Tripoli Harbor is a study in contrasts, with significant industrial shipping taking place adjacent to a broad recreational riverwalk, popular with Tripoli residents of all ages.
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Berbers have inhabited central north Africa since ancient times, but the region has been settled and ruled by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Vandals. In the the 7th century, Islam spread through the region; in the mid-16th century, Ottoman rule began. The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when they were defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-QADHAFI assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, which was a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, QADHAFI used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners - one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa - and a discotheque bombing in Berlin. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. QADHAFI also agreed to end Libya's program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations.

Unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. QADHAFI's brutal crackdown on protesters spawned an eight-month civil war that saw UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community, the toppling of the QADHAFI regime, and the setting up of a National Transitional Council (NTC). In 2012, the NTC handed power to an elected parliament, the General National Congress (GNC). Voters chose a new parliament to replace the GNC in June 2014 - the House of Representatives (HoR), which relocated to the eastern city of Tobruk after fighting broke out in Tripoli and Benghazi in July 2014.

In December 2015, the UN brokered an agreement among a broad array of Libyan political parties and social groups - known as the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). Members of the Libyan Political Dialogue signed the LPA in December 2015. In January 2016, The HoR and defunct-GNC-affiliated political hardliners continued to oppose the GNA and hamper the LPA’s implementation. In September 2017, UN Special Representative Ghassan SALAME announced a new roadmap for national political reconciliation. In November 2018, the international partners supported SALAME’s recalibrated Action Plan for Libya that aimed to break the political deadlock by holding a National Conference, subsequently held in early 2019, but attendees failed to reach an agreement. Despite continued clashes since then, the warring parties agreed to a UN-administered ceasefire in October 2020. In early 2021, the UN-led Libyan Political Dialogue Forum selected an interim president and prime minister of its executive council. The council was charged with preparing for December 2021 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria

Geographic coordinates

25 00 N, 17 00 E


total: 1,759,540 sq km

land: 1,759,540 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 18

Area - comparative

about 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly larger than Alaska

<p>about 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly larger than Alaska</p>

Land boundaries

total: 4,339 km

border countries (6): Algeria 989 km, Chad 1050 km, Egypt 1115 km, Niger 342 km, Sudan 382 km, Tunisia 461 km


1,770 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 62 nm

note: Gulf of Sidra closing line - 32 degrees, 30 minutes north


Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior


mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions


highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m

mean elevation: 423 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Land use

agricultural land: 8.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 7.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.1% (2018 est.)

other: 91.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

4,700 sq km (2012)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Nubian Aquifer System, North Western Sahara Aquifer System, Murzuk-Djado Basin

Population distribution

well over 90% of the population lives along the Mediterranean coast in and between Tripoli to the west and Al Bayda to the east; the interior remains vastly underpopulated due to the Sahara and lack of surface water as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms

Geography - note

note 1: more than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert

note 2: the volcano Waw an Namus lies in south central Libya in the middle of the Sahara; the caldera is an oasis - the name means "oasis of mosquitoes" - containing several small lakes surrounded by vegetation and hosting various insects and a large diversity of birds

People and Society


7,017,224 (July 2021 est.)

note: immigrants make up just over 12% of the total population, according to UN data (2019)

country comparison to the world: 105


noun: Libyan(s)

adjective: Libyan

Ethnic groups

Berber and Arab 97%, other 3% (includes Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Italian, Maltese, Pakistani, Tunisian, and Turkish)


Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq)

major-language sample(s):
كتاب حقائق العالم، المصدر الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه للمعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Arabic audio sample:


Muslim (official; virtually all Sunni) 96.6%, Christian 2.7%, Buddhist <1%, Hindu <1%, Jewish <1%, folk religion <1%, other  <1%, unafilliated <1% (2020 est.)

note: non-Sunni Muslims include native Ibadhi Muslims (<1% of the population) and foreign Muslims

Demographic profile

Despite continuing unrest, Libya remains a destination country for economic migrants. It is also a hub for transit migration to Europe because of its proximity to southern Europe and its lax border controls. Labor migrants have been drawn to Libya since the development of its oil sector in the 1960s. Until the latter part of the 1990s, most migrants to Libya were Arab (primarily Egyptians and Sudanese). However, international isolation stemming from Libya’s involvement in international terrorism and a perceived lack of support from Arab countries led QADHAFI in 1998 to adopt a decade-long pan-African policy that enabled large numbers of Sub-Saharan migrants to enter Libya without visas to work in the construction and agricultural industries. Although Sub-Saharan Africans provided a cheap labor source, they were poorly treated and were subjected to periodic mass expulsions.

By the mid-2000s, domestic animosity toward African migrants and a desire to reintegrate into the international community motivated QADHAFI to impose entry visas on Arab and African immigrants and to agree to joint maritime patrols and migrant repatriations with Italy, the main recipient of illegal migrants departing Libya. As his regime neared collapse in 2011, QADHAFI reversed his policy of cooperating with Italy to curb illegal migration and sent boats loaded with migrants and asylum seekers to strain European resources. Libya’s 2011 revolution decreased immigration drastically and prompted nearly 800,000 migrants to flee to third countries, mainly Tunisia and Egypt, or to their countries of origin. The inflow of migrants declined in 2012 but returned to normal levels by 2013, despite continued hostility toward Sub-Saharan Africans and a less-inviting job market.

While Libya is not an appealing destination for migrants, since 2014, transiting migrants – primarily from East and West Africa – continue to exploit its political instability and weak border controls and use it as a primary departure area to migrate across the central Mediterranean to Europe in growing numbers. In addition, more than 200,000 people were displaced internally as of August 2017 by fighting between armed groups in eastern and western Libya and, to a lesser extent, by inter-tribal clashes in the country’s south.

Age structure

0-14 years: 33.65% (male 1,184,755/female 1,134,084)

15-24 years: 15.21% (male 534,245/female 513,728)

25-54 years: 41.57% (male 1,491,461/female 1,373,086)

55-64 years: 5.52% (male 186,913/female 193,560)

65 years and over: 4.04% (male 129,177/female 149,526) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Libya. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 47.7

youth dependency ratio: 41

elderly dependency ratio: 6.7

potential support ratio: 15 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 25.8 years

male: 25.9 years

female: 25.7 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 156

Birth rate

22.23 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

Death rate

3.46 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 219

Net migration rate

-1.15 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 146

Population distribution

well over 90% of the population lives along the Mediterranean coast in and between Tripoli to the west and Al Bayda to the east; the interior remains vastly underpopulated due to the Sahara and lack of surface water as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 81% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.170 million TRIPOLI (capital), 919,000 Misratah, 836,000 Benghazi (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

72 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 81

Infant mortality rate

total: 11.48 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 12.97 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 9.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 127

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 76.93 years

male: 74.68 years

female: 79.29 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 93

Drinking water source

improved: total: 98.5% of population

unimproved: total: 1.5% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

2.09 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density

3.2 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: total: 100% of population

unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 91%

male: 96.7%

female: 85.6% (2015)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 48.7%

male: 40.8%

female: 67.8% (2012 est.)


Environment - current issues

desertification; limited natural freshwater resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, brings water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities; water pollution is a significant problem; the combined impact of sewage, oil byproducts, and industrial waste threatens Libya's coast and the Mediterranean Sea

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 44.17 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 50.56 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 45.76 megatons (2020 est.)


Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior

Land use

agricultural land: 8.8% (2018 est.)

arable land: 1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.2% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 7.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.1% (2018 est.)

other: 91.1% (2018 est.)


urban population: 81% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.45% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 129

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity: due to civil insecurity, economic and political instability, and high food prices - an estimated 1.3 million people (23% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance of which 700,000 require food assistance; half of the people in need of humanitarian assistance are internally displaced or migrants that are residing in, or transiting through, the country (2021)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2,147,596 tons (2011 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Nubian Aquifer System, North Western Sahara Aquifer System, Murzuk-Djado Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 700 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 280 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 4.85 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

700 million cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: State of Libya

conventional short form: Libya

local long form: Dawiat Libiya

local short form: Libiya

etymology: name derives from the Libu, an ancient Libyan tribe first mentioned in texts from the 13th century B.C.

Government type

in transition


name: Tripoli (Tarabulus)

geographic coordinates: 32 53 N, 13 10 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: originally founded by the Phoenicians as Oea in the 7th century B.C., the city changed rulers many times over the successive centuries; by the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. the region around the city was referred to as Regio Tripolitana by the Romans, meaning "region of the three cities" - namely Oea (i.e., modern Tripoli), Sabratha (to the west), and Leptis Magna (to the east); over time, the shortened name of "Tripoli" came to refer to just Oea, which derives from the Greek words "tria" and "polis" meaning "three cities"

Administrative divisions

22 governorates (muhafazah, singular - muhafazat); Al Butnan, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jabal al Gharbi, Al Jafarah, Al Jufrah, Al Kufrah, Al Marj, Al Marqab, Al Wahat, An Nuqat al Khams, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi (Benghazi), Darnah, Ghat, Misratah, Murzuq, Nalut, Sabha, Surt, Tarabulus (Tripoli), Wadi al Hayat, Wadi ash Shati


24 December 1951 (from UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Liberation Day, 23 October (2011)


history: previous 1951, 1977; in July 2017, the Constitutional Assembly completed and approved a draft of a new permanent constitution; in September 2018, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional referendum law in a session with contested reports of the quorum needed to pass the vote, and submitted it to the High National Elections Commission in December to begin preparations for a constitutional referendum

Legal system

Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICC


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Libya

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: varies from 3 to 5 years


18 years of age, universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Chairman, Presidential Council, Mohammed Al MENFI (since 5 February 2021)

head of government: Prime Minister Abdul Hamid DBEIBEH (since 5 February 2021)

cabinet: GNA Presidency Council (pending approval by the House of Representatives - as of December 2018)


election originally scheduled for 24 December 2021, but will likely be postponed by the election commission until a list of candidates is resolved

election results: on 5 February 2021, a UN-led forum elected - in a runoff - Mohammed Al MENFI  chairman, Presidential Council and Abdul Hamid DBEIBEH, prime minister

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Representatives (Majlis Al Nuwab) or HoR (200 seats including 32 reserved for women; 188 seats filled as of December 2021; members directly elected by majority vote; member term NA); note - the HoR elected on 25 June 2014 was dissolved on 4 August 2014 and since then has served as a temporary body until a permanent legislature is elected

elections: last held on 25 June 2014 ( next to be held on 24 January 2022)

election results: for election held on 25 June 2014 - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 158, women 30, percent of women 16%; note - only 188 of the 200 seats were filled in the June 2014 election because of boycotts and lack of security at some polling stations; some elected members of the HoR also boycotted the election

Judicial branch

highest courts: NA; note - government is in transition

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission:

Ambassador Wafa M.T. BUGHAIGHIS (since 29 November 2017)


1460 Dahlia Street NW, Washington, DC 20012

telephone: [1] (202) 944-9601

FAX: [1] (202) 944-9606

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Richard B. NORLAND (since 22 August 2019)

embassy: Sidi Slim Area/Walie Al-Ahed Road, Tripoli (temporarily closed)

mailing address: 8850 Tripoli Place, Washington, DC  20521-8850

telephone: [216] 71-107-000

email address and website:

note: the US Embassy in Tripoli closed in July 2014 due to fighting near the embassy related to Libyan civil unrest; embassy staff and operations temporarily first relocated to Valetta, Malta and currently are temporarily relocated to Tunis, Tunisia

Flag description

three horizontal bands of red (top), black (double width), and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black stripe; the National Transitional Council reintroduced this flag design of the former Kingdom of Libya (1951-1969) on 27 February 2011; it replaced the former all-green banner promulgated by the QADHAFI regime in 1977; the colors represent the three major regions of the country: red stands for Fezzan, black symbolizes Cyrenaica, and green denotes Tripolitania; the crescent and star represent Islam, the main religion of the country

National symbol(s)

star and crescent, hawk; national colors: red, black, green

National anthem

name: Libya, Libya, Libya

lyrics/music: Al Bashir AL AREBI/Mohamad Abdel WAHAB

note: also known as "Ya Beladi" or "Oh, My Country!"; adopted 1951; readopted 2011 with some modification to the lyrics; during the QADHAFI years between 1969 and 2011, the anthem was "Allahu Akbar," (God is Great) a marching song of the Egyptian Army in the 1956 Suez War


Economic overview

Libya's economy, almost entirely dependent on oil and gas exports, has struggled since 2014 given security and political instability, disruptions in oil production, and decline in global oil prices. The Libyan dinar has lost much of its value since 2014 and the resulting gap between official and black market exchange rates has spurred the growth of a shadow economy and contributed to inflation. The country suffers from widespread power outages, caused by shortages of fuel for power generation. Living conditions, including access to clean drinking water, medical services, and safe housing have all declined since 2011. Oil production in 2017 reached a five-year high, driving GDP growth, with daily average production rising to 879,000 barrels per day. However, oil production levels remain below the average pre-Revolution highs of 1.6 million barrels per day.

The Central Bank of Libya continued to pay government salaries to a majority of the Libyan workforce and to fund subsidies for fuel and food, resulting in an estimated budget deficit of about 17% of GDP in 2017. Low consumer confidence in the banking sector and the economy as a whole has driven a severe liquidity shortage.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$70.65 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$102.84 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$100.3 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 101

Real GDP growth rate

64% (2017 est.)

-7.4% (2016 est.)

-13% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 1

Real GDP per capita

$10,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$15,200 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$15,000 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2010 dollars

country comparison to the world: 140

GDP (official exchange rate)

$52.259 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 52.3% (2017 est.)

services: 46.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 71.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 19.4% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 2.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 1.3% (2016 est.)

exports of goods and services: 38.8% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -33.8% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

potatoes, watermelons, tomatoes, onions, dates, milk, olives, wheat, poultry, vegetables


petroleum, petrochemicals, aluminum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 17%

industry: 23%

services: 59% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line

note: about one-third of Libyans live at or below the national poverty line


revenues: 15.78 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 23.46 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

4.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

7.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 205

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$2.574 billion (2017 est.)

-$4.575 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36


$29.96 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

$11.99 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 71

Exports - partners

Italy 18%, China 16%, Germany 15%, Spain 15%, United Arab Emirates 6%, France 6%, United States 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, gold, refined petroleum, scrap iron (2019)


$18.85 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

$8.667 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 88

Imports - partners

China 16%, Turkey 14%, Italy 9%, United Arab Emirates 9%, Egypt 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, broadcasting equipment, cigarettes, jewelry (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$74.71 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$66.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

Debt - external

$3.02 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$3.116 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Exchange rates

Libyan dinars (LYD) per US dollar -

1.413 (2017 est.)

1.3904 (2016 est.)

1.3904 (2015 est.)

1.379 (2014 est.)

1.2724 (2013 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 48.7%

male: 40.8%

female: 67.8% (2012 est.)

country comparison to the world: 6


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2019)

Electricity - production

34.24 billion kWh (2016 est.)

note: persistent electricity shortages have contributed to the ongoing instability throughout the country

country comparison to the world: 61

Electricity - from fossil fuels

100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Crude oil - exports

337,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)

note: Libyan crude oil export values are highly volatile because of continuing protests and other disruptions across the country

country comparison to the world: 23


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 1.576 million (2018)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 23.95 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 62

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6.02 million (2018)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91.48 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 115

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: political and security instability in Libya has disrupted its telecom sector, as warring factions make mobile towers a target and construction workers regularly cut cables by mistake; much of its infrastructure remains superior to that in most other African countries; rival operators fight for control; investment in fiber backbone and upgrades to international cables; limited LTE and 5G service; some satellite broadband; Chinese companies have heavily invested in Libyan infrastructure and now dominate the telecommunications sector; in 2021 Libya signed deals and projects with US firms to upgrade portions of its infrastructure, increasing the diversity of its telecommunications networks (2021)

domestic: 24 per 100 fixed-line and 91 per 100 mobile-cellular subscriptions; service generally adequate (2019)

international: country code - 218; landing points for LFON, EIG, Italy-Libya, Silphium and Tobrok-Emasaed submarine cable system connecting Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, Arabsat, and Intersputnik;  microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

state-funded and private TV stations; some provinces operate local TV stations; pan-Arab satellite TV stations are available; state-funded radio (2019)

Internet users

total: 3.19 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 21.76% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 113

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 318,000 (2017 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 4.83 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 9 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 55

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 927,153 (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 68

over 3,047 m: 23

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 30

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 1 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 78

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 14

914 to 1,523 m: 37

under 914 m: 20 (2013)


2 (2013)


882 km condensate, 3743 km gas, 7005 km oil (2013)


total: 37,000 km (2010)

paved: 34,000 km (2010)

unpaved: 3,000 km (2010)

country comparison to the world: 92

Merchant marine

total: 94

by type: general cargo 2, oil tanker 12, other 80 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 94

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Marsa al Burayqah (Marsa el Brega), Tripoli

oil terminal(s): Az Zawiyah, Ra's Lanuf

LNG terminal(s) (export): Marsa el Brega

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Libya lacks a nationwide military and the interim government, the Government of National Unity (GNU), relies on its cooperation with disparate militias that it cannot entirely control for security; the GNU has access to various ground, air, and naval/coast guard forces comprised of a mix of semi-regular military units, militias, civilian volunteers, and foreign troops and mercenaries

the Libyan National Army (LNA), under de facto LNA commander Khalifa HAFTER, also includes various ground, air, and naval units comprised of semi-regular military personnel, militias, and foreign troops and mercenaries; as of late 2021, the LNA continued to operate independently from the GNU and exerted influence throughout eastern, central, and southern Libya (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

both the forces aligned with the GNU and the LNA are largely equipped with weapons of Russian or Soviet origin; as of 2021, Turkey was providing arms and equipment to the forces supporting the GNU, while Russia was the main supporter of the LNA (2021)

Military - note

in April 2019, Libyan National Army (LNA) forces launched an offensive to seize the capital, Tripoli, from the UN-recognized GNU (aka Government of National Accord or GNA); the GNU and its local supporting militia forces forced the LNA to withdraw by June 2020; at the signing of a UN-sponsored ceasefire in October 2020, GNU and LNA forces were separated by a line of control running roughly from the coastal city of Sirte south to the vicinity of Al Jufra and Brak; as of late 2021, this line had grown increasingly fortified; in April 2021, the UN Security Council endorsed plans to deploy civilian ceasefire monitoring personnel at the request of the Libyans

outside actors have played a large role in the fighting in Libya on both sides:

as of 2021, GNU forces were backed militarily by Qatar and Turkey; Turkey has been the chief supporter; it signed a security agreement with the GNU in 2019, and Turkey’s aid was assessed as vital in turning back the LNA offensive in 2019-2020;  Turkey’s support has included air defense, unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones), equipment, weapons, training, and military personnel, including advisors, technicians, and equipment operators; in addition, Turkey has provided as many as 5,000 mercenary fighters from Syria

as of 2021, LNA forces (aka Libyan Arab Armed Forces, LAAF) have received varying amounts of military support from Chad, Egypt, France, Jordan, Russia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Russia, Sudan, and the UAE have been the most active; Russia has provided equipment, weapons, aircraft, and air defense support, as well as an estimated 5,000 Russian mercenaries/private military contractors and Russian-sponsored Syrian mercenary fighters; Sudan reportedly provided at least 1,000 troops from its Rapid Support Forces in 2019-2020 and more than 1,000 Sudanese mercenaries were present in Libya as of late 2021; the UAE provided equipment, supplies, weapons, and air support, including air strikes from manned and unmanned aircraft; meanwhile, Egypt has provided arms, supplies, and training, as well as facilitated both Emirati and Russian operations in Libya by allowing them to use the country’s western bases and to transport arms over the border

as of late 2021, it was estimated that as many as 20,000 third-country nationals were involved in military operations in Libya, despite the confidence building measure of the October 2020 ceasefire that called for all foreign forces to leave the country by early 2021; in addition to the military and proxy forces provided by Russia, Sudan, and Turkey, foreign fighters from Libya’s neighbors (Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Mali, Niger, and Tunisia, as well as Sudan) have travelled to Libya since the civil war began in 2011 to support various armed groups, including those aligned with the GNU and the LNA, as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham and Al Qa’ida terrorist group affiliates operating in Libya; most of these fighters arrived as individuals, but rebel groups from Chad and Sudan were also reportedly involved in the fighting


Terrorist group(s)

Ansar al-Sharia groups; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham – Libya; al-Mulathamun Battalion (al-Mourabitoun); al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern Libya

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 17,733 (Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 14,194 (Syria) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2021)

IDPs: 199,949 (conflict between pro-QADHAFI and anti-QADHAFI forces in 2011; post-QADHAFI tribal clashes 2014) (2021)