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CIA World Factbook 2004 Now Available

June 16, 2004

The World Factbook 2004 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 4.5 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 2004, 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 mobile cellular 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 2004 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 2004 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. Regular updates are planned for the coming year.

Three entries have been added to The World Factbook 2004. In the Communications category, an Internet hosts entry replaces Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In the Transportation category under Merchant Marine, subfields have been added for foreign-owned vessels and those registered in other countries. Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001 edition, is continued in this update.

"Rank Order" pages have been added for natural gas production, consumption, exports, imports and Internet hosts. The "Rank Order" pages enable Web site visitors to select and view data from among 39 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 2004 will be available for purchase in July 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 2004 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 07:59 AM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 03:32 PM