Kuwait

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Kuwait acquired independence from the United Kingdom in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq in August 1990 but liberated by a US-led UN coalition in February 1991. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since 1991 and reestablished an elected legislature that has become increasingly assertive.

Geography

Area

total: 17,818 sq km

land: 17,818 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Climate

dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas

People and Society

Population

3,068,155 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Kuwaiti 30.4%, other Arab 27.4%, Asian 40.3%, African 1%, other 0.9% (includes European, North American, South American, and Australian) (2018 est.)

Languages

Arabic (official), English widely spoken

Religions

Muslim (official) 74.6%, Christian 18.2%, other and unspecified 7.2% (2013 est.)

Population growth rate

1.17% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

constitutional monarchy (emirate)

Capital

name: Kuwait City

Executive branch

chief of state: Amir NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 30 September 2020); Crown Prince MISHAL Al Ahmad Al Sabah, born in 1940, is the brother of Amir NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah

head of government: Prime Minister SABAH KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 19 November 2019); First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Ahmed al-Nawaf Al Sabah (since 22 March 2022), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Talal al-Khaled Al Sabah (since 9 March 2022), and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Dr. Mohammed al-Faris (since 22 March 2022)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (65 seats; 50 members directly elected from 5 multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 15 ex-officio members (cabinet ministers) appointed by the amir; members serve 4-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

small, high-income, oil-based Middle East economy; renewable energy proponent; regional finance and investment leader; maintains oldest sovereign wealth fund; emerging space and tourism industries; mid-way through 25-year development program

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$209.74 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$49,900 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

eggs, dates, tomatoes, cucumbers, poultry, milk, mutton, potatoes, vegetables, eggplants

Industries

petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials

Exports

$72.83 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

China 20%, South Korea 16%, India 15%, Japan 10%, Taiwan 6%, Vietnam 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, aircraft, natural gas, industrial hydrocarbon products (2019)

Imports

$59.65 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

China 14%, United Arab Emirates 12%, United States 10%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Japan 6%, Germany 5%, India 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, broadcasting equipment, natural gas, packaged medicines, jewelry (2019)


Page last updated: Thursday, May 12, 2022