Libya facts on every entity in the world

The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-QADHAFI assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, which was a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, QADHAFI used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners - one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa - and a discotheque bombing in Berlin. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. QADHAFI also agreed to end Libya's program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. Unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. QADHAFI's brutal crackdown on protesters spawned a civil war that triggered UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community. After months of seesaw fighting between government and opposition forces, the QADHAFI regime was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government. Libya in 2012 formed a new parliament and elected a new prime minister. The country subsequently elected a new parliament in 2014, but remnants of the outgoing legislature refused to leave office and created a rival government. The UN since September 2014 has been working to reconcile the governments and encouraging them to form a national unity government.



Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria

Geographic coordinates

25.00° N, 17.00° E

Area 17/257

total: 1,759,540 sq km

land: 1,759,540 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

about 2.5 times the size of Texas; slightly larger than Alaska

Land boundaries

total: 4,339 km

border countries (6): Algeria 989 km, Chad 1,050 km, Egypt 1,115 km, Niger 342 km, Sudan 382 km, Tunisia 461 km


1,770 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

note: Gulf of Sidra closing line - 32 degrees, 30 minutes north

exclusive fishing zone: 62 nm


Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior


mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m

highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Land use

agricultural land: 8.8%

arable land 1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 7.6%

forest: 0.1%

other: 91.1% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

4,700 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

0.7 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 4.33 cu km/yr (14%/3%/83%)

per capita: 796.1 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards

hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues

desertification; limited natural freshwater resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, brings water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Geography - note

more than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert

People and Society


noun: Libyan(s)

adjective: Libyan

Ethnic groups

Berber and Arab 97%, other 3% (includes Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, and Tunisians)


Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq)


Muslim (official; virtually all Sunni) 96.6%, Christian 2.7%, Buddhist 0.3%, Hindu <.1 jewish folk religion unafilliated other>note: non-Sunni Muslims include native Ibadhi Muslims (

Population 108/238


note: immigrants make up just over 12% of the total population, according to UN data (2013) (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.52% (male 869,583/female 830,751)

15-24 years: 17.77% (male 588,243/female 551,139)

25-54 years: 46.62% (male 1,567,608/female 1,421,246)

55-64 years: 4.97% (male 163,133/female 155,703)

65 years and over: 4.12% (male 132,740/female 131,630) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52.4%

youth dependency ratio: 45.5%

elderly dependency ratio: 6.9%

potential support ratio: 14.5% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 28 years

male: 28.2 years

female: 27.8 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 38/233

2.23% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 104/224

18.03 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 214/225

3.58 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 15/222

7.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 78.6% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.13% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

TRIPOLI (capital) 1.126 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female

total population: 1.08 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 102/184

9 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 125/224

total: 11.48 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 12.42 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 88/224

total population: 76.26 years

male: 74.54 years

female: 78.06 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 113/224

2.05 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

41.9% (2007)

Health expenditures 162/191

4.3% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.9 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density

3.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source


urban: 54.2% of population

rural: 54.9% of population

total: 54.4% of population


urban: 45.8% of population

rural: 45.1% of population

total: 45.6% of population (2001 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 96.8% of population

rural: 95.7% of population

total: 96.6% of population


urban: 3.2% of population

rural: 4.3% of population

total: 3.4% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate 35/191

31.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 86/138

5.6% (2007)

Education expenditures


Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 48.7%

male: 40.8%

female: 67.8% (2012 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Libya

local long form: none

local short form: Libiya

note: the name derives from the Libu, an ancient Libyan tribe first mentioned in texts from the 13th century B.C.

Government type

operates under a transitional government


name: Tripoli (Tarabulus)

geographic coordinates: 32.53° N, 13.10° E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

22 districts (shabiyat, singular - shabiyat); Al Butnan, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jabal al Gharbi, Al Jafarah, Al Jufrah, Al Kufrah, Al Marj, Al Marqab, Al Wahat, An Nuqat al Khams, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghat, Misratah, Murzuq, Nalut, Sabha, Surt, Tarabulus, Wadi al Hayat, Wadi ash Shati


24 December 1951 (from UN trusteeship)

National holiday

Liberation Day, 23 October (2011)


previous 1951, 1977; latest 2011 (interim); note - the Constitution Drafting Assembly continued drafting a new constitution as of early 2015 (2015)

Legal system

Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Libya

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: varies from 3 to 5 years


18 years of age, universal

Executive branch

chief of state: Speaker of the House of Representatives Aqilah Salah ISSA (since 5 August 2014)

head of government: Prime Minister Abdullah al-THINI (since 11 March 2014); Deputy Prime Ministers Abd al-Salam al-BADRI (since 4 August 2014), Al-Mahdi Hasan Muftah al-LABAD (since 4 August 2014), Abd al-Rahman al-Tahir al-UHAYRISH (since 4 August 2014)

cabinet: new cabinet approved by the House of Representatives in September 2014

elections/appointments: prime minister and speaker of the house elected by the House of Representatives

election results: NA

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Council of Deputies or Majlis Al Nuwab (200 seats including 32 reserved for women; members elected by direct popular vote; member term NA)

elections: election last held in June 2014; note - the Libyan Supreme Court in November 2014 declared the House election unconstitutional, but the Council rejected te ruling; no country has officially recognized the rival government

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents 200; note - not all 200 seats were filled in the June election because of boycotts and lack of security at some polling stations; some elected members of the Council also boycotted the election

Judicial branch

highest court(s): NA; note - government in transition

Political parties and leaders

Al-Watan (Homeland) Party

Justice and Construction Party or JCP [Mohamed SOWAN]

National Forces Alliance or NFA [Mahmoud JIBRIL] (includes many political organizations, NGOs, and independents)

National Front (initially the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, formed in 1981 as a diaspora opposition group)

Union for the Homeland [Abd al-Rahman al-SUWAYHILI]

note: partial list of the larger political parties and leaders

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation


Flag description

three horizontal bands of red (top), black (double width), and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black stripe; the National Transitional Council reintroduced this flag design of the former Kingdom of Libya (1951-1969) on 27 February 2011; it replaced the former all-green banner promulgated by the QADHAFI regime in 1977; the colors represent the three major regions of the country: red stands for Fezzan, black symbolizes Cyrenaica, and green denotes Tripolitania; the crescent and star represent Islam, the main religion of the country

National symbol(s)

star and crescent, hawk; national colors: red, black, green

National anthem

name: "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Greatest)

lyrics/music: Mahmoud el-SHERIF/Abdalla Shams el-DIN

note: adopted 1969; originally a battle song for the Egyptian Army in the 1956 Suez War


Economy - overview

Libya's economy, almost entirely dependent on oil and gas exports, struggled during 2015 as the country plunged into civil war and world oil prices dropped to seven-year lows. In early 2015, armed conflict between rival forces for control of the country’s largest oil terminals caused a decline in Libyan crude oil production, which never recovered to more than one-third of the average pre-Revolution highs of 1.6 million barrels per day. The Central Bank of Libya continued to pay government salaries to a majority of the Libyan workforce and to fund subsidies for fuel and food, resulting in an estimated budget deficit about 49% of GDP.

Libya’s economic transition away from Qadhafi’s notionally socialist model has completely stalled as political chaos persists and security continues to deteriorate. Libya’s leaders have hindered economic development by failing to use its financial resources to invest in national infrastructure. The country suffers from widespread power outages in its largest cities, caused by shortages of fuel for power generation. Living conditions, including access to clean drinking water, medical services, and safe housing, have all declined as the civil war has caused more people to become internally displaced, further straining local resources.

Extremists affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacked Libyan oilfields in the first half of 2015 and ISIL has a presence in many cities across Libya including near oil infrastructure, threatening future government revenues from oil and gas.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 83/230

$92.87 billion (2015 est.)

$98.9 billion (2014 est.)

$130.2 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$29.72 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 216/225

-6.1% (2015 est.)

-24% (2014 est.)

-13.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 106/230

$15,100 (2015 est.)

$16,000 (2014 est.)

$21,100 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 179/179

-24.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

1.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

37.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 80%

government consumption: 21.8%

investment in fixed capital: 4.1%

investment in inventories: 0.8%

exports of goods and services: 27.3%

imports of goods and services: -34%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.8%

industry: 40.2%

services: 58% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts, soybeans; cattle


petroleum, petrochemicals, aluminum, iron and steel, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

Industrial production growth rate 198/202

-13% (2015 est.)

Labor force 138/233

1.195 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 17%

industry: 23%

services: 59% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate 187/207

30% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line


note: about one-third of Libyans live at or below the national poverty line

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $10.19 billion

expenditures: $24.85 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 68/219

34.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 219/220

-49.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 174/176

6.6% of GDP (2015 est.)

6.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 213/226

12.1% (2015 est.)

3.3% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 24/156

9.52% (31 December 2010)

3% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 121/184

7% (31 December 2015 est.)

6% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 53/192

$45.42 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$48.02 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 65/193

$54.66 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$53.34 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 191/191

$-13.84 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$-16.48 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance 185/197

-$18.47 billion (2015 est.)

-$12.39 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 87/224

$10.51 billion (2015 est.)

$16.46 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas, chemicals

Exports - partners

Italy 17.7%, France 13.1%, Germany 11.9%, Netherlands 8.5%, Switzerland 6.1%, Spain 6%, Greece 4.8%, Austria 4.3% (2014)

Imports 92/223

$11.24 billion (2015 est.)

$20.43 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

machinery, semi-finished goods, food, transport equipment, consumer products

Imports - partners

Italy 15.1%, China 12.3%, Turkey 11.8%, Egypt 5.7%, South Korea 5.1%, Tunisia 4.7%, Spain 4.4% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 35/170

$61.63 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$89.25 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 128/206

$5.244 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.028 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 84/120

$16.04 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$16.04 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 54/105

$21.59 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$20.91 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

Libyan dinars (LYD) per US dollar -

1.38 (2015 est.)

1.27 (2014 est.)

1.27 (2013 est.)

1.26 (2012 est.)

1.22 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 63/220

31.94 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 64/219

27.54 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 88/218

14 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 99/219

61 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 67/214

7.121 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 49/214

99.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 132/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 183/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 98/212

0.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 30/214

470,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 18/214

735,000 bbl/day

note: Libyan crude oil export values are highly volatile because of continuing protests and other disruptions across the country (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 89/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 9/215

48.36 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 58/214

171,600 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 51/212

242,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 65/214

35,630 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 49/213

108,500 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 40/216

12 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 54/215

6.487 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 29/215

5.513 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 94/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 21/212

1.549 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 56/212

54.6 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 89/219

total subscriptions: 710,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 11 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 85/217

total: 10.1 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 161 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: telecommunications system is state-owned and service is poor, but investment is being made to upgrade; state retains monopoly in fixed-line services; mobile-cellular telephone system became operational in 1996

domestic: multiple providers for a mobile telephone system that is growing rapidly; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity has soared

international: country code - 218; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, NA Arabsat, and NA Intersputnik; submarine cable to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (2010)

Broadcast media

state-funded and private TV stations; some provinces operate local TV stations; pan-Arab satellite TV stations are available; state-funded radio (2012)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 16, FM 3, shortwave 3 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

12 (plus 1 repeater) (1999)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 121/232

17,926 (2012)

Internet users 114/217

total: 1.4 million

percent of population: 21.8% (2014 est.)


Airports 41/236

146 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 68

over 3,047 m: 23

2,438 to 3,047 m: 7

1,524 to 2,437 m: 30

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 78

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 14

914 to 1,523 m: 37

under 914 m: 20 (2013)


2 (2013)


condensate 882 km; gas 3,743 km; oil 7,005 km (2013)

Roadways 45/223

total: 100,024 km

paved: 57,214 km

unpaved: 42,810 km (2003)

Merchant marine 91/156

total: 23

by type: cargo 2, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 3, petroleum tanker 13, roll on/roll off 1

foreign-owned: 2 (Kuwait 1, Norway 1)

registered in other countries: 6 (Hong Kong 1, Malta 5) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Marsa al Burayqah (Marsa el Brega), Tripoli

oil terminal(s): Az Zawiyah, Ra's Lanuf

LNG terminal (export): Marsa el Brega

Military and Security

Military branches

note - in transition; government has affiliated Army, Air Force, and Navy forces (2015)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for mandatory or voluntary service (2012)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco; various Chadian rebels from the Aozou region reside in southern Libya

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 18,653 (Syria); 5,391 (West Bank and Gaza Strip) (2014)

IDPs: more than 434,000 (conflict between pro-Qadhafi and anti-Qadhafi forces in 2011; post-Qadhafi tribal clashes 2014) (2015)