Photos of Lebanon

A view of the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve on the western slopes of Mount Lebanon overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to the west.  Jabal Moussa, a site where history and nature exist side by side, became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2009. The biosphere hosts such historical treasures as rock carvings by the Emperor Hadrian dating back to the 2nd century A.D.; an Ottoman settlement with a water mill, farms, and an olive press; and a Byzantine Church that includes a mosaic. The area is home to as many as 727 flora species (26 are endemic to Lebanon), more than 137 migratory and soaring bird species, and rare and threatened mammals.

Introduction

Background

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 conquerors for much of its history, including 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. Lebanon subsequently experienced periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its position as a regional center for finance and trade.

The country's 1975-90 civil war, which resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability, and sectarianism remains a key element of Lebanese political life. The Israeli defense forces, which occupied parts of Lebanon during the civil war, did not completely withdraw until 2000. Neighboring Syria influenced Lebanon's foreign and domestic policies while its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005, but its influence diminished significantly after 2005. Over 1.5 million Syrian refugees fled to Lebanon after the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011. 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. After HAMAS attacked Israel on 7 October 2023, the intensity and frequency of these cross-border attacks increased substantially into a cycle of hostilities, mostly limited to the border areas as of January 2024. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.

Lebanon's prosperity has significantly diminished since the beginning of the country's economic crisis in 2019, which 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.

Geography

Location

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

Geographic coordinates

33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references

Middle East

Area

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

Coastline

225 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate

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

Terrain

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

Elevation

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

Population

total: 5,364,482

male: 2,678,543

female: 2,685,939 (2024 est.)

comparison rankings: female 122; male 122; total 122

Nationality

noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Lebanese

Ethnic groups

Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

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

Languages

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:

Religions

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: 18.9% (male 519,352/female 495,591)

15-64 years: 71.6% (male 1,939,311/female 1,900,574)

65 years and over: 9.5% (2024 est.) (male 219,880/female 289,774)

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: 36.3 years (2024 est.)

male: 35.6 years

female: 36.9 years

comparison ranking: total 90

Population growth rate

0.61% (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 137

Birth rate

12.6 births/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 139

Death rate

5.6 deaths/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 176

Net migration rate

-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 141

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

Urbanization

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: 0.76 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2024 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

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

comparison ranking: 123

Infant mortality rate

total: 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2024 est.)

male: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 6.2 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 159

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.2 years (2024 est.)

male: 77.8 years

female: 80.7 years

comparison ranking: total population 67

Total fertility rate

1.71 children born/woman (2024 est.)

comparison ranking: 159

Gross reproduction rate

0.83 (2024 est.)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Physician 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

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

3.4% (2021) NA

comparison ranking: 85

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

Literacy

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)

Environment

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

Climate

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.)

Urbanization

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: 24.23 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 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.)

Government

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 democratic republic

Capital

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

Independence

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

National holiday

Independence Day, 22 November (1943)

Constitution

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

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

Suffrage

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 a qualified majority of two-thirds of Parliament members in the first round and if needed a two-thirds quorum of members by simple majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); last held on 31 October 2016; prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with Parliament

election results:
2023: on 14 June 2023, Parliament failed in its twelfth attempt to elect a president; note - the Hezbollah bloc withdrew following the first round of voting and a second round was not possible since Parliament lacked the required 86-member quorum for a second round of voting

2016:
Michel AWN elected president in second round; Parliament vote - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; the president was finally elected in its 46th attempt on 31 October 2016

Legislative branch

description: unicameral House of Representatives 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 party/coalition – NA; seats by party/coalition – FPM 16, LF 14, Amal Movement 13, Hezbollah 13, PSP 9, Kata’ib Party 4, other 30, independent 29; composition - men 120, women 8, percentage 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 (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

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d'Affaires Waël 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:
info@lebanonembassyus.org

http://www.lebanonembassyus.org/

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

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Lisa A. JOHNSON (since 11 January 2024)

embassy: Awkar facing the Municipality
P.O. Box 70-840 Antelias, Beirut

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

telephone: [961] (04) 543-600

FAX: [961] (4) 544-019

email address and website:
BeirutACS@state.gov

https://lb.usembassy.gov/

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: 6 (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); Rachid Karami International Fair-Tripoli

Economy

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)

$72.631 billion (2021 est.)
$78.099 billion (2020 est.)
$99.362 billion (2019 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 103

Real GDP growth rate

-7% (2021 est.)
-21.4% (2020 est.)
-6.91% (2019 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 212

Real GDP per capita

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

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 123

GDP (official exchange rate)

$23.132 billion (2021 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

171.21% (2022 est.)
154.76% (2021 est.)
84.86% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 220

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: services 24; industry 192; agriculture 140

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, cucumbers/gherkins, chicken, lemons/limes, wheat (2022)

note: top ten agricultural products based on tonnage

Industries

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.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 207

Labor force

1.813 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 129

Unemployment rate

11.75% (2022 est.)
12.78% (2021 est.)
13.27% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 176

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 29.6% (2021 est.)

male: 30.8%

female: 26.7%

comparison ranking: total 42

Average household expenditures

on food: 21% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.1% of household expenditures (2021 est.)

Remittances

27.47% of GDP (2021 est.)
20.79% of GDP (2020 est.)
14.28% of GDP (2019 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

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: 5

Taxes and other revenues

5.68% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 208

Current account balance

-$6.481 billion (2022 est.)
-$3.405 billion (2021 est.)
-$2.779 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 181

Exports

$12.606 billion (2022 est.)
$10.147 billion (2021 est.)
$8.773 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 104

Exports - partners

UAE 22%, Syria 8%, Egypt 5%, US 5%, Turkey 4% (2022)

note: top five export partners based on percentage share of exports

Exports - commodities

diamonds, plastics, jewelry, gold, scrap iron (2022)

note: top five export commodities based on value in dollars

Imports

$24.163 billion (2022 est.)
$17.383 billion (2021 est.)
$15.206 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 89

Imports - partners

China 14%, Turkey 13%, Greece 9%, UAE 7%, Italy 5% (2022)

note: top five import partners based on percentage share of imports

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars, gold, broadcasting equipment, diamonds (2022)

note: top five import commodities based on value in dollars

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$32.513 billion (2022 est.)
$35.239 billion (2021 est.)
$42.44 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 41

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 (2022 est.)
1,507.5 (2021 est.)
1,507.5 (2020 est.)
1,507.5 (2019 est.)
1,507.5 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2022 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 4.141 million kW (2022 est.)

consumption: 9.166 billion kWh (2022 est.)

imports: 448.671 million kWh (2022 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 1.328 billion kWh (2022 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 112; imports 94; consumption 107; installed generating capacity 96

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 90.6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

solar: 3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

wind: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

hydroelectricity: 6% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

biomass and waste: 0.3% of total installed capacity (2022 est.)

Coal

consumption: 207,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

exports: 47.1 metric tons (2022 est.)

imports: 197,000 metric tons (2022 est.)

Petroleum

refined petroleum consumption: 174,000 bbl/day (2022 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

26.594 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 456,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 26.137 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 76

Energy consumption per capita

67.466 million Btu/person (2022 est.)

comparison ranking: 75

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 875,000 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 73

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 4.288 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 77 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 133

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 96

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 432,070 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 94

Transportation

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

Airports

8 (2024)

comparison ranking: 168

Heliports

3 (2024)

Pipelines

88 km gas (2013)

Railways

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

Roadways

total: 21,705 km (2017)

comparison ranking: total 112

Merchant marine

total: 51 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 2, container ship 1, general cargo 30, oil tanker 1, other 17

comparison ranking: total 120

Ports

total ports: 5 (2024)

large: 1

medium: 1

small: 0

very small: 3

ports with oil terminals: 3

key ports: Bayrut, Sayda, Selaata, Sidon/zahrani Terminal, Tarabulus

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 (2024)

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: 28

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 73,000 active troops (70,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 1,500 Air Force) (2024)

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 to Lebanon; the country's economic crisis has severely limited military procurement (2024)

Military service age and obligation

17-25 years of age for men and women for voluntary military service; no conscription (2024)

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 UN 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 LAF as they deployed throughout the south of Lebanon, and provide assistance for humanitarian access for civilians and the return of displaced persons; UNIFIL has approximately 9,500 military personnel deployed in the country and includes a maritime task force (2023)

Terrorism

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 487,000 (Palestinian refugees) (2022); 784,884 (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)

Illicit drugs

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