Main Content

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.
What's New section
Today is:
August 15, 2019
In light of recent events in the Persian Gulf, The World Factbook has added a special statement to the "Maritime threats" entry (in the Military and Security category) for Iran, Oman, and the Indian Ocean that warns of dangers to commercial shipping in the waters off the Iranian coast and around the Arabian Peninsula.
August 08, 2019
Have you ever been stumped by one of the quiz questions that appeared in What's New? Have you ever wondered at how many people use The World Factbook or how the Factbook's logo developed? Answers to all of these questions and many more may be found on the Did You Know? page - under the About tab.
August 01, 2019
New Travel Facts pages for nine countries and one overseas territory - Grenada, Honduras, Hungary, Malta, Monaco, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Ukraine, Zambia, and Gibraltar - have been added to the website. The total number of entities with Travel Facts pages is now up to 154.
July 25, 2019
All of The World Factbook's Travel Facts and One-Page Country Summaries can now be accessed from two new links on the lower left of the home page. Individual country Travel Facts and One-Page Summaries will continue to be accessible from country pages. More Travel Facts - in addition to the already extensive selection - will be available soon.
July 18, 2019
In the Military category, the "Maritime Threats" field, has been updated with final 2018 numbers for all countries where seagoing piracy is a problem. Overall, there was a more than 10% increase in incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships during 2018 (201) when compared to 2017 (180). The waters off the coast of West Africa are the most dangerous in the world at present; attacks in 2018 more than doubled over 2017. Entries have been added for Benin and Ghana both of which saw significant increases in attacks when compared to recent years. Attacks off the Horn of Africa remain at very low levels, continuing the trend of the last few years. The Straits of Malacca and South China Sea remain areas of high risk of attack, as well as parts of the Sulu and Celebes Seas in the vicinity of the southern Philippines.
July 11, 2019
A fourth tranche of the ever-popular country comparison maps has been uploaded onto the site, which means that almost 85% of the world's countries are now displayed in comparison to the United States. To see the relative size of a country shown superimposed over part of the US, go to the Geography section and check under "Area – comparative" (the fifth geography entry). Eventually, all country descriptions will include these useful and celebrated maps.
July 03, 2019
While the availability of electricity has expanded rapidly over many parts of the world in the past few decades, there are still over 1 billion people worldwide that do not have access to electricity. The World Factbook recently updated all of its "Electricity access" entries with the latest available data from 2016 and 2017.
June 26, 2019
Four newly revised maps have been added to the site under the References tab>Regional and World Maps. The World Political map displays all the latest updates, including Kazakhstan's new capital, while three Americas regional maps - North America Political, Central America and the Caribbean Political, and South America Political - all now conform to the Factbook's new map style and colors.
June 21, 2019
The World Factbook is proud to unveil its new Travel Facts feature!

144 country pages - ranging from Afghanistan to Yemen - now have an embedded Travel Facts icon, which visitors can click to reveal a downloadable one-page summary of important facts to know before traveling to that country. Travel Facts include: Passport/Visa requirements, US State Dept. Travel Warnings, Vaccination Requirements, Climate, Currency, Major Languages, Religions, Time Difference, Potable Water, International Driving Permit requirement, Road Driving Side, Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s), Cultural Practices, Telephone Code, Local Emergency Phone Numbers, and US Embassy/Consulate Information.

Travel Facts for the remainder of the world's countries will become available in the months to come.
June 13, 2019
The latest rankings (2017) on the top "Ports" and "Airports" have been entered into the 'World' entry. The ports information lists the top 20 container ports in terms of throughput numbers, while the airports data presents the top 10 airports by total passengers and by cargo traffic (in metric tons).