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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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September 30, 2020
For each of the 55 African country entries, the "Population distribution" field that appears under both the 'Geography' and 'People and Society' categories, now has an added map link to supplement the text describing how the population is dispersed throughout the country.
September 24, 2020
Did you know that water-related rankings - the top ten longest rivers, the top ten largest lakes, as well as other interesting aquatic facts - may be found under the 'World' entry>Transportation>Waterways?
September 17, 2020
Many new photos have recently been added for the following island entities: American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
September 10, 2020
In the Communications section, the "Internet users" numbers for most countries were recently updated with the latest available data.
August 26, 2020
In the Military and Security category, the "Military and security service personnel strengths" entry was recently updated with the latest estimated numbers.
August 20, 2020
Continuing this month's cartography spotlight: Did you know that you can find multiple maps to almost a hundred countries under the References tab>Regional and World Maps>Maps at CIA? The maps usually include two, and frequently all three, of the following country maps: Administrative, Physiographic, and Transportation - in both PDF and JPG formats.
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).