Information about Libya
General Information About Libya
Official Name: Libya
Location: North Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, southern border with Chad, Niger, and Sudan.
Area: 1,759,540 sq. km.
Cities: Tripoli (capital), Benghazi.
Terrain: Mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions.
Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior.
Land use: Arable land--1.03%; permanent crops--0.19%; other--98.78%.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Libyan(s).
Population (July 2010 est.): 6,461,454.
Annual population growth rate (2010 est.): 2.117%. Birth rate (2010 est.)--24.58 births/1,000 population. Death rate (2010 est.)--3.45 deaths/1,000 population.
Ethnic groups: Berber and Arab 97%; other 3% (includes Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians).
Religion: Sunni Muslim 97%, other 3%.
Languages: Arabic is the primary language. English and Italian are understood in major cities.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Attendance--90%. Literacy (age 15 and over who can read and write)--total population 82.6%; male 92.4%; female 72% (2003 est.).
Health (2010 est.): Infant mortality rate--20.87 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--total population 77.47 years; male 75.18 years; female 79.88 years.
Work force (2010 est.): 1.686 million.
Official name: Libya.
Type: Transitional National Council (interim, appointed government).
Independence: Libya declared independence on December 24, 1951.
Revolution Day: February 17, 2011.
Constitution: The Transitional National Council (TNC) released a constitutional document in August 2011 describing its plans for a democratic transition.
Administrative divisions: Local affairs are currently being managed by local municipal councils. It is not clear whether the Qadhafi-era “shabiya” system of 32 municipalities will be maintained consisting of: Butnan, Darnah, Gubba, al-Jebal al-Akhdar, Marj, al-Jebal al-Hezam, Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Wahat, Kufra, Surt, Al Jufrah, Misurata, Murgub, Bani-Walid, Tarhuna and Msallata, Tripoli, Jfara, Zawiya, Sabratha and Surman, An Nuqat al-Khams, Gharyan, Mezda, Nalut, Ghadames, Yefren, Wadi Alhaya, Ghat, Sabha, Wadi Shati, Murzuq, Tajura and an-Nuwaha al-Arba'a.
Major political parties: The Political Party Law has not yet been passed.
Suffrage: 18 years of age per the Election Law passed February 7, 2012.
Real GDP (2010 est.): $92.62 billion.
GDP per capita (PPP, 2010 est.): $14,100.
Real GDP growth rate (2010 est.): 4.2%.
Natural resources: Petroleum, natural gas, gypsum.
Agriculture: Products--wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle; approximately 75% of Libya's food is imported.
Industry: Types--petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement.
Trade: Exports (2011 est.)--$12.93 billion: crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals. Major markets (2010 est.)--Italy (31.6%), France (13%), China (9.2%), Spain (9.1%), Germany (8.4%), U.S. (4.5%). Imports (2011 est.)--$14.1 billion: machinery, transport equipment, food, manufactured goods, consumer products, semi-finished goods. Major suppliers (2010)--Italy (16.3%), China (10.3%), Turkey (9.7%), France (6.8%), Germany (6.4%), Tunisia (4.8%).
Libya has a small population in a large land area. Population density is about 50 persons per sq. km. (80/sq. mi.) in the two northern regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but falls to less than one person per sq. km. (1.6/sq. mi.) elsewhere. Ninety percent of the people live in less than 10% of the area, primarily along the coast. More than half the population is urban, mostly concentrated in the two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi. Thirty-three percent of the population is estimated to be under age 15.
Native Libyans are primarily a mixture of Arabs and Berbers. Small Tebou and Tuareg tribal groups in southern Libya are nomadic or semi-nomadic. Among foreign residents, the largest groups are citizens of other African nations, including North Africans (primarily Egyptians and Tunisians), West Africans, and other Sub-Saharan Africans.