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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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July 02, 2020
The "Marine fisheries" entry, which appears in the Economy category for the five world oceans - the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans - was recently updated with the latest available data.
June 26, 2020
Substantial quantities of new photos have recently been added to the following Far East country entries: Cambodia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.
June 18, 2020
In the Communications category, the "Telecommunication systems" entry - which includes communication over distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, radio, computer (including the Internet), or broadcasting system - has been updated for all countries.
June 11, 2020
The World Factbook is proud to announce a major enhancement to its military information database. Three new fields have been added to the Military and Security category of every country that should be of value to researchers across many disciplines. The new entries are: "Military and security service personnel strengths," "Military equipment inventories and acquisitions," and "Military deployments." Explanations of exactly what data is included in each of these fields may be found on the Definitions and Notes page under the References tab.
June 04, 2020
The World Factbook presents a couple of geographic puzzles for budding geographers to work on while at home undertaking online learning. 1. What is the greatest distance between two capitals of countries sharing a border? (Hint: the countries are in the northern hemisphere.) 2. What is the greatest distance between one national capital and the capital closest to it? (Hint: the countries are in the southern hemisphere.) Get out your world maps or globes and start measuring. The answers will appear next week on the Did You Know? page, under the About tab.
May 28, 2020
By far the two most common forms of citizenship are by birth (where one is born) or by descent (nationality of one or both parents). The World Factbook lists both of these citizenship types and whether they are used by any particular country. The Factbook also indicates whether dual citizenship is recognized by a country and what the residency requirements are before applying for naturalization in a country. The "Citizenship" entry may be found in the Government section.
May 21, 2020

Did you know that more than three-quarters of the world’s countries have a maritime boundary of some sort. As such, they have an exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which is a sea zone – set forth by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea - over which a country has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources. An EEZ stretches from a country’s mean-low tide baseline at its coast out to 200 nautical miles. Most maps do not show EEZs, but The World Factbook’s World Oceans map does (under the References tab>Regional and World Maps>World Oceans; the PDF version is the most informative, particularly when enlarged). More than one-third of the world’s ocean area falls within an EEZ.

May 14, 2020
In the Communications category, the "Telephone systems" field name has been adjusted to "Telecommunication systems" to better reflect its many components including various types of telephone systems, cable transmission, satellite linkage, and diverse categories of radio transmission/relay.
May 07, 2020
The "Capital" entry (under Government) is where visitors to The World Factbook will find information related to time. This placement is because the Factbook indicates the time difference in a country relative to the time observed in Washington, DC. The "Capital" entry is also where information on daylight savings time and time zones may be found.

Did you know that only about a third of all countries - and only about one-fifth of the world's inhabitants - use daylight savings time? Find more detailed information on time zones and daylight savings time under World>Government>Capital.
April 30, 2020
Did you know? In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, about two weeks in lakes and rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere. Groundwater can take 50 years to just traverse 1 km (0.6 mi). Find many more fascinating geographic facts about our world and its oceans in the "Geographic overview" of the World entry.