|National motto: None|
- % water
|Ranked 152nd |
- Total (2001)
|Independence||June 19, 1961|
|Time zone||UTC +3|
|National anthem||Al-Nasheed Al-Watani|
History of Kuwait
Kuwait has been a part of the Abbasid empire from the 8th century, and was later incorporated in the Ottoman Empire (16th century), where it was eventually granted some degree of autonomy as a principality; the current ruling family are descendants from these princes.
In 1899, growing British influence led to Kuwait becoming a British protectorate. This status ended with independence in 1961, by which time the discovery of oil had made the nation a wealthy one, attracting many immigrant laborers (which are not granted citizenship).
Politics of Kuwait
Chief of state is the Emir, a semi-heriditary title. The emir appoints the prime minister, which is currently the emir's crown prince. A council of ministers aids the prime minister in his task as head of government. The parliament, or Majlis al-Umma, consists of 50 members, who are chosen in elections held every four years. As Kuwaiti citizenship is very restricted, only 10% of the population is eligible to vote.
See also: al-Sabah Royal Family
Governorates of Kuwait
Kuwait is divided into 5 governorates (muhafazat):
Geography of Kuwait
Economy of Kuwait
Kuwait is a small, rich, relatively open economy with proved crude oil reserves of 94 billion barrels - 10% of world reserves. Petroleum accounts for nearly half of GDP, 90% of export revenues, and 75% of government income. Kuwait's climate limits agricultural development. Consequently, with the exception of fish, it depends almost wholly on food imports. About 75% of potable water must be distilled or imported. Higher oil prices put the FY99/00 budget into a $2 billion surplus. The FY00/01 budget covers only nine months because of a change in the fiscal year. The budget for FY01/02 envisioned higher expenditures for salaries, construction, and other general categories. Kuwait continues its discussions with foreign oil companies to develop fields in the northern part of the country.
Demographics of Kuwait