You are here:
  1. Homepage
  2. » Libya
Libya Flag Icon

Libya Country Guide

Explore Libya in Africa

Libya with the capital city Tripoli is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 1,759,540 square kilometres (slightly larger than Alaska) with 6,173,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Libya

The landscape offers mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions. The average density of population is approximately 4 per km². The notable climate conditions in Libya can be described as Mediterranean along coast with dry, extreme desert interior. Potential threats by nature are hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall or dust storms, sandstorms.

To reach someone in Libya dial +218 prior to a number. There are 1,101,000 installed telephones. And there are 5,004,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ly". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 127/230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Libya

Libya Flag Icon

Three horizontal bands of red (top), black (double width), and green with a white crescent and star centered on the black stripe; the National Transitional Council reintroduced this flag design of the former Kingdom of Libya (1951-1969) on 27 February 2011; it replaced the former all-green banner promulgated by the QADHAFI regime in 1977; the colors represent the three major regions of the country: red stands for Fezzan, black symbolizes Cyrenaica, and green denotes Tripolitania; the crescent and star represent Islam, the main religion of the country.

The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-QADHAFI assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, which was a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, QADHAFI used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners - one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa - and a discotheque bombing in Berlin. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. QADHAFI also agreed to end Libya's program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. Unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. QADHAFI''s brutal crackdown on protesters spawned a civil war that triggered UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community. After months of seesaw fighting between government and opposition forces, the QADHAFI regime was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government. Libya in 2012 formed a new parliament and elected a new prime minister.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Africa
Neighbours: Chad, Niger, Algeria, Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt
Capital: Tripoli
Size1,759,540 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 679,362 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than Alaska
CurrencyName Dinar, Currency Code:LYD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).ly
Telephone Country Prefix+218
Mobile Phone Connections5,004,000
Landline Phone Connections1,101,000

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
Area1,759,540 (sq km)17

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population6,002,347 108
Population growth rate4.85 (%)1
Birth rate18.74 (births/1,000 population)99
Death rate3.56 (deaths/1,000 population)211
Net migration rate33.32 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)1
Maternal mortality rate58.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)102
Infant mortality rate12.26 (deaths/1,000 live births)128
Life expectancy at birth75.83 (years)88
Total fertility rate2.09 (children born/woman)112
Health expenditures3.90 (% of GDP)170
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.30 (%)81
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS10,000 95
Obesity - adult prevalence rate27.80 (%)35
Children under the age of 5 years underweight5.60 (%)84


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)78,630,000,000 83
GDP - real growth rate104.50 (%)1
GDP - per capita (PPP)12,300 104
Labor force1,875,000 125
Unemployment rate30.00 (%)180
Investment (gross fixed)3.70 (% of GDP)152
Taxes and other revenues69.40 (% of GDP)3
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)6.70 (% of GDP)9
Public debt1.90 (% of GDP)153
Inflation rate (consumer prices)3.60 (%)98
Central bank discount rate3.00 (%)106
Commercial bank prime lending rate6.00 (%)140
Stock of narrow money38,210,000,000 52
Stock of broad money42,390,000,000 71
Stock of domestic credit41,410,000,000 66
Industrial production growth rate2.70 (%)101
Current account balance33,320,000,000 14
Exports51,480,000,000 58
Imports16,310,000,000 84
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold130,300,000,000 21
Debt - external5,054,000,000 115
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home17,150,000,000 73
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad17,470,000,000 49


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production28,600,000,000 (kWh)65
Electricity - consumption24,290,000,000 (kWh)68
Electricity - exports124,000,000 (kWh)69
Electricity - imports73,000,000 (kWh)98
Electricity - installed generating capacity6,766,000 (kW)67
Electricity - from fossil fuels100.00 (% of total installed capacity)22
Crude oil - production502,400 (bbl/day)31
Crude oil - exports1,039,000 (bbl/day)15
Crude oil - proved reserves48,080,000,000 (bbl)10
Refined petroleum products - production309,000 (bbl/day)44
Refined petroleum products - consumption314,000 (bbl/day)44
Refined petroleum products - exports84,490 (bbl/day)45
Refined petroleum products - imports575 (bbl/day)201
Natural gas - production16,810,000,000 (cu m)36
Natural gas - consumption6,844,000,000 (cu m)55
Natural gas - exports9,970,000,000 (cu m)22
Natural gas - proved reserves1,495,000,000,000 (cu m)23
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy60,600,000 (Mt)56


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use1,000,000 78
Telephones - mobile cellular10,000,000 77
Internet hosts17,926 121
Internet users353,900 124


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports144 39
Roadways100,024 (km)41
Merchant marine23 91


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures3.10 (% of GDP)39

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

List of current world heritage sites

Archaeological Site of Cyrene
A colony of the Greeks of Thera, Cyrene was one of the principal cities in the Hellenic world. It was Romanized and remained a great capital until the earthquake of 365. A thousand years of history is written into its ruins, which have been famous si ...
Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna was enlarged and embellished by Septimius Severus, who was born there and later became emperor. It was one of the most beautiful cities of the Roman Empire, with its imposing public monuments, harbour, market-place, storehouses, shops an ...
Archaeological Site of Sabratha
A Phoenician trading-post that served as an outlet for the products of the African hinterland, Sabratha was part of the short-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. ...
Old Town of Ghadamès
Ghadamès, known as 'the pearl of the desert', stands in an oasis. It is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities and an outstanding example of a traditional settlement. Its domestic architecture is characterized by a vertical division of functions: the g ...
Rock-Art Sites of Tadrart Acacus
On the borders of Tassili N'Ajjer in Algeria, also a World Heritage site, this rocky massif has thousands of cave paintings in very different styles, dating from 12,000 B.C. to A.D. 100. They reflect marked changes in the fauna and flora, and also th ...