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Welcome to The World Factbook
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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March 21, 2019
In the Economy section for the five world oceans - the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans - a new "Marine fisheries" entry has been added that lists and describes the major fishing regions, the total tonnage caught, as well as the principal fish catches.
March 14, 2019
Where is the Kalahari Desert? You can find out by going to the Appendices tab>Appendix F: Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Under the ‘K’ entries you’ll discover the answer.
March 07, 2019
Have you ever wondered where the hottest, coldest, driest, or wettest places in the world were located? Look no further than the World>Geography>"Climate" entry to find out. New subfields for the earth's ten driest, wettest, coldest, and hottest locales were recently added.
February 28, 2019
The World Factbook has added seven new continent area comparison maps to its 'World' entry under "Area - comparative." Each of these interesting maps compares the United States to one of the world's seven continents. Check them out, the relative sizes of the land areas may surprise you.
February 21, 2019
The Bosporus is one of the world's most strategic waterways; it is the strait that separates Europe to the west from Asia to the east. Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), one of the great historic cities of the world, straddles the Bosporus; it is the only metropolis in the world located on two continents. Can you identify the two bodies of water that the Bosporus connects? Consulting the map of Turkey will reveal the answer.
February 14, 2019
Greece and its northern neighbor Macedonia recently resolved a nearly-three-decade-old naming dispute in which both countries claimed historical rights to the name "Macedonia." The Republic of Macedonia agreed to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia and this renaming was officially promulgated on 12 February 2019. The World Factbook will incorporate the new name throughout its database after the US State Department receives an official diplomatic notification from the Macedonian Government and after the name has been approved by the US Board on Geographic Names - all of which should take place within the next few days.

Other country name changes of the 21st century include last year's name change of Swaziland to Eswatini, the Czech Republic adopting the short-form name of Czechia in 2016, Cape Verde formalizing the Portuguese use of its name Cabo Verde for all official purposes in 2013, and East Timor adopting the name of Timor-Leste shortly after attaining independence in 2002.
February 07, 2019
Where is Tasmania? To find out, go to the Appendices tab>Appendix F: Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names. Under the ‘T’ entries you’ll discover the answer.
January 31, 2019
The "Area - rankings" field in the World>Geography category contains many Top Ten rankings. Recently, listings for the Top Ten largest forested countries, the Top Ten most densely forested countries, and the Top Ten largest deserts were added to this field. Check it out.
January 24, 2019
Lake Victoria, the world's largest tropical lake and the second largest fresh water lake, is shared among three countries. Can you name them? Consulting one of the Africa maps under the References tab>Regional and World Maps will provide the answer.
January 16, 2019
The Yucatan Peninsula is a huge land body extending north from Central America that divides the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea; it is shared by three countries. Can you name them? Various maps under the References tab will help you determine the answer.