71 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
    Imports - commodities field listing
    petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals
    Imports - partners field listing
    China 10.2%, Italy 8.9%, Greece 7%, Germany 6.6%, US 6.3%, Turkey 4.5%, Egypt 4.2% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold field listing
    $55.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $54.04 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Debt - external field listing
    $39.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $36.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Exchange rates field listing
    Lebanese pounds (LBP) per US dollar -
    1,507.5 (2017 est.)
    1,507.5 (2016 est.)
    1,507.5 (2015 est.)
    1,507.5 (2014 est.)
    1,507.5 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Lebanon
  • Electricity access field listing
    electrification - total population: 100% (2020)
    Electricity - production field listing
    17.59 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Electricity - consumption field listing
    15.71 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    Electricity - exports field listing
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Electricity - imports field listing
    69 million kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    Electricity - installed generating capacity field listing
    2.346 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 110
    Electricity - from fossil fuels field listing
    88% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels field listing
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants field listing
    11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Electricity - from other renewable sources field listing
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    Crude oil - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Crude oil - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Crude oil - imports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    Crude oil - proved reserves field listing
    0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Refined petroleum products - production field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 164
    Refined petroleum products - consumption field listing
    154,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Refined petroleum products - exports field listing
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    Refined petroleum products - imports field listing
    151,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Natural gas - production field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Natural gas - consumption field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Natural gas - exports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    Natural gas - imports field listing
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    Natural gas - proved reserves field listing
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy field listing
    23.36 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
  • Communications :: Lebanon
  • Telephones - fixed lines field listing
    total subscriptions: 752,547
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12.87 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Telephones - mobile cellular field listing
    total subscriptions: 3,614,797
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 61.82 (2019 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Telecommunication systems field listing
    general assessment: two mobile-cellular networks provide good service, with 4G LTE services; future improvements to fiber-optic infrastructure for total nation coverage proposed by 2020; in 2018 first successful 5G trial conducted and in 2019 first live mobile 5G site launched, unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted telecoms industry and pricing has been raised (2020)
    domestic: fixed-line 13 per 100 and 62 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2019)
    international: country code - 961; landing points for the IMEWE, BERYTAR AND CADMOS submarine cable links to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
    note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media field listing
    7 TV stations, 1 of which is state owned; more than 30 radio stations, 1 of which is state owned; satellite and cable TV services available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible through partner stations (2019)
    Internet country code field listing
    Internet users field listing
    total: 4,769,039
    percent of population: 78.18% (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions field listing
    total: 9,395
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
  • Transportation :: Lebanon
  • National air transport system field listing
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,981,937 (2018)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 56.57 million mt-km (2018)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix field listing
    OD (2016)
    Airports field listing
    8 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Airports - with paved runways field listing
    total: 5 (2019)
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1
    Airports - with unpaved runways field listing
    total: 3 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    Heliports field listing
    1 (2013)
    Pipelines field listing
    88 km gas (2013)
    Railways field listing
    total: 401 km (2017)
    standard gauge: 319 km 1.435-m gauge (2017)
    narrow gauge: 82 km 1.050-m gauge (2017)

    note: rail system is still unusable due to damage sustained from fighting in the 1980s and in 2006

    country comparison to the world: 119
    Roadways field listing
    total: 21,705 km (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Merchant marine field listing
    total: 55
    by type: bulk carrier 2, container ship 1, general cargo 39, oil tanker 1, other 12 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Ports and terminals field listing
    major seaport(s): Beirut, Tripoli
    container port(s) (TEUs): Beirut (1,305,038) (2017)
  • Military and Security :: Lebanon
  • Military and security forces field listing
    Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF): Army Command (includes Presidential Guard Brigade, Land Border Regiments), Naval Forces, Air Forces; Lebanese Internal Security Forces Directorate (includes Mobile Gendarmerie); Directorate for General Security (DGS); Directorate General for State Security (2019)
    Military expenditures field listing
    4.2% of GDP (2019)
    4.9% of GDP (2018)
    4.5% of GDP (2017)
    5.1% of GDP (2016)
    4.5% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Military and security service personnel strengths field listing
    the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have approximately 58,000 active troops (55,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 1,500 AF); est. 20,000 Internal Security Forces (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions field listing
    the LAF inventory includes a wide mix of mostly older equipment, largely from the US and European countries, particularly France and Germany; since 2010, the US is the leading supplier of armaments (mostly second hand equipment) to Lebanon (2019 est.)
    Military service age and obligation field listing
    17-25 years of age for voluntary military service (including women); no conscription (2019)
    Military - note field listing
    the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) has operated in the country since 1978, originally under UNSCRs 425 and 426 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area; following the July-August 2006 war, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1701 enhancing UNIFIL and deciding that in addition to the original mandate, it would, among other things, monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons; UNIFIL had about 10,200 personnel deployed in the country as of March 2020 (2020)
  • Terrorism :: Lebanon
  • Terrorist group(s) field listing
    Abdallah Azzam Brigades; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade; Asbat al-Ansar; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Hizballah; al-Nusrah Front (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham); Palestine Liberation Front; PFLP-General Command; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (2019)
    note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T
  • Transnational Issues :: Lebanon
  • Disputes - international field listing

    lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms area in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights; the roughly 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon has been in place since 1978

    Refugees and internally displaced persons field listing
    refugees (country of origin): 879,529 (Syria), 476,033 (Palestinian refugees) (2020)
    IDPs: 11,000 (2007 Lebanese security forces' destruction of Palestinian refugee camp) (2019)
    stateless persons: undetermined (2016); note - tens of thousands of persons are stateless in Lebanon, including many Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Syrian Kurds denaturalized in Syria in 1962, children born to Lebanese women married to foreign or stateless men; most babies born to Syrian refugees, and Lebanese children whose births are unregistered
    Trafficking in persons field listing
    current situation: Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a transit point for Eastern European women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other Middle Eastern countries; women and girls from South and Southeast Asia and an increasing number from East and West Africa are recruited by agencies to work in domestic service but are subject to conditions of forced labor; under Lebanon’s artiste visa program, women from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Dominican Republic enter Lebanon to work in the adult entertainment industry but are often forced into the sex trade; Lebanese children are reportedly forced into street begging and commercial sexual exploitation, with small numbers of Lebanese girls sex trafficked in other Arab countries; Syrian refugees are vulnerable to forced labor and prostitution
    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Lebanon was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; law enforcement efforts in 2014 were uneven; the number of convicted traffickers increased, but judges lack of familiarity with anti-trafficking law meant that many offenders were not brought to justice; the government relied heavily on an NGO to identify and provide service to trafficking victims; and its lack of thoroughly implemented victim identification procedures resulted in victims continuing to be arrested, detained, and deported for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)
    Illicit drugs field listing
    Lebanon is a transit country for hashish, cocaine, heroin, and fenethylene; fenethylene, cannabis, hashish, and some opium are produced in the Bekaa Valley; small amounts of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin transit country on way to European markets and for Middle Eastern consumption; money laundering of drug proceeds fuels concern that extremists are benefiting from drug trafficking