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Africa :: Libya
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  • Introduction :: LIBYA

  • The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-QADHAFI assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, which was a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, QADHAFI used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners - one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa - and a discotheque bombing in Berlin. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. QADHAFI also agreed to end Libya's program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. Unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. QADHAFI's brutal crackdown on protesters spawned a civil war that triggered UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community. After months of seesaw fighting between government and opposition forces, the QADHAFI regime was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government. Libya in 2012 formed a new parliament and elected a new prime minister. The country subsequently elected a new parliament in 2014, but remnants of the outgoing legislature refused to leave office and created a rival government.
  • Geography :: LIBYA

  • Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria
    25 00 N, 17 00 E
    total: 1,759,540 sq km
    land: 1,759,540 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    about 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly larger than Alaska
    Area comparison map:
    total: 4,339 km
    border countries (6): Algeria 989 km, Chad 1,050 km, Egypt 1,115 km, Niger 342 km, Sudan 382 km, Tunisia 461 km
    1,770 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    note: Gulf of Sidra closing line - 32 degrees, 30 minutes north
    exclusive fishing zone: 62 nm
    Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior
    mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions
    lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
    highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m
    petroleum, natural gas, gypsum
    agricultural land: 8.8%
    arable land 1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 7.6%
    forest: 0.1%
    other: 91.1% (2011 est.)
    4,700 sq km (2003)
    0.7 cu km (2011)
    total: 4.33 cu km/yr (14%/3%/83%)
    per capita: 796.1 cu m/yr (2000)
    hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms
    desertification; limited natural freshwater resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, brings water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
    more than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert
  • People and Society :: LIBYA

  • noun: Libyan(s)
    adjective: Libyan
    Berber and Arab 97%, other 3% (includes Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians)
    Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq)
    Muslim (official; virtually all Sunni) 96.6%, Christian 2.7%, Buddhist 0.3%, Hindu <.1, Jewish <.1, folk religion <.1, unafilliated 0.2%, other <.1
    note: non-Sunni Muslims include native Ibadhi Muslims (<1% of the population) and foreign Muslims (2010 est.)
    note: immigrants make up just over 12% of the total population, according to UN data (2013) (July 2014 est.)
    0-14 years: 26.9% (male 859,016/female 820,643)
    15-24 years: 18.2% (male 586,749/female 546,602)
    25-54 years: 46.1% (male 1,509,108/female 1,370,709)
    55-64 years: 4.8% (male 154,847/female 145,330)
    65 years and over: 4% (male 126,691/female 124,479) (2014 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 52.2%
    youth dependency ratio: 44.8%
    elderly dependency ratio: 7.4%
    potential support ratio: 13.5% (2014 est.)
    total: 27.5 years
    male: 27.7 years
    female: 27.4 years (2014 est.)
    3.08% (2014 est.)
    18.4 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    3.57 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    16.01 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
    urban population: 78.4% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 1.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    TRIPOLI (capital) 1.126 million (2014)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 1.04 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
    15 deaths/100,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total: 11.87 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 12.83 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 10.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
    total population: 76.04 years
    male: 74.36 years
    female: 77.82 years (2014 est.)
    2.07 children born/woman (2014 est.)
    41.9% (2007)
    4.3% of GDP (2013)
    1.9 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
    3.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 54.2% of population
    rural: 54.9% of population
    total: 54.4% of population
    urban: 45.8% of population
    rural: 45.1% of population
    total: 45.6% of population (2001 est.)
    urban: 96.8% of population
    rural: 95.7% of population
    total: 96.6% of population
    urban: 3.2% of population
    rural: 4.3% of population
    total: 3.4% of population (2012 est.)
    31.9% (2014)
    5.6% (2007)
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 91%
    male: 96.7%
    female: 85.6% (2015 est.)
  • Government :: LIBYA

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Libya
    local long form: none
    local short form: Libiya
    operates under a transitional government
    name: Tripoli (Tarabulus)
    geographic coordinates: 32 53 N, 13 10 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends last Friday in October
    note: on 10 November 2012, Libya changed its standard time from UTC+2 to UTC+1
    22 districts (shabiyat, singular - shabiyat); Al Butnan, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jabal al Gharbi, Al Jafarah, Al Jufrah, Al Kufrah, Al Marj, Al Marqab, Al Wahat, An Nuqat al Khams, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghat, Misratah, Murzuq, Nalut, Sabha, Surt, Tarabulus, Wadi al Hayat, Wadi ash Shati
    24 December 1951 (from UN trusteeship)
    Liberation Day, 23 October (2011)
    previous 1951, 1977; latest 2011 (interim); note - a 47-member Constitutional Assembly has been meeting since April 2014 (2015)
    Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age, universal
    chief of state: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aqilah Salah ISSA (since 5 August 2014)
    head of government: Prime Minister Abdullah al-THINI; Deputy Prime Ministers Abd al-Salam al-BADRI; Al-Mahdi Hasan Muftah al-LABAD; Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir al-UHAYRISH
    cabinet: new cabinet approved by the House of Representatives in September 2014
    elections: prime minister and Speaker of the House elected by the House of Representatives
    election results: NA
    description: unicameral House of Representatives or Majlis Al Nuwab (200 seats including 32 reserved for women; member term NA)
    elections: election last held in June 2014; note—the Libyan Supreme Court in November 2014 declared the House election unconstitutional; however, no country has officially recognized the rival government
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 200; note - not all 200 seats were filled in the June election because of boycotts and lack of security at some polling stations; some elected members of the House also boycotted
    highest court(s): NA; note - government in transition
    Al-Watan (Homeland) Party
    Justice and Construction Party or JCP [Muhammad SAWAN]
    National Forces Alliance or NFA [Mahmoud JIBRIL, founder] (includes many political organizations, NGOs, and independents)
    National Front (initially the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, formed in 1981 as a diaspora opposition group)
    Union for the Homeland [Abd al-Rahman al-SUWAYHILI]
    note: partial list of the larger political parties and leaders
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Wafa M.T. BUGHAIGHIS (since 5 December 2014)
    chancery: 2600 Virginia Avenue NW, Suite 705, Washington, DC 20037
    telephone: [1] (202) 944-9601
    FAX: [1] (202) 944-9606
    chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah Kay JONES (since 20 June 2013)
    note: on 11 September 2012, US Ambassador Christopher STEVENS and three other American diplomats were killed in an attack by heavily armed militants on a US diplomatic post in the eastern city of Benghazi; the US Government evacuated its Embassy in Tripoli in July 1014
    embassy: Sidi Slim Area/Walie Al-Ahed Road, Tripoli
    mailing address: US Embassy, 8850 Tripoli Place, Washington, DC 20521-8850
    telephone: [218] (0) 91-220-3239
    three horizontal bands of red (top), black (double width), and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black stripe; the National Transitional Council reintroduced this flag design of the former Kingdom of Libya (1951-1969) on 27 February 2011; it replaced the former all-green banner promulgated by the QADHAFI regime in 1977; the colors represent the three major regions of the country: red stands for Fezzan, black symbolizes Cyrenaica, and green denotes Tripolitania; the crescent and star represent Islam, the main religion of the country
    star and crescent, hawk; national colors: red, black, green
    name: "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Greatest)
    lyrics/music: Mahmoud el-SHERIF/Abdalla Shams el-DIN
    note: adopted 1969; originally a battle song for the Egyptian Army in the 1956 Suez War
  • Economy :: LIBYA

  • Libya's economy is almost entirely dependent on the nation's energy sector, which generates about 65% of GDP and 96% of government revenue. Income from the sale of crude oil and natural gas, coupled with a small population, give Libya one of the highest nominal per capita GDPs in Africa, but Libya’s leaders have hindered economic development by, for the most part, failing to use these financial resources to invest in national infrastructure. Libyan sales of oil and natural gas collapsed during the Revolution of 2011, rebounded in 2012 and 2013, but then fell sharply in late 2013 and throughout 2014 due to major protest disruptions at Libyan oil ports and around the country. The state sector is large and growing, with the majority of the Libyan workforce receiving a government salary in 2014. Sharply decreased revenues and increased payments for state salaries and for subsidies on fuel and food resulted in an estimated budget deficit about 50% of GDP in 2014, up from about 4% in 2013. Libya’s economic transition away from Qadhafi’s notionally socialist model toward a market-based economy stalled as revenues shrank, political uncertainty grew, and security deteriorated. Rival political factions in late 2014 were competing for control of the central bank and the national oil company, while funding for economic reform and infrastructure projects has stopped.
    $103.3 billion (2014 est.)
    $128.7 billion (2013 est.)
    $148.9 billion (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2014 US dollars
    $49.34 billion (2014 est.)
    -19.8% (2014 est.)
    -13.6% (2013 est.)
    104.5% (2012 est.)
    $16,600 (2014 est.)
    $21,000 (2013 est.)
    $24,700 (2012 est.)
    note: data are in 2013 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 96
    0.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    37.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
    45% of GDP (2012 est.)
    household consumption: 58%
    government consumption: 16.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 5.4%
    investment in inventories: 0.5%
    exports of goods and services: 40.9%
    imports of goods and services: -21.6%
    (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 2%
    industry: 45.8%
    services: 52.2% (2014 est.)
    wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle
    petroleum, petrochemicals, aluminum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement
    -9% (2014 est.)
    1.738 million (2014 est.)
    agriculture: 17%
    industry: 23%
    services: 59% (2004 est.)
    30% (2004 est.)
    note: about one-third of Libyans live at or below the national poverty line
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%
    revenues: $18.24 billion
    expenditures: $25.22 billion (2014 est.)
    37% of GDP (2014 est.)
    -14.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
    2.9% of GDP (2014 est.)
    3.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
    calendar year
    3.9% (2014 est.)
    2.6% (2013 est.)
    9.52% (31 December 2010)
    3% (31 December 2009)
    5.6% (31 December 2014 est.)
    6% (31 December 2013 est.)
    $49.21 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $49.59 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $54.66 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $53.34 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $-34.71 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $-38.46 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $-7.973 billion (2014 est.)
    $-2.737 billion (2013 est.)
    $17.49 billion (2014 est.)
    $34.91 billion (2013 est.)
    crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals
    Italy 20.2%, Germany 15.1%, France 10.5%, US 6.3%, Spain 6.3%, Netherlands 5.2%, China 5%, UK 4.6% (2013)
    $16.08 billion (2014 est.)
    $26.79 billion (2013 est.)
    machinery, semi-finished goods, food, transport equipment, consumer products
    Italy 13.1%, China 11.9%, Turkey 11.3%, Egypt 6.8%, Tunisia 5.8%, Germany 5.3%, South Korea 4.5%, France 4.3% (2013)
    $105 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $115.4 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $3.904 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $5.86 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $17.43 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $16.18 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $24.68 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $21.92 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    Libyan dinars (LYD) per US dollar -
    1.28 (2014 est.)
    1.27 (2013 est.)
    1.26 (2012 est.)
    1.22 (2011 est.)
    1.27 (2010 est.)
  • Energy :: LIBYA

  • 25.96 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    22.31 billion kWh (2011 est.)
    14 million kWh (2012 est.)
    61 million kWh (2012 est.)
    7.066 million kW (2011 est.)
    100% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
    310,000 bbl/day (2014)
    735,000 bbl/day
    note: Libyan crude oil export values are highly volatile because of continuing protests and other disruptions across the country (2013 est.)
    0 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    48.47 billion bbl (1 January 2014 est.)
    388,300 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    248,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    119,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    575.3 bbl/day (2010 est.)
    12.19 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    5.716 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    6.47 billion cu m (2012 est.)
    0 cu m (2012 est.)
    1.549 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    54.6 million Mt (2012 est.)
  • Communications :: LIBYA

  • 814,000 (2012)
    9.59 million (2012)
    general assessment: telecommunications system is state-owned and service is poor, but investment is being made to upgrade; state retains monopoly in fixed-line services; mobile-cellular telephone system became operational in 1996
    domestic: multiple providers for a mobile telephone system that is growing rapidly; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity has soared
    international: country code - 218; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, NA Arabsat, and NA Intersputnik; submarine cable to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (2010)
    state-funded and private TV stations; some provinces operate local TV stations; pan-Arab satellite TV stations are available; state-funded radio (2012)
    AM 16, FM 3, shortwave 3 (2001)
    12 (plus 1 repeater) (1999)
    17,926 (2012)
    353,900 (2009)
  • Transportation :: LIBYA

  • 146 (2013)
    total: 68
    over 3,047 m: 23
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 30
    914 to 1,523 m: 7
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    total: 78
    over 3,047 m: 2
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
    914 to 1,523 m: 37
    under 914 m:
    20 (2013)
    2 (2013)
    condensate 882 km; gas 3,743 km; oil 7,005 km (2013)
    total: 100,024 km
    paved: 57,214 km
    unpaved: 42,810 km (2003)
    total: 23
    by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 13, roll on/roll off 1
    foreign-owned: 2 (Kuwait 1, Norway 1)
    registered in other countries: 6 (Hong Kong 1, Malta 5) (2010)
    major seaport(s): Marsa al Burayqah (Marsa el Brega), Tripoli
    oil terminal(s): Az Zawiyah, Ra's Lanuf
    LNG terminal (export): Marsa el Brega
  • Military :: LIBYA

  • note - in transition; government attempting to staff a new national army with anti-QADHAFI militia fighters and former members of QADHAFI's military (2011)
    18 years of age for mandatory or voluntary service (2012)
    males age 16-49: 1,775,078
    females age 16-49: 1,714,194 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,511,144
    females age 16-49: 1,458,934 (2010 est.)
    male: 59,547
    female: 57,070 (2010 est.)
  • Transnational Issues :: LIBYA

  • dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern Libya
    refugees (country of origin): 18,653 (Syria); 5,391 (West Bank and Gaza Strip) (2014)
    IDPs: at least 400,000 (conflict between pro-Qadhafi and anti-Qadhafi forces in 2011; post-Qadhafi tribal clashes 2014) (2015)
    current situation: Libya is a destination and transit country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; migrants who seek employment in Libya as laborers and domestic workers or transit Libya en route to Europe may be subject to forced labor; private employers also recruit migrants from detention centers as forced laborers on farms and construction sites; some sub-Saharan women are reportedly forced to work in Libyan brothels, particularly in the country’s south; militia groups and other informal military units allegedly conscript children under the age of 18
    tier rating: Tier 3 - the Libyan Government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government failed to demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders in 2013 or to identify and protect trafficking victims; authorities continued to treat trafficking victims as illegal migrants, punishing them for unlawful acts that were committed as a result of being trafficked; no public anti-trafficking awareness or education campaigns were conducted (2014)Tier 3 - the Libyan Government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government failed to demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders in 2013 or to identify and protect trafficking victims; authorities continued to treat trafficking victims as illegal migrants, punishing them for unlawful acts that were committed as a result of being trafficked; no public anti-trafficking awareness or education campaigns were conducted (2014)