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Welcome to The World Factbook
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map.
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April 18, 2019
Did you know that despite Madagascar's close proximity to the African continent, ocean currents isolate the island (the world's fourth largest) resulting in high rates of endemic plant and animal species. Approximately 90% of the flora and fauna on the island are found nowhere else on earth. Just recently, five new miniaturized frog species were discovered, the largest of which can sit on a thumbnail with room to spare and the smallest of which is about the size of a grain of rice.
April 16, 2019
In response to the US recognition of Israel's claim to the Golan Heights on 25 March 2019, The World Factbook has updated all of its maps that show that portion of the Middle East.
April 11, 2019
The east central African country of Burundi recently announced that it would make Gitega the political capital of the country, while Bujumbura, the former capital, would remain its economic capital. All branches of the government are expected to have moved from Bujumbura to Gitega by 2021. Gitega had been the capital of the Kingdom of Burundi up to 1966, when the country became a republic.
April 04, 2019
In the People and Society category, "Age structure" field, the accompanying Population Pyramid has been updated for every country with the latest estimated numbers for 2018.
March 28, 2019
On 20 March 2019, Kazakhstan changed the name of its capital city from Astana to Nur-Sultan in honor of its long-serving, recently retired president, Nursultan Nazarbayev. This is not the first time the city has had its name changed. Founded in 1830 as Akmoly, it became Akmolinsk in 1832, Tselinograd in 1961, Akmola in 1992, and Astana in 1998.
March 21, 2019
In the Economy section for the five world oceans - the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans - a new "Marine fisheries" entry has been added that lists and describes the major fishing regions, the total tonnage caught, as well as the principal fish catches.
March 14, 2019
Where is the Kalahari Desert? You can find out by going to the Appendices tab>Appendix F: Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Under the ‘K’ entries you’ll discover the answer.
March 07, 2019
Have you ever wondered where the hottest, coldest, driest, or wettest places in the world were located? Look no further than the World>Geography>"Climate" entry to find out. New subfields for the earth's ten driest, wettest, coldest, and hottest locales were recently added.
February 28, 2019
The World Factbook has added seven new continent area comparison maps to its 'World' entry under "Area - comparative." Each of these interesting maps compares the United States to one of the world's seven continents. Check them out, the relative sizes of the land areas may surprise you.
February 21, 2019
The Bosporus is one of the world's most strategic waterways; it is the strait that separates Europe to the west from Asia to the east. Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), one of the great historic cities of the world, straddles the Bosporus; it is the only metropolis in the world located on two continents. Can you identify the two bodies of water that the Bosporus connects? Consulting the map of Turkey will reveal the answer.