Geography

eography
Area: 2,149,690 sq. km. (829,995 sq. mi.), slightly more than one-fifth the size of the continental United States. Cities (2009 est.): Capital--Riyadh (pop. 4.7 million). Other cities--Jeddah (3.2 million), Makkah, (1.5 million), Dammam/Khobar/Dhahran, (1.6 million). Terrain: Primarily desert with rugged mountains in the southwest. Climate: Arid, with great extremes of temperature in the interior; humidity and temperature are both high along the coast.

 

 

People and Economy

People
Nationality: Noun--Saudi(s). Adjective--Saudi Arabian or Saudi.
Population (July 2011 est.): 26.1 million (20.5 million Saudis, 5.6 million foreign nationals).
Annual population growth rate (2011 est.): 1.536%.
Ethnic groups: Arab (90% of native pop.), Afro-Asian (10% of native pop.).
Religion: Islam.
Language: Arabic (official).
Education: Literacy--total 78.8% (male 84.7%, female 70.8%).
Health: Infant mortality rate (2011 est.)--16.16 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--male 72 years, female 76 years.
Work force: 7.3 million, about 80% foreign workers (2010 est.); industry--21.4%; services(including government)--71.9%; agriculture--6.7%.

Economy
GDP (2010 est.): $622 billion.
Annual growth rate (2010 est.): 3.7%.
Per capita GDP (2010): $24,200.
Natural resources: Hydrocarbons, gold, uranium, bauxite, coal, iron, phosphate, tungsten, zinc, silver, copper.
Agriculture: Products--dates, grains, livestock, vegetables. Arable land--1.76%.
Industry: Types--petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, fertilizer, light industry.
Trade (2010 est.): Exports--$238 billion: petroleum and petroleum products. Imports--$88 billion: manufactured goods, transportation equipment, clothing and textiles, processed food products. Major trading partners--China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, U.K., U.S.

 

 

Government

Government
Type: Monarchy with Council of Ministers and Consultative (or Shura) Council.
Unification: September 23, 1932.
Constitution: The Holy Qur'an (governed according to Islamic Law), Shari'a, and the Basic Law.
Branches: Executive--King (chief of state and head of government; rules under the title Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques). Legislative--a Consultative (or Shura) Council with advisory powers was formed September 1993. Judicial--Supreme Court, Supreme Judicial Council, Islamic Courts of First Instance and Appeals.
Administrative divisions: 13 provinces.
Political parties: None; formal political parties are not recognized by the government and have no legal status.

 

 

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Granted Women the Right to Drive. A Year on, It’s Still Complicated. (Mon, 24 Jun 2019)
A year after Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on female drivers, thousands of women are behind the wheel. But behind the celebrations lay larger issues.
>> Read more

Saudi Airport Struck by Deadly Attack (Sun, 23 Jun 2019)
A strike by Houthi rebels killed a Syrian living in Saudi Arabia and wounded others on Sunday.
>> Read more

Trump Shrugs Off Khashoggi Killing by Ally Saudi Arabia (Sun, 23 Jun 2019)
In an NBC interview, Mr. Trump also said he was “not looking for war” with Iran and lashed out at his Federal Reserve chairman.
>> Read more

Senate Votes to Block Trump’s Arms Sales to Gulf Nations in Bipartisan Rebuke (Thu, 20 Jun 2019)
The vote illustrated the deep divide between lawmakers and the administration over Saudi Arabia and the president’s attempts to circumvent Congress on national security decisions.
>> Read more

U.K. to Suspend Issuing Arms Licenses to Saudi Arabia (Thu, 20 Jun 2019)
The announcement came after a court ruled that the government acted unlawfully in allowing the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
>> Read more

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