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Welcome to The World Factbook
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people and society, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. The Reference tab includes: a variety of world, regional, country, ocean, and time zone maps; Flags of the World; and a Country Comparison function that ranks the country information and data in more than 75 Factbook fields.
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August 13, 2020
Most of the northern third of Africa is barren desert - the massive Sahara.  Did you know that much of the southern part of the continent is also desert or semidesert?  This geographic situation, and the resulting population distributions, are graphically visualized on the Africa Population Density map under the References tab>Regional and World Maps>NGA Population Distribution Maps>Africa, as well as on the accompanying individual country maps.
August 06, 2020
Did you know that the 48 contiguous United States are slightly larger than Australia, the smallest of the seven continents? Check out maps showing the relative sizes of all the continents compared to the US under the 'World' entry, Geography>"Area - comparative."
July 30, 2020
Significant numbers of new photographs have recently been added to the following Mediterranean country entries: Greece, Italy, Morocco, Spain, and Turkey.
July 23, 2020
Dozens of new telecommunications definitions have been added under the "Telecommunications systems" entry on the Definitions and Notes page (under the References tab).
July 09, 2020
Dozens of new One-Page Country Summaries have recently been added to the site bringing the total number of Summaries to 171. Additional One-Pagers are under development and should be ready soon.
July 02, 2020
The "Marine fisheries" entry, which appears in the Economy category for the five world oceans - the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans - was recently updated with the latest available data.
June 26, 2020
Substantial quantities of new photos have recently been added to the following Far East country entries: Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
June 18, 2020
In the Communications category, the "Telecommunication systems" entry - which includes communication over distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, radio, computer (including the Internet), or broadcasting system - has been updated for all countries.
June 11, 2020
The World Factbook is proud to announce a major enhancement to its military information database. Three new fields have been added to the Military and Security category of every country that should be of value to researchers across many disciplines. The new entries are: "Military and security service personnel strengths," "Military equipment inventories and acquisitions," and "Military deployments." Explanations of exactly what data is included in each of these fields may be found on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.
June 04, 2020
The World Factbook presents a couple of geographic puzzles for budding geographers to work on while at home undertaking online learning. 1. What is the greatest distance between two capitals of countries sharing a border? (Hint: the countries are in the northern hemisphere.) 2. What is the greatest distance between one national capital and the capital closest to it? (Hint: the countries are in the southern hemisphere.) Get out your world maps or globes and start measuring. The answers will appear next week on the Did You Know? page, under the About tab.