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:
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).
June 06, 2019
The 8th Women's World Cup soccer tournament kicks off tomorrow in Paris; 24 nations will be competing in this quadrennial championship. To help familiarize visitors with the tourney participants, The World Factbook has prepared special One-Page Summaries for each of the 24 qualified finalists (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, England (United Kingdom), France, Germany, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Scotland (United Kingdom), South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United States). The One-Page Summaries may be accessed via a special link that appears in the Introduction section - at the end of the Background statement - in each of these countries. Alternatively, all 24 One-Page Summaries gathered together may be found in a link at the end of the Background statement of the 'World' entry.
May 30, 2019
Caves are an interesting and amazingly varied component of the earth's crust. The World Factbook has added Ten Cave Superlatives to its 'World' entry (under Geography>Terrain) to help you get a feel for the diversity of caves. Check it out and enjoy.
May 23, 2019
Can you name the five countries that have one-syllable names? Hint: they begin with the initials C, F, G, L, and S.
May 16, 2019
Although The World Factbook no longer appears in a printed format, annual editions - from 2000 onward - are available online and may be accessed on this site by two pathways. Visitors can click on THE WORLD FACTBOOK ARCHIVE in the upper right portion of any page on the website. Alternatively, the ARCHIVE may be accessed by visiting the Gallery of Covers, under the References tab, and clicking on any of the years that appear highlighted in blue.