Photos of Lebanon



As a result of its location at the crossroads of three continents, the area that is modern-day Lebanon is rich in cultural and religious diversity. This region was subject to various foreign conquests for much of its history, including by the Romans, Arabs, and Ottomans. Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. From it the French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920, and it gained independence in 1943. Since then, Lebanon has experienced periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its historical position as a regional center for finance and trade, although that status has significantly diminished since the beginning of Lebanon’s economic crisis in 2019, which includes simultaneous currency, debt, and banking crises. The country's 1975-90 civil war, which resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability. Sectarianism is a key element of Lebanese political life. Neighboring Syria has historically influenced Lebanon's foreign and domestic policies, and its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005. Hizballah - a major Lebanese political party, militia, and US-designated foreign terrorist organization - and Israel continued attacks and counterattacks against each other after Syria's withdrawal and fought a brief war in 2006. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.

Since 2019, Lebanon has experienced a severe economic crisis that has crippled its economy, shut down its previously lucrative banking sector, reduced the value of its currency, and caused many Lebanese to emigrate in search of better prospects.

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



Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria

Geographic coordinates

33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references

Middle East


total: 10,400 sq km

land: 10,230 sq km

water: 170 sq km

comparison ranking: total 168

Area - comparative

about one-third the size of Maryland

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 484 km

border countries (2): Israel 81 km; Syria 403 km


225 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm


Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows


narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains


highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 1,250 m

Natural resources

limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land

Land use

agricultural land: 63.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 12.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 39.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 13.4% (2018 est.)

other: 23.3% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,040 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density

Natural hazards

earthquakes; dust storms, sandstorms

Geography - note

smallest country in continental Asia; Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity

People and Society


5,331,203 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 122


noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Lebanese

Ethnic groups

Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendants of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians


Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian

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

The World Factbook, une source indispensable d'informations de base. (French)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Arabic audio sample:
French audio sample:


Muslim 67.8% (31.9% Sunni, 31.2% Shia, smaller percentages of Alawites and Ismailis), Christian 32.4% (Maronite Catholics are the largest Christian group), Druze 4.5%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, and Hindus (2020 est.)

note: data represent the religious affiliation of the citizen population (data do not include Lebanon's sizable Syrian and Palestinian refugee populations); 18 religious sects recognized

MENA religious affiliation

Age structure

0-14 years: 19.21% (male 524,172/female 500,185)

15-64 years: 71.69% (male 1,929,150/female 1,892,806)

65 years and over: 9.1% (2023 est.) (male 208,436/female 276,454)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 59.3

youth dependency ratio: 44

elderly dependency ratio: 15.3

potential support ratio: 6.5 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 33.7 years

male: 33.1 years

female: 34.4 years (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 95

Population growth rate

0.64% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 133

Birth rate

12.86 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 138

Death rate

5.57 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 179

Net migration rate

-0.94 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 142

Population distribution

the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density


urban population: 89.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: -1.23% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

2.421 million BEIRUT (capital) (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

21 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 123

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.88 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.42 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total 159

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79 years

male: 77.6 years

female: 80.46 years (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: total population 68

Total fertility rate

1.71 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 164

Gross reproduction rate

0.83 (2023 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

2.21 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

2.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

32% (2016)

comparison ranking: 18

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 1.14 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.38 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.21 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.53 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.02 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 150

Tobacco use

total: 38.2% (2020 est.)

male: 47.5% (2020 est.)

female: 28.9% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 8

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 1.4%

women married by age 18: 6% (2016 est.)

Education expenditures

1.7% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 190


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 95.1%

male: 96.9%

female: 93.3% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 12 years

female: 11 years (2014)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 29.6%

male: 30.8%

female: 26.7% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 42


Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil deterioration, erosion; desertification; species loss; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills; waste-water management

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation


Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows

Land use

agricultural land: 63.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 11.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 12.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 39.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 13.4% (2018 est.)

other: 23.3% (2018 est.)


urban population: 89.4% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: -1.23% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to the ongoing financial and economic crisis - in September 2021, the United Nations estimated that, taking into account multiple factors other than income, such as access to health, education and public utilities, 82% of the population lives in multidimensional poverty in 2021, up from 42% in 2019 (2022)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 185

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 130

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 30.67 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 24.8 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 3.37 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2.04 million tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 163,200 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2014 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 240 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 900 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 700 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

4.5 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Lebanese Republic

conventional short form: Lebanon

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah

local short form: Lubnan

former: Greater Lebanon

etymology: derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Beirut

geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E

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

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: derived from the Canaanite or Phoenician word "ber'ot," meaning "the wells" or "fountain," which referred to the site's accessible water table

Administrative divisions

8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa (Bekaa), Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord (North Lebanon), Liban-Sud (South Lebanon), Mont-Liban (Mount Lebanon), Nabatiye


22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

National holiday

Independence Day, 22 November (1943)


history: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the National Assembly or proposed by at least 10 members of the Assembly and agreed upon by two thirds of its members; if proposed by the National Assembly, review and approval by two-thirds majority of the Cabinet is required; if approved, the proposal is next submitted to the Cabinet for drafting as an amendment; Cabinet approval requires at least two-thirds majority, followed by submission to the National Assembly for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 2004

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil law based on the French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status, marriage, divorce, and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities

International law organization participation

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


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: unknown


21 years of age; authorized for all men and women regardless of religion; excludes persons convicted of felonies and other crimes or those imprisoned; excludes all military and security service personnel regardless of rank

Executive branch

chief of state: president (vacant)

head of government: Caretaker Prime Minister Najib MIQATI (since 20 September 2021)

cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and Parliament

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Parliament with two-thirds majority vote in the first round and if needed absolute majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); last held on 31 October 2016 (presidential election ongoing as of mid-May 2023); prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with Parliament; deputy prime minister determined during cabinet formation

election results:
2023: on 14 June 2023, Parliament failed in its twelfth session attempt to elect a president

Michel AWN elected president in second round; Parliament vote - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; note - in the initial election held on 23 April 2014, no candidate received the required two-thirds vote, and subsequent attempts failed because Parliament lacked the necessary quorum of 86 members to hold a vote; the president was finally elected in its 46th attempt on 31 October 2016

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Lebanese Parliament or Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic, Chambre des députés in French (128 seats; members directly elected in multi-member constituencies by open list proportional representation vote, apportioned evenly between Christian and Muslims; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 15 May 2022 (next to be held in May 2026)

election results: percent of vote by coalition/party – NA; seats by party/coalition – FPM 16, LF 14, Amal Movement 13, Hezbollah 13, PSP 9, FM (candidates did not run in 2022; members ran as independents) 8, Kata’ib Party 4, other 30, independent 21; composition - men 120, women 8, percent of women 6.3%; note -a dozen of the elected deputies are from groups pushing for reform with origins in the recent protest movements against the established elite and have formed a group called the "Forces of Change"

note: Lebanon’s constitution states the Lebanese Parliament cannot conduct regular business until it elects a president when the position is vacant

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (organized into 8 chambers, each with a presiding judge and 2 associate judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 10 members)

judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body headed by the chief justice, and includes other judicial officials; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the Council of Ministers and 5 by parliament; members serve 5-year terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized tribunals, religious courts; military courts

Political parties and leaders

Al-Ahbash or Association of Islamic Charitable Projects or AICP [Shaykh Hussam QARAQIRA]
Amal Movement ("Hope Movement") [Nabih BERRI]
Azm Movement [Najib MIQATI]
Ba’th Arab Socialist Party of Lebanon [leader disputed]
Free Patriotic Movement or FPM [Gibran BASSIL]
Future Movement Bloc or FM [Sa'ad al-HARIRI] (resigned from politics in January 2022)
Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH]
Islamic Action Front or IAF [Sheikh Zuhayr al-JU’AYD]
Kata'ib Party [Sami GEMAYEL]
Lebanese Democratic Party [Talal ARSLAN]
Lebanese Forces or LF [Samir JA'JA]
Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH]
Progressive Socialist Party or PSP [Taymour JUMBLATT] (JUMBLATT is also a member of Parliament)
Social Democrat Hunshaqian Party [Sabuh KALPAKIAN]
Syrian Social Nationalist Party or SSNP [Rabi BANAT]
Tashnaq or Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Hagop PAKRADOUNIAN]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Wael HACHEM, Counselor (since 15 March 2021)

chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300

FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Dorothy C. SHEA (since 11 March 2020)

embassy: Awkar-Facing the Municipality, Main Street, Beirut

mailing address: 6070 Beirut Place, Washington DC  20521-6070

telephone: [961] (04) 543-600

FAX: [961] (4) 544-019

email address and website:

Flag description

three horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band; the red bands symbolize blood shed for liberation, the white band denotes peace, the snow of the mountains, and purity; the green cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and represents eternity, steadiness, happiness, and prosperity

National symbol(s)

cedar tree; national colors: red, white, green

National anthem

name: "Kulluna lil-watan" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)

lyrics/music: Rachid NAKHLE/Wadih SABRA

note: adopted 1927; chosen following a nationwide competition

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 5 (all cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Anjar; Baalbek; Byblos; Tyre; Ouadi Qadisha (the Holy Valley) and the Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)


Economic overview

upper middle-income Middle Eastern economy; economic activity hurt by economic depression, COVID-19, and port explosion; hyperinflation and sharp poverty increases; banks have ceased lending; new financing facility helping with recovery

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$72.577 billion (2021 est.)
$78.041 billion (2020 est.)
$99.288 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 101

Real GDP growth rate

-7% (2021 est.)
-21.4% (2020 est.)
-7.16% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 216

Real GDP per capita

$13,000 (2021 est.)
$13,800 (2020 est.)
$17,200 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 126

GDP (official exchange rate)

$53.253 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

154.76% (2021 est.)
84.86% (2020 est.)
3.01% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 3

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: RD (2020)

Moody's rating: C (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: D (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 3.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 13.1% (2017 est.)

services: 83% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: agriculture 140; industry 192; services 24

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 87.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 13.3% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.8% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 23.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -46.4% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

potatoes, milk, tomatoes, apples, oranges, olives, wheat, cucumbers, poultry, lemons


banking, tourism, real estate and construction, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating

Industrial production growth rate

-6.85% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: 193

Labor force

1.719 million (2021 est.)

note: excludes as many as 1 million foreign workers and refugees

comparison ranking: 130

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 39% (2009 est.) NA

industry: NA

services: NA

Unemployment rate

14.49% (2021 est.)
13.3% (2020 est.)
11.35% (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 38

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 29.6%

male: 30.8%

female: 26.7% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 42

Average household expenditures

on food: 20.7% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.2% of household expenditures (2018 est.)


revenues: $11.061 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $16.574 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-6.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 193

Public debt

146.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
145.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover central government debt and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment

comparison ranking: 6

Taxes and other revenues

8.9% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 201

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$2.985 billion (2021 est.)
-$2.995 billion (2020 est.)
-$11.265 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 171


$10.147 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$8.773 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$18.208 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 104

Exports - partners

Switzerland 27%, United Arab Emirates 15%, South Korea 11%, Saudi Arabia 7%, Kuwait 6% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, diamonds, scrap iron, wood furniture, grapes, jewelry, cars (2021)


$17.383 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$15.206 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$31.147 billion (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 93

Imports - partners

United Arab Emirates 11%, China 10%, Italy 8%, Greece 8%, Turkey 7%, United States 6% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, packaged medicines, jewelry, gold (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$35.239 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$42.44 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$52.213 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 56

Debt - external

$33.077 billion (2019 est.)
$33.655 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 80

Exchange rates

Lebanese pounds (LBP) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
1,507.5 (2021 est.)
1,507.5 (2020 est.)
1,507.5 (2019 est.)
1,507.5 (2018 est.)
1,507.5 (2017 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 3.768 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 18,715,620,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 900 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 2.219 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: installed generating capacity 99; consumption 73; exports 200; imports 75; transmission/distribution losses 85

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 94.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.2% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)


production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 268,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 268,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 168,500 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 214

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 174

Refined petroleum products - imports

151,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 41

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

25.838 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 563,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 25.275 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 78

Energy consumption per capita

53.528 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 97


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 880,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 73

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4.3 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 77 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 129

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Lebanon’s economic crisis has had a dire effect on the country’s telecom services; although some progress has been made with developing 5G, the poor economic conditions have contributed to an erratic electricity supply and a lack of fuel to maintain generators; this has meant that internet services to areas of the country are not available on a regular basis, frustrating all those who depend on stable connectivity, and stalling business growth; adding to the difficulties is the political crisis; the cabinet went into caretaker status after the National Assembly election in May 2022 meaning it can only engage in routine decision making; there is little confidence on the ground that sectarian-based political horse-trading will give way to responsible governing to improve the lot of the stressed populace (2023)

domestic: fixed-line is 16 per 100 and 77 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2021)

international: country code - 961; landing points for the IMEWE, BERYTAR AND CADMOS submarine cable links to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2019)

Broadcast media

7 TV stations, 1 of which is state owned; more than 30 radio stations, 1 of which is state owned; satellite and cable TV services available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible through partner stations (2019)

Internet users

total: 4.872 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 87% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 95

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 432,070 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 94


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,981,937 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 56.57 million (2018) mt-km


8 (2021)

comparison ranking: total 160

Airports - with paved runways


note: paved runways have a concrete or asphalt surface but not all have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control; the length of a runway required for aircraft to safely operate depends on a number of factors including the type of aircraft, the takeoff weight (including passengers, cargo, and fuel), engine types, flap settings, landing speed, elevation of the airport, and average maximum daily air temperature; paved runways can reach a length of 5,000 m (16,000 ft.), but the “typical” length of a commercial airline runway is between 2,500-4,000 m (8,000-13,000 ft.)

Airports - with unpaved runways


note: unpaved runways have a surface composition such as grass or packed earth and are most suited to the operation of light aircraft; unpaved runways are usually short, often less than 1,000 m (3,280 ft.) in length; airports with unpaved runways often lack facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control


1 (2021)


88 km gas (2013)


total: 401 km (2017)

standard gauge: 319 km (2017) 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 82 km (2017) 1.050-m gauge

note: rail system is still unusable due to damage sustained from fighting in the 1980s and in 2006

comparison ranking: total 121


total: 21,705 km (2017)

comparison ranking: total 110

Merchant marine

total: 49

by type: bulk carrier 2, general cargo 32, oil tanker 1, other 14 (2022)

comparison ranking: total 119

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Beirut, Tripoli

container port(s) (TEUs): Beirut (1,229,100) (2019)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF): Army Command (includes Presidential Guard Brigade, Land Border Regiments), Naval Forces, Air Forces

Ministry of Interior: Internal Security Forces Directorate (law enforcement; includes Mobile Gendarmerie), Directorate for General Security (DGS; border control, some domestic security duties); Parliamentary Police Force (2023)

note 1: the commander of the LAF is also the head of the Army; the LAF patrols external borders, while official border checkpoints are under the authority of Directorate for General Security

note 2: the Parliamentary Police Force reports to the speaker of parliament and has responsibility for protecting parliament premises and the speaker’s residence; both the Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces provide units to the Parliamentary Police Force

Military expenditures

3.2% of GDP (2021 est.)
3% of GDP (2020 est.)
4.7% of GDP (2019 est.)
5.1% of GDP (2018 est.)
4.6% of GDP (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 17

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 75,000 active troops (72,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 1,500 Air Force) (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the LAF inventory includes a wide mix of mostly older equipment from a diverse array of countries; in recent years, the US has been the leading supplier of armaments (mostly second-hand) to Lebanon (2023)

Military service age and obligation

17-25 years of age for men and women for voluntary military service; no conscription (2023)

note: women were allowed to volunteer for military service in the 1980s; as of 2023, they comprised about 5% of the active duty military

Military - note

the LAF’s primary responsibilities are defense against external attack, border security, protecting the country’s territorial waters, and assisting with internal security and development projects; on Lebanon’s eastern and northern borders with Syria, the LAF has conducted operations to prevent or eliminate infiltrations of militants linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) and al-Qa’ida terrorist groups since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011; in the south, its focus is on maintaining stability along its volatile border with Israel where the LAF and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are separated by the Blue Line, a demarcation line established by the UN in 2000 following the withdrawal of the IDF, which had occupied southern Lebanon since invading in 1982; since the line’s establishment, the LAF and IDF have had periodic clashes, and IDF aircraft have routinely entered Lebanese air space; the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hizballah is based in south Lebanon and acts as a militia alongside the LAF; it has launched periodic cross-border attacks on Israel and threatened additional attacks, while the IDF has conducted air strikes on Hizballah positions and in 2006 launched a ground invasion into southern Lebanon to suppress the group; in 2022, Israeli and Lebanese officials agreed on a common demarcation of their maritime border after US mediation

the LAF’s domestic security responsibilities include countering narcotics trafficking and smuggling, managing protests, conducting search and rescue, and intervening to prevent violence between rival political factions; in recent years, the military has faced a financial crisis as government debt and national economic difficulties have undercut its ability to train and fully pay and supply personnel, which has sparked domestic and international fears that the armed forces may disintegrate; the UN, as well as countries such as France and the US have provided financial assistance 

the Army has about 12 infantry brigades (including a presidential guard brigade) that are supplemented by independent armored, artillery, border security, and “intervention” infantry regiments, as well as a special operations force comprised of airborne, marine commando, and ranger regiments that are regarded as the LAF’s elite units; the Air Force has a small inventory of aging combat aircraft and helicopters, while the Navy operates a mix of patrol craft and patrol boats

the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) has operated in the country since 1978, originally under UNSCRs 425 and 426 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security, and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area; following the July-August 2006 war, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1701 enhancing UNIFIL and deciding that in addition to the original mandate, it would, among other things, monitor the cessation of hostilities, support the Lebanese Armed Forces as they deployed throughout the south of Lebanon, and provide assistance for humanitarian access for civilians and the return of displaced persons; UNIFIL had approximately 9,500 military personnel deployed in the country as of early 2023; UNIFIL includes a maritime task force (2023)


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Abdallah Azzam Brigades; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade; Asbat al-Ansar; HAMAS; Hizballah; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS); al-Nusrah Front (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham); Palestine Liberation Front; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP); PFLP-General Command

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

Lebanon-Syria: lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; in March 2021, Syria signed a contract with a Russian company for oil and gas exploration in a maritime area Lebanon claims as its own based on a 2011 map sent to the UN

Lebanon-Israel: Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms area in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights; Lebanon and Israel resumed negotiations over their maritime border in 2020, but their efforts were derailed when Lebanon argued that the map the UN was using needed modifications


Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 479,537 (Palestinian refugees) (2020); 805,326 (Syria) (2023)

IDPs: 7,000 (2020)

stateless persons: undetermined (2016); note - tens of thousands of persons are stateless in Lebanon, including many Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Syrian Kurds denaturalized in Syria in 1962, children born to Lebanese women married to foreign or stateless men; most babies born to Syrian refugees, and Lebanese children whose births are unregistered

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Lebanon does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials modestly increased investigations and continued to allow an NGO to screen migrants in the government detention center for trafficking; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared with the previous reporting period, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; a caretaker government, judicial sector strike, and widespread civil service work stoppages limited Lebanon’s ability to establish effective anti-trafficking policies and impacted anti-trafficking efforts; efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims remained woefully inadequate; officials relied on NGOs and civil society to provide shelter and services to victims and did not report providing financial or in-kind support to those organizations; the parliament did not approve a labor law amendment, pending since 2009, to extend legal protections to foreign workers, nor did it approve a draft standardized contract for migrant workers; the lack of formal victim identification and referral procedures placed victims at risk of arrest, detention, or deportation for committing unlawful acts while being trafficked; the government did not reform its visa sponsorship system despite extreme trafficking vulnerabilities inherent in the system; officials rarely convicted traffickers for exploiting domestic servants, the prevalent form of trafficking in Lebanon; therefore, Lebanon was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Lebanon, as well as Lebanese abroad; women and girls from South and Southeast Asia, and increasingly East and West Africa, are subjected to domestic servitude in Lebanon; recruitment agencies continued to aggressively recruit foreign national domestic workers—sometimes through fraudulent or false job offers—particularly from Nigeria and the Philippines; most employers withhold domestic workers’ passports, and some withhold wages, force excessive work hours, restrict freedom of movement, and physically or sexually abuse them; NGOs and international organizations reported increased exploitation of Lebanese adults by Lebanese nationals, particularly in industries such as custodial services; women, primarily from Belarus, Moldova, Morocco, Russia, and Ukraine, enter Lebanon legally under the artiste visa program—which restricts the women from leaving the hotel where they live—and face physical and sexual abuse and domestic servitude; adults and children among the estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon are at high risk of sex and labor trafficking, sometimes at the hands of Syrian traffickers; refugee adults and children are held in bonded labor to pay for food, shelter, and transit and are sometimes contracted as groups to work in agriculture in the Beka’a Valley; forced child labor within the Syrian refugee population continued to rise, particularly in agriculture, construction, and street vending and begging; some of the children are forced or coerced to conduct criminal activity; Syrian refugee LGBTQI+ persons, women, girls, and some men are highly vulnerable to sex trafficking; some of the refugee women and girls are forced by family members into commercial sex acts or early marriage, and they are highly vulnerable to trafficking; Syrian and Lebanese nationals fleeing the economic crisis are vulnerable to sex trafficking in Turkey; non-state armed groups, including Hizballah, Fatah al-Islam, Jund Ansar Allah, Saraya al-Muqawama, and ISIS, recruited or used child soldiers in recent years; refugee children, particularly in Palestinian refugee camps, were especially vulnerable to recruitment or use as child soldiers  (2023)

Illicit drugs

source country for amphetamine tablets destined for Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Libya and Sudan; source for captagon