News & Information

Rss Feed

CIA World Factbook 2003 Now Available

August 12, 2003

The World Factbook 2003 is now available on the Central Intelligence Agency Web site ( The World Factbook remains the CIA's most widely disseminated and most popular product, averaging more than 3 million visits each month since the beginning of the year. In addition, tens of thousands of government, commercial, academic, and other Web sites link to or replicate the online version of the Factbook.

This reference work provides a snapshot, as of 1 January 2003, of wide-ranging, hard-to-locate information about the background, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The nine primary information categories and 134 subcategories for most entities include geographic coordinates, Gross Domestic Product, number of telephones, natural resources, legal systems, political parties, illicit drugs, mortality rates, and more. Included among the 268 geographic listings is one for the "World," which incorporates data and other information summarized where possible from the other 267 listings.

The World Factbook 2003 contains six appendixes with reference information ranging from abbreviations and descriptions of international organizations and groups to cross-referenced lists of Country Data Codes. The 2003 edition includes 15 reference maps, which are available in both JPEG and PDF formats. Many country maps and flags have been updated to reflect changes and refinements over the past year. Monthly updates are planned for the coming year.

New items in The World Factbook 2003 include seven additional data entries, “Rank Order” pages that contain presorted downloadable data, Frequently Asked Questions—and answers—and an updated Guide to Country Profiles. In the ‘People’ category, Median Age has been added; and in the Economy category, entries are available for oil production, oil consumption, oil exports and imports, proved oil reserves, and natural gas proved reserves.

The “Rank Order” pages enable Web site visitors to select and view data from among 34 data fields in the Geography, People, Economy, Communications, Transportation, and Military categories. Most of the information is rank ordered from highest-to-lowest for all countries where data is available. Individual pages can be readily viewed, and instructions are provided for downloading and saving the data into a database or spreadsheet.

Printed copies of The World Factbook 2003 will be available for purchase in October from the Government Printing Office ( and the National Technical Information Service ( Ordering and pricing information for both domestic and international customers will be available on the GPO and NTIS Web sites.

The World Factbook 2003 is available for download in Zip file format for both high-bandwidth users and low-bandwidth users via the “Download This Publication” link on the Factbook home page or directly from

Historical Document
Posted: Apr 12, 2007 07:58 AM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 03:23 PM