Lebanon

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

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 granted this area independence in 1943. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.

Geography

Area

total: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km

Climate

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

Natural resources

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

People and Society

Population

5,331,203 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%

Languages

Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian

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.)

Population growth rate

0.64% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Beirut

Executive branch

chief of state: president (vacant)
head of government: Caretaker Prime Minister Najib MIQATI (since 20 September 2021)

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)

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)

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

Real GDP per capita

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

Agricultural products

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

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

Exports

$10.147 billion (2021 est.)
$8.773 billion (2020 est.)
$18.208 billion (2019 est.)

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)

Imports

$17.383 billion (2021 est.)
$15.206 billion (2020 est.)
$31.147 billion (2019 est.)

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)

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.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024