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

For Yemen Child Soldiers, a Refuge Mixes Play With Saudi Propaganda (Fri, 22 Feb 2019)
A Saudi-financed center offers six weeks of comfort and schooling to former child soldiers in Yemen. But it doubles as a propaganda stage set, blaming only one side for the conflict: Houthis.
>> Read more

Amid Trouble With the West, Saudi Arabia Looks East (Wed, 20 Feb 2019)
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is visiting Pakistan, India and China to shore up political and economic ties.
>> Read more

House Opens Inquiry Into Proposed U.S. Nuclear Venture in Saudi Arabia (Tue, 19 Feb 2019)
House Democrats say a proposed nuclear power venture in Saudi Arabia could expose conflicts of interests in the Trump administration and possible violations of law.
>> Read more

A Happy Marriage Between God and Budget Deficits (Tue, 19 Feb 2019)
What keeps Saudi Arabia and Pakistan together.
>> Read more

Saudi Crown Prince Promises $20 Billion in Investments for Pakistan (Mon, 18 Feb 2019)
The pledges, which are nonbinding, would also help secure the country as a market for Saudi crude oil.
>> Read more

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