Saudi Arabia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. The modern Saudi state was founded in 1932 by ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman AL SAUD (Ibn Saud) after a 30-year campaign to unify most of the Arabian Peninsula. The country remains a leading producer of oil and natural gas and held about 16% of the world's proven oil reserves as of 2015.



total: 2,149,690 sq km
land: 2,149,690 sq km
water: 0 sq km


harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper

People and Society


35,939,806 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%


Arabic (official)


Muslim (official; citizens are 85-90% Sunni and 10-12% Shia), other (includes Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh) (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.65% (2023 est.)


Government type

absolute monarchy


name: Riyadh

Executive branch

chief of state: King SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 23 January 2015); Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (born 31 August 1985)
head of government: Crown Prince and Prime Minister MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 27 September 2022)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (150 seats plus a speaker; members appointed by the monarch to serve 4-year terms); note - in early 2013, the monarch granted women 30 seats on the Council


Economic overview

high-income, oil-based Middle Eastern economy; OPEC leader; diversifying portfolio; declining per-capita incomes; young labor force; key human capital gaps; heavy bureaucracy and increasing corruption; substantial poverty; low innovation economy

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.594 trillion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$44,300 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, dates, poultry, fruit, watermelons, barley, wheat, potatoes, eggs, tomatoes


crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction


$286.502 billion (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

China 20%, India 11%, Japan 11%, South Korea 9%, United States 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, polymers, industrial alcohols, natural gas (2019)


$213.016 billion (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

China 18%, United Arab Emirates 12%, United States 9%, Germany 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

cars, broadcasting equipment, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, telephones (2019)

Exchange rates

Saudi riyals (SAR) per US dollar -
3.75 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023