Saudi Arabia

Country Summary

2023 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and home to Islam's two holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina. ABD AL-AZIZ bin Abd al-Rahman AL SAUD (Ibn Saud) founded the modern Saudi state in 1932 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.

Geography

Area

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

Climate

harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper

People and Society

Population

total: 36,544,431
male: 20,700,838
female: 15,843,593 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%

Languages

Arabic (official)

Religions

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

1.68% (2024 est.)

Government

Government type

absolute monarchy

Capital

name: Riyadh

Executive branch

chief of state: King SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (since 23 January 2015)
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

Economy

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)

$1.827 trillion (2022 est.)
$1.681 trillion (2021 est.)
$1.612 trillion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$50,200 (2022 est.)
$46,800 (2021 est.)
$44,800 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, dates, chicken, wheat, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, olives, eggs, onions (2022)

Industries

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

Exports

$445.882 billion (2022 est.)
$286.502 billion (2021 est.)
$182.848 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

China 19%, India 13%, Japan 10%, South Korea 10%, US 7% (2022)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, ethylene polymers, plastics, fertilizers (2022)

Imports

$258.213 billion (2022 est.)
$213.016 billion (2021 est.)
$182.184 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

China 22%, UAE 16%, US 6%, India 6%, Germany 4% (2022)

Imports - commodities

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

Exchange rates

Saudi riyals (SAR) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
3.75 (2022 est.)
3.75 (2021 est.)
3.75 (2020 est.)
3.75 (2019 est.)
3.75 (2018 est.)


Page last updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2024