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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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November 14, 2018
Most maritime commercial cargo is containerized, and the distribution of container ports is a useful indicator of world maritime trade. The "Ports and terminals" entry in the Transportation section of the World entry has been updated to reflect the latest statistics on world container traffic. This entry includes the 20 largest container ports in the world as measured by the throughput of "Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units" or TEUs, twenty feet being the standard measurement of a cargo container. In addition, major container ports are listed in individual country entries with their respective throughput. Of the 20 largest container ports in the world, 15 are in East Asia, 3 in Europe, 1 in North America, and 1 in the Middle East.
November 08, 2018
This Sunday, 11 November 2018, marks the centenary of the end of World War I. At 0510 on 11 November 1918 on a railroad siding in the Forest of Compiègne in northern France, the German delegation signed the terms of the armistice that ended the fighting at exactly 1100 on that day. When the United States entered the deadlocked conflict on 6 April 1917, the US Army numbered 127,151 soldiers, 19 months later, on 11 November 1918, the US military numbered 4.7 million and about 10,000 US soldiers were arriving daily in France. It was their numbers, as well as US materiel and capital, that proved crucial in enabling the final Allied victory.
November 01, 2018
In the Government section, "Legislative branch" field, the 'election results' entry has been expanded for all European countries with the addition of text describing 'composition,' which tallies the number of men and women and the percent of women in unicameral and bicameral legislatures. The total percent of women in bicameral legislatures is included as a note at the end of lower chamber composition data. In coming weeks, composition data will be added for countries in other parts of the world.
October 25, 2018
Did you know that The Sudd is a vast swamp in the north central region of South Sudan in Africa? Formed by the White Nile, its size varies but can reach some 15% of the country's total area during the rainy season, making it is one of the world's largest wetlands.
October 18, 2018
There are about a dozen countries in the world that have two capitals, but only one has three. Can you name this African country, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations?
October 11, 2018
The Black Sea, which lies between Europe and Asia, is bordered by six countries. Can you name them? Check your answer by consulting any one of a number of maps under the References tab.
October 04, 2018
In the military category, the "Maritime threats" entry, which covers seagoing piracy, was recently updated for all countries where these threats exist.
September 27, 2018
In the Communications category, a new "Broadband – fixed subscriptions" field was recently added for all countries. Additionally, the data for "Telephones – fixed lines" and "Telephones – mobile cellular" has been updated.
September 20, 2018
The "Constitution" entries under the Government category for all Western Hemisphere countries have been expanded with the inclusion of a summary description of the procedure for amending a country’s constitution. Expanded "Constitution" entries are now complete for all of the world’s nations.
September 13, 2018
This island country flies the world's only national flag that consists solely of four horizontal color bands (many countries have three bands, some have five). Can you name this Indian Ocean country?