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

Saudis Paid $90 Million to Sudan’s Ex-Leader, Officer Says in al-Bashir Trial (Mon, 19 Aug 2019)
A senior police officer said that Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the country’s deposed leader, had admitted to receiving the money.
>> Read more

Yemeni Separatists Relinquish Control of Buildings in Aden (Sat, 17 Aug 2019)
The separatists’ takeover of Aden has strained a Saudi-led military coalition formed to confront the Iranian-aligned Houthis, who bombed a Saudi oil facility on Saturday.
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Lawmakers Accuse State Dept. of Defying Federal Law by Missing Deadlines for Yemen Reports (Fri, 16 Aug 2019)
The State Department is refusing to submit reports mandated by Congress detailing efforts by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
>> Read more

Saudi Aramco Says It’s ‘Ready’ for I.P.O. as It Reports Half-Year Earnings (Mon, 12 Aug 2019)
The oil giant’s chief financial officer said the timing of a public listing would depend on its “shareholder”: Saudi Arabia’s government.
>> Read more

With Saudi Aramco Set to Disclose Earnings, Could an I.P.O. Be Next? (Fri, 09 Aug 2019)
The world’s largest oil producer stopped short of going public last year, but it may be about to revive its plans.
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