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The 2010 CIA World Factbook   By:

Book cover

First Page:



What's New?

Did You Know?

Guide to Country Profiles

Countries and Locations

Field Listings

Rank Orders


Notes and Definitions

History of the CIA Factbook

Contributors and Copyright Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)



January 31, 2011

What do the initials ESA stand for? Check out Appendix A: Abbreviations to find out. New space based photos have been uploaded for Australia, China, Namibia, Mexico, and the US.

January 25, 2011

What country enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in 2010? Find out by checking "Unemployment rate" under the Country Comparison feature (in the References tab). The entire Economy category has been updated to reflect data for years 2010 and earlier.

January 14, 2011

Did you know that the highest elevation in the Netherlands is not in Europe? Where is it? Find out by checking the "Elevation extremes" field in the Geography section. New space based photos have been added for Iran and Russia.

January 07, 2011

What country flag is only one color? To find out visit the Flags of the World page.

December 30, 2010

What airport handles the most passengers annually? Find out by going to the World entry, Transportation category, "Airports" field, and locating the top ten airports by passengers and by cargo.

December 23, 2010

If it's noon in Washington, DC, what time is it in Nairobi, Kenya? The answer may be found in the Government section, under "Capital," where the time difference is specified. New photos from Kenya have been uploaded.

December 17, 2010

How many rare earth elements (REEs) are there? Find the answer in the "Definitions and Notes" (below the References tab). These critical elements, necessary in so many of today's high tech industries, are now listed in the "Natural resources" field, under Geography, for countries that are producing REEs or initializing mining operations (including Australia, China, Russia, South Africa, and the US).

December 10, 2010

Quick! What's the national anthem of Australia? Now you can find the name, lyricist, composer, and additional basic anthem info for every country in the world by visiting the new "National anthems" field in the Government section of the Factbook.

November 30, 2010

Since 2004, The World Factbook Web site has been updated on a bi weekly schedule. Culminating a three month trial effort, we are pleased to announce that the Factbook will now be updated on a weekly basis.

November 19, 2010

Significant updates entered under the People, Government, and Communications categories.

November 11, 2010

In the Geography category, a new subfield, "volcanism," has been added under the "Natural hazards" field for countries with historically active volcanoes. The Economy section has been updated to reflect the most recent data for 2009 and earlier years.

November 05, 2010

In the Economy category, the "Oil exports," "Oil imports," "Oil proved reserves," and "Natural gas proved reserves" fields have been updated with the most recent estimates available.

October 29, 2010

In the People category, significant updates have been made to the "School life expectancy" and "Education expenditures" fields. In the Economy category, the "Stock of domestic credit" field has been updated to include data for 2009. In addition, the definition has been expanded to include credit provided by all financial institutions, not just banks, as had been The World Factbook practice until now. For some countries this change significantly broadens the coverage.

October 22, 2010

The dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles has resulted in two new World Factbook entries: the autonomous entities of Curacao and Sint Maarten (the remaining three islands Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius have joined the Netherlands as special municipalities)... Continue reading book >>

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