Statistical information Libya 1996Libya

Map of Libya | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Libya - Introduction 1996
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Background: Since he took power in a 1969 military coup Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI has espoused his own political system - a combination of socialism and Islam - which he calls the Third International Theory. Viewing himself as a revolutionary leader he used oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside Libya even supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end of Marxism and capitalism. Libyan military adventures failed e.g. the prolonged foray of Libyan troops into the Aozou Strip in northern Chad was finally repulsed in 1987. Libyan support for terrorism decreased after UN sanctions were imposed in 1992.

Libya - Geography 1996
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Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 1,759,540 km²
Land: 1,759,540 km²
Comparative: slightly larger than Alaska

Land boundaries: Total 4,383 km, Algeria 982 km, Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,150 km, Niger 354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km

Coastline: 1,770 km

Maritime claims: territorial sea:12 nm Gulf of Sidra Closing Line:32 degrees 30 minutes north

Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior

Terrain: Mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions
Lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
Highest point: Bikubiti 2,286 m


Natural resources:
Natural gas

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 2%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 8%
Forests and woodland: 0%
Other: 90%

Irrigated land: 2,420 km² (1989 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Libya - People 1996
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5,445,436 (July 1996 est.)
5,248,401 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
3.67% (1996 est.)
3.7% (1995 est.)

Noun: Libyan(s)
Adjective: Libyan

Ethnic groups:
Berber and Arab 97%
Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians

Languages: Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities

Religions: Sunni Muslim 97%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
48% (male 1,319,696; female 1,274,865) (July 1996 est.)
48% (male 1,269,813; female 1,226,851) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
49% (male 1,375,441; female 1,308,613) (July 1996 est.)
49% (male 1,331,093; female 1,261,424) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
3% (male 87,434; female 79,387) (July 1996 est.)
3% (male 83,203; female 76,017) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.67% (1996 est.)
3.7% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
44.42 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
44.89 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
7.7 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
7.91 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: desertification; very limited natural fresh water resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities
Current issues Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; duststorms, sandstorms
International agreements: party to_Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified_Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.04 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:59.5 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
61.4 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 64.67 years (1996 est.), 64.29 years (1995 est.)
Male: 62.48 years (1996 est.), 62.12 years (1995 est.)
Female: 66.97 years (1996 est.), 66.57 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6.26 children born/woman (1996 est.)
6.32 children born/woman (1995 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 76.2%
Male: 87.9%
Female: 63%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Libya - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Conventional short form: Libya
Local long form: Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishirakiyah
Local short form: none

Government type: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in fact, a military dictatorship

Capital: Tripoli

Administrative divisions: 25 municipalities (baladiyah, singular_baladiyat; Ajdabiya, Al 'Aziziyah, Al Fatih, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jufrah, Al Khums, Al Kufrah, An Nuqat al Khams, Ash Shati', Awbari, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghadamis, Gharyan, Misratah, Murzuq, Sabha, Sawfajjin, Surt, Tarabulus, Tarhunah, Tubruq, Yafran, Zlitan

Dependent areas

Independence: 24 December 1951 (from Italy)

National holiday: Revolution Day, 1 September (1969)

Constitution: 11 December 1969, amended 2 March 1977

Legal system: Based on Italian civil law system and Islamic law; separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch
Chief of state: Revolutionary Leader Col. Mu'ammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI (since 1 September 1969)
Head of government: Chairman of the General People's Committee (Premier) Abd al Majid al-QA'UD (since 29 January 1994)
Cabinet: General People's Committee; established by the General People's Congress
Note: National elections are indirect through a hierarchy of peoples' committees

Legislative branch: Unicameral General People's Congress:National elections are indirect through a hierarchy of peoples' committees

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CAEU, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAU, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNITAR, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer)

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Libya: Plain green; green is the traditional color of Islam (the state religion)

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Libya - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The socialist-oriented economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and about one-third of GDP. In 1990 per capita GDP was the highest in Africa at $5,410, but subsequently GDP growth has slowed on average and has fluctuated sharply in response to changes in the world oil market. Import restrictions and inefficient resource allocations have led to periodic shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs. The nonoil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Although agriculture accounts for only 5% of GDP, it employs 18% of the labor force. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit farm output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food requirements. The UN sanctions imposed in April 1992 have not yet had a major impact on the economy because Libya's oil revenues generate sufficient foreign exchange to sustain imports of food, consumer goods, and equipment for the oil industry and ongoing development projects.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: -0.9% (1994 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: 5% of GDP; cash crops_wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus fruits, peanuts; 75% of food is imported

Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate 10.5% (1990)

Labor force: 1 million (includes about 280,000 resident foreigners)
By occupation Industry: 31%
By occupation Services: 27%
By occupation Government: 24%
By occupation Agriculture: 18%
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $8.1 billion
Expenditures: $9.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $3.1 billion (1989 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: total value. $7.2 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
Crude oil
Refined petroleum products
Natural gas


Imports: total value:$6.9 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
Transport equipment
Manufactured goods

Eastern Europe

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $3.5 billion excluding military debt (1991 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Libyan dinars (LD) per US$1_0.3617 (January 1996), 0.3532 (1995), 0.3596 (1994), 0.3250 (1993), 0.3013 (1992), 0.2684 (1991), 0.2699 (1990)

Libya - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 16.1 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 3,078 kWh (1993)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Libya - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 370,000 telephones; modern telecommunications system
Local: NA
Intercity: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, tropospheric scatter, and 14 domestic satellites
International: 2 INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) satellite earth stations; submarine cables to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; planned ARABSAT and Intersputnik satellite earth stations

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Libya - Military 1996
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $1.4 billion, 6.1% of GDP (1994 est.)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Libya - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 130
With paved runways over 3047 m: 24
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 5
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 22
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6
With paved runways under 914 m: 13
With paved runways With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 4
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 3
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 15
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 38 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 24
2438 to 3047 m: 5
15-24 to 2437 m: 22
914 to 1523 m: 6
Under 914 m: 13
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 4

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 3
15-24 to 2437 m: 15
914 to 1523 m: 38 (1995 est.)


Pipelines: Crude oil 4,383 km; petroleum products 443 km (includes liquified petroleum gas 256 km; natural gas 1,947 km



Waterways: None

Merchant marine
Total: 30 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 686,834 GRT/1,209,263 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 10, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas tanker 2, oil tanker 10, roll-on/roll-off cargo 3, short-sea passenger 4

Ports and terminals

Libya - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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