Saudi Arabia

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

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.

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

35,354,380 (2022 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

1.63% (2022 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); Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud (born 31 August 1985)

head of government: King and Prime Minister 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)

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)

$1,543,240,000,000 (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$44,300 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

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

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

$184.11 billion (2020 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)

Imports

$179.8 billion (2020 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 -


Page last updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2022