Kuwait | Facts & Information

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
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Facts & Figures

  • Emir: Sheik Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (2006)

    Prime Minister: Sheikh Jabir al-Mubarak al-Hamad al-Sabah (2011)

    Total area: 6,880 sq mi (17,819 sq km)

    Population (2012 est.): 2,646,314 (growth rate: 1.883%); birth rate: 20.96/1000; infant mortality rate: 7.87/1000; life expectancy: 77.28

    Capital (2009 est.): Kuwait, 2.23 million

    Monetary unit: Kuwaiti dinar (KD)

    National name: Dawlat al-Kuwayt

    Current government officials

    Languages: Arabic (official), English

    Ethnicity/race: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%

    Religions: Islam 85% (Sunni 70%, Shiite 30%); Christian, Hindu, Parsi, and other 15%

    National Holiday: National Day, February 25

    Literacy rate: 93.3% (2005 census)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $155.5 billion; per capita $42,200. Real growth rate: 8.2%. Inflation: 5.6%. Unemployment: 2.2% (2004 est.). Arable land: 0.84%. Agriculture: practically no crops; fish. Labor force: 2.243 million; note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force; agriculture n.a., industry n.a., services n.a. Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, desalination, food processing, construction materials. Natural resources: petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas. Exports: $94.47 billion (2011 est.): oil and refined products, fertilizers. Imports: $22.41billion (2011 est.): food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing. Major trading partners: Japan, India, South Korea, U.S., Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China (2011).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 566,300 (2009); mobile cellular: 4.4 million (2009). Broadcast media: state-owned TV broadcaster operates 4 networks and a satellite channel; several private TV broadcasters have emerged since 2003; satellite TV is available with pan-Arab TV stations especially popular; state-owned Radio Kuwait broadcasts on a number of channels in Arabic and English; first private radio station emerged in 2005; transmissions of at least 2 international radio broadcasters are available (2007). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2,730 (2010). Internet users: 1.1 million (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: 5,749 km; paved: 4,887 km; unpaved: 862 km (2004). Waterways: none. Ports and harbors: Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi. Airports: 7 (2012).

    International disputes: Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue negotiating a joint maritime boundary with Iran; no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf.

    Major sources and definitions