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Kuwait Country Guide

Explore Kuwait in Asia

Kuwait with the capital city Kuwait City is located in Asia (Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf). It covers some 17,820 square kilometres (slightly smaller than New Jersey) with 2,596,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Kuwait

The topography includes flat to slightly undulating desert plain. The average density of population is approximately 146 per km². The notable climate conditions in Kuwait can be described as dry desert with intensely hot summers and short, cool winters. Possible natural disasters include sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses or sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year but are most common between March and August.

To reach someone in Kuwait dial +965 prior to a number. There are 553,500 installed telephones. And there are 3,876,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900/1800 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".kw". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 240V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Kuwait

Kuwait Flag Icon

Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; colors and design are based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I; green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords, black signifies the defeat of the enemy.

Britain oversaw foreign relations and defense for the ruling Kuwaiti AL-SABAH dynasty from 1899 until independence in 1961. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led, UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family has ruled since returning to power in 1991 and reestablished an elected legislature that in recent years has become increasingly assertive. The country witnessed the historic election in May 2009 of four women to its National Assembly. Amid the 2010-11 uprisings and protests across the Arab world, stateless Arabs, known as bidoon, staged small protests in February and March 2011 demanding citizenship, jobs, and other benefits available to Kuwaiti nationals. Youth activist groups - supported by opposition legislators and the prime minister's rivals within the ruling family - rallied repeatedly in 2011 for an end to corruption and the ouster of the prime minister and his cabinet. Opposition legislators forced the prime minister to resign in late 2011. In October-December 2012, Kuwait witnessed unprecedented protests in response to the Amir''s changes to the electoral law by decree reducing the number of votes per person from four to one. The opposition, led by a coalition of Sunni Islamists, tribalists, some liberals, and myriad youth groups, boycotted the December 2012 legislative election, resulting in a historic number of Shia candidates winning seats. Since 2006, the Amir has dissolved the National Assembly on five occasions (the Constitutional Court annulled the Assembly once in June 2012) and reshuffled the cabinet 12 times, usually citing political stagnation and gridlock between the legislature and the government.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Asia
Neighbours: Saudi Arabia, Iraq
Capital: Kuwait City
Size17,820 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 6,880 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than New Jersey
CurrencyName Dinar, Currency Code:KWD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).kw
Telephone Country Prefix+965
Mobile Phone Connections3,876,000
Landline Phone Connections553,500

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area17,818 (sq km)158

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population2,695,316 140
Population growth rate1.79 (%)68
Birth rate20.61 (births/1,000 population)82
Death rate2.14 (deaths/1,000 population)222
Net migration rate-0.59 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)136
Maternal mortality rate14.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)145
Infant mortality rate7.68 (deaths/1,000 live births)159
Life expectancy at birth77.46 (years)66
Total fertility rate2.56 (children born/woman)79
Health expenditures2.60 (% of GDP)185
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.10 (%)139
Obesity - adult prevalence rate42.00 (%)10
Children under the age of 5 years underweight1.70 (%)122
Education expenditures3.80 (% of GDP)120
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2411.30 (%)102


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)153,400,000,000 62
GDP - real growth rate5.10 (%)60
GDP - per capita (PPP)40,500 27
Labor force2,304,000 116
Unemployment rate2.20 (%)16
Investment (gross fixed)15.30 (% of GDP)135
Taxes and other revenues61.60 (% of GDP)6
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)21.70 (% of GDP)3
Public debt7.10 (% of GDP)146
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.20 (%)85
Central bank discount rate3.00 (%)105
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.20 (%)156
Stock of narrow money28,460,000,000 59
Stock of broad money109,400,000,000 52
Stock of domestic credit93,110,000,000 54
Market value of publicly traded shares119,600,000,000 39
Industrial production growth rate8.70 (%)20
Current account balance73,260,000,000 8
Exports109,400,000,000 38
Imports24,100,000,000 69
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold29,260,000,000 50
Debt - external28,210,000,000 74
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home3,194,000,000 89
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad57,970,000,000 35


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production51,320,000,000 (kWh)51
Electricity - consumption43,410,000,000 (kWh)51
Electricity - installed generating capacity10,940,000 (kW)52
Electricity - from fossil fuels100.00 (% of total installed capacity)20
Crude oil - production2,682,000 (bbl/day)11
Crude oil - exports1,365,000 (bbl/day)11
Crude oil - proved reserves101,500,000,000 (bbl)7
Refined petroleum products - production902,000 (bbl/day)25
Refined petroleum products - consumption339,000 (bbl/day)37
Refined petroleum products - exports717,700 (bbl/day)10
Natural gas - production11,730,000,000 (cu m)42
Natural gas - consumption12,620,000,000 (cu m)43
Natural gas - imports890,000,000 (cu m)60
Natural gas - proved reserves1,798,000,000,000 (cu m)21
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy81,330,000 (Mt)43


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use514,700 98
Telephones - mobile cellular4,935,000 105
Internet hosts2,771 156
Internet users1,100,000 96


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports7 168
Roadways5,749 (km)150
Merchant marine34 82


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures3.70 (% of GDP)30

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

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