General information about Kuwait
The official name is the State of Kuwait (Daulat al Kuwait – State of Kuwait). Located in the northeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the coast of the Persian Gulf, in the southwestern part of Asia. The area is 17.82 thousand km2, the population is 2.111 million people. (2002). The official language is Arabic. The capital is the city of Al-Kuwait (about 1.1 million people, 2000). National holiday – National Day February 25 (1961). The monetary unit is the Kuwaiti dinar (equal to 100 dirhams or 1000 fils).
Member of OPEC (since 1960), UN (since 1963), Arab League, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC) (since 1981), WTO, etc.
Geography of Kuwait
Located between 46°30′ and 48°30′ East longitude and 28°45′ and 30°05′ North latitude. In the east it is washed by the waters of the Persian Gulf. The Persian Gulf is shallow, the currents form a counter-clockwise circuit. Coastline of Kuwait ca. 220 km. In general, the coast is slightly indented, except for the central part, where the narrow Gulf of Kuwait (the only deep-water harbor on the entire western coast of the Persian Gulf) protrudes almost 50 km deep, on the southern coast of which the capital Al-Kuwait is located. The coastal zone is mostly shallow. At a short distance from the coast stretches a chain of low islands belonging to Kuwait: the largest are the heavily swamped Bubiyan and Failaka, and the small ones are Varba, Muskan, Aukha, etc.
According to allcitycodes, Kuwait borders Iraq to the north and west and Saudi Arabia to the south.
The territory of Kuwait is confined to the East Arabian coastal plain and almost all of it is a desert. There are few oases. The low flat relief of the coast is replaced by hilly in the central strip and a low plateau in the extreme southwest, where the highest point of the country (281 m above sea level) is located. The coastal low-lying strip is replete with salt marshes, in the rainy season they turn into salt lakes “sebha”. The central and southwestern regions of the country are deeply dissected by a network of channels of temporary streams (wadis). Within the northern half of Kuwait, rocky deserts are common, within the southern half – sandy with dune relief.
The bowels of Kuwait are rich in oil and associated gas, the reserves are of world importance. By most estimates, oil resources make up approximately 10% of the world’s oil resources, and at current production rates, they will last more than 100 years.
The climate of Kuwait is tropical and dry. Two seasons are clearly expressed: a dry summer (no precipitation falls from June to September) and a wetter winter (with a maximum of 21–25 mm of precipitation in January). The average annual rainfall in Kuwait City is approx. 100 mm. Sometimes there are heavy showers. In the coastal zone, the average temperature in July is +37°С, in January +13°С. Daytime temperatures in summer can reach +50°C in the shade, humidity is low, except for the coast. During the winter, it is usually warm during the day, with night frosts occurring in the interior. Dust storms often rise, and sometimes tornadoes.
There are no permanent streams and sources of fresh water on the territory of Kuwait. From time immemorial, aquifers have been found here and wells have been built. Currently, industrial water desalination is being carried out. The soils are sandy, depleted in mineral and organic compounds. Extremely sparse desert vegetation is represented by stunted shrubs, semi-shrubs, and herbs—camel thorn, some grasses (Aristida, etc.), kermek, wormwood, and haze. Occasionally there is a gada shrub up to 2 m high and trees such as acacia, mimosa, tal, cider. Date palms and vegetable crops are grown in oases.
The animal world is poor. The most numerous rodents are gerbils, jerboas, and mice. Reptiles are more diverse, occasionally there are foxes, hyenas, jackals, goitered gazelles, in the southwestern most elevated regions – wild sheep, antelopes. The avifauna is represented by wild pigeons, larks, bustards, gulls, eagles, falcons, hawks and other birds, incl. waterfowl. In coastal waters there are up to 250 species of fish.
The population of Kuwait
The average annual population growth rate in 2002 was 3.33%, in the 1980s. the urban population growth rate was 4.3%, rural 6.2%. Population dynamics include an influx of immigrants from other countries. In 1985 foreigners made up 60% of the population.
Birth rate 21.8%, mortality 2.46%, infant mortality 10.87 people. per 1000 newborns, life expectancy 76.46 years, incl. men – 75.56, women – 77.39 (2002). Sex and age structure of the population (2002): 0-14 years old – 28.3% (men 304.2 thousand people, women 292.9 thousand); 15-64 years old – 69.2% (934.1 thousand men, 527.3 thousand women); 65 years and older – 2.5% (34.1 thousand men, 18.9 thousand women). Urban population approx. 97.6% (2000). Illiterate 7.1% of the population over the age of 15 (2000).
Ethnic composition: 45% – Arabs of Kuwait (Kuwaitis), 35% – the rest of the Arabs, 9% – immigrants from South Asia, 4% – Iranians, 7% – other groups. Languages: Arabic, English is widely used.
The majority of the population (85%) is Muslim. Of these, 70% are Sunni Muslims, 30% are Shiites. Christians, Hindus and other denominations – approx. fifteen%.