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CIA World Factbook 2006 Now Available

April 5, 2006

The World Factbook 2006 is now available on the Central Intelligence Agency Web site ( The World Factbook remains the CIA's most widely disseminated and most popular product, now averaging almost 6 million visits each month. 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 site is updated biweekly throughout the year to provide wide-ranging and 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 the 139 subcategories for most entities include geographic coordinates, current account balances, number of mobile cellular telephones, heliports, legal systems, refugees, literacy, HIV/AIDS-deaths, and much more. Included among the 271 geographic entries is one for the "World," which incorporates data and other information summarized where possible from the other 270 country listings.

The World Factbook 2006 contains six appendices with reference information ranging from abbreviations and descriptions of international organizations and groups to cross-referenced lists of country data codes. The 2006 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.

In addition to the regular information updates, The World Factbook 2006 features several new or revised fields. In the Economy category, the Factbook is now reporting national GDP figures in US dollars converted at official exchange rates (OER) in addition to GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) rates, since both measures contain information useful to readers. Traditionally, only PPP-converted GDP values were reported. In the Transportation category, the former “Highways” entry is now “Roadways,” while “Ports and harbors” has been retitled “Ports and terminals.”

"Rank Order" pages are also available for the online user, enabling visitors to select and view data from among 47 data fields in the geography, people, economy, communications, transportation, and military categories. Some of the topics that can now be ranked include natural gas production, proved reserves of oil, exports, imports, and Internet hosts. Most of the information is rank-ordered from highest to lowest for all countries where data are available. Individual pages can be readily viewed, and instructions are provided for downloading and saving the information into a database or spreadsheet.

The World Factbook 2006 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

Printed copies of The World Factbook 2006 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.

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Posted: May 02, 2007 06:48 PM
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2008 03:46 PM