Basic Facts

GEOGRAPHY

Location: Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria.

Geographic Coordinates: 33 50 N, 35 50 E

Area:
total:10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 454 km
border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 k

Coastline: 225 km

Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate:
Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows.

Terrain:
narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains.

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qurnat as Sawda’ 3,088 m

Natural resources:
limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land.

Land use:
arable land: 16.35%
permanent crops: 13.75%
other: 69.9% (2005)


Irrigated land: 1,040 sq km (2003).

Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms.

Environment - current issues:
deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills.

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands.
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation.

PEOPLE

Population: 3,925,502 (July 2007 est.).

Age structure:
0-14 years: 26.2% (male 525,199/female 504,240)
15-64 years: 66.7% (male 1,255,624/female 1,361,265)
65 years and over: 7.1% (male 125,904/female 153,270) (2007 est.).

Median age:
total: 28.3 years
male: 27.2 years
female: 29.5 years (2007 est.).

Population growth rate: 1.198% (2007 est.) .

Birth rate: 18.08 births/1,000 population (2007 est.).

Death rate: 6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.).

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.042 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.922 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.821 male(s)/female
total population: 0.944 male(s)/female (2007 est.).

Infant mortality rate:
total: 23.39 deaths/1,000 live
births male: 25.94 deaths/1,000 live
births female: 20.71 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.).

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.15 years
male: 70.67 years
female: 75.77 years (2007 est.).

Total fertility rate: 1.88 children born/woman (2007 est.).

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.).

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,800 (2003 est.).

HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 200 (2003 est.).

Nationality:
noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Lebanese.

Ethnic groups:
Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians.

Religions:
Muslim 59.7% (Shi’a, Sunni, Druze, Isma’ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, Protestant), other 1.3%
note: 17 religious sects recognized.

Languages: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian.

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.4% male: 93.1% female: 82.2% (2003 est.).

GOVERNMENT

Country Name:
Conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
Conventional short form: Lebanon
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
Local short form: Lubnan
Former: Greater Lebanon

Government type: Republic

Capital:
Name: Beirut
Geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E
Time difference: G.M.T+2 Hours
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Administrative divisions: 8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa, Beyrouth, Liban-Nord, Liban-Sud, Mont-Liban, Nabatiye

Independence: 22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration).

National holiday: Independence Day, 22 November (1943).

Constitution: 23 May 1926; amended a number of times, most recently Charter of Lebanese National Reconciliation (Ta’if Accord) of October 1989.

Legal system: Mixture of Ottoman law, canon law, Napoleonic code, and civil law; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.

Suffrage: 21 years of age.

Executive branch:
Chief of state: On the 25th of May 2008 the Parliament elected the Army Commander General Michel Suleiman as President of the Republic.
Head of government: Prime Minister Fuad SINIORA (since 30 June 2005); Deputy Prime Minister Elias MURR (since April 2005).
Cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and members of the National Assembly.
Elections: President elected by the National Assembly for a six-year term (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held 15 October 1998; note - on 3 September 2004 the National Assembly voted 96 to 29 to extend President Emile LAHOUD’s six-year term by three years; the prime minister and deputy prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly; by agreement, the president is a Maronite Christian, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the National Assembly is a Shi’a Muslim.
Election results for 15 October 1998 election: Emile LAHOUD elected President; National Assembly vote - 118 votes in favor, 0 against, 10 abstentions.

Legislative branch:
Unicameral National Assembly or Majlis Alnuwab (Arabic) or Assemblee Nationale (French) (128 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of sectarian proportional representation to serve four-year terms).
Elections: last held in four rounds on 29 May, 5, 12, 19 June 2005 (next to be held 2009).

Judicial branch:
Four Courts of Cassation (three courts for civil and commercial cases and one court for criminal cases); Constitutional Council (called for in Ta’if Accord - rules on constitutionality of laws); Supreme Council (hears charges against the president and prime minister as needed).

International organization participation:
ABEDA, ACCT, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer).

Flag Description:

ImageThree horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band.

ECONOMY

GDP (purchasing power parity): $22.86 billion (2006 est.).

GDP (official exchange rate): $20.64 billion (2006 est.).

GDP - real growth rate: -2.8% (2006 est.).

GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,900 (2006 est.).

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 5.1% industry: 18.4% services: 76.5% (2005).

Labor force: 1.5 million note: in addition, there are as many as 1 million foreign workers (2005 est.).

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA%

Unemployment: Rate 20% (2006 est.).

Population below poverty line: 28% (1999 est.) .

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2006 est.).

Investment (gross fixed): 18.3% of GDP (2006 est.).

Budget: revenues: $5.448 billion expenditures: $7.878 billion (2006 est.).

GDP (purchasing power parity): $22.86 billion (2006 est.).

GDP (official exchange rate): $20.64 billion (2006 est.).

GDP - real growth rate: -2.8% (2006 est.).

GDP - per capita (PPP): $5,900 (2006 est.).

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 5.1%
industry: 18.4%
services: 76.5% (2005).

Labor force: 1.5 million
note: in addition, there are as many as 1 million foreign workers (2005 est.).

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Unemployment: Rate 20% (2006 est.).

Population below poverty line: 28% (1999 est.).

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (2006 est.).

Investment (gross fixed): 18.3% of GDP (2006 est.).

Budget:
revenues: $5.448 billion
expenditures: $7.878 billion (2006 est.).

Public debt: 190.2% of GDP (2006 est.).

Agriculture - products:
citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats.

Industries:
banking, tourism, food processing, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating.

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 9.571 billion kWh (2005).

Electricity - consumption: 8.439 billion kWh (2005).

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2005).

Electricity - imports: 455 million kWh (2005).

Oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2004 est.).

Oil - consumption: 107,000 bbl/day (2004 est.).

Oil - exports: NA bbl/day.

Oil - imports: NA bbl/day.

Oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2006).

Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2005 est.).

Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2005 est.).

Current account balance: $-1.484 billion (2006 est.).

Exports: $2.792 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.).

Exports - commodities:
authentic jewelry, inorganic chemicals, miscellaneous consumer goods, fruit, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper.

Exports - partners:
Syria 26.8%, UAE 12%, Switzerland 6%, Saudi Arabia 5.7%, Turkey 4.5% (2006).

Imports: $8.547 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.).

Imports - commodities: petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco.

Imports - partners:
Syria 11.6%, Italy 9.8%, US 9.3%, France 7.7%, Germany 6%, China 5%, Saudi Arabia 4.7% (2006).

Economic aid - recipient:
$243 million received (2003) from the $4.2 billion in soft loans pledged at the November 2002 Paris II Aid Conference (2005).

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $19.18 billion (2006 est.).

Debt - external: $32.11 billion (2006 est.).

Stock of direct foreign investment – at home: $NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA

Market value of publicly traded shares: $8.279 billion (2006).

Currency (code): Lebanese pound (LBP)

Exchange rates: Lebanese pounds per US dollar - 1,507.5 (2006), 1,507.5 (2005), 1,507.5 (2004), 1,507.5 (2003), 1,507.5 (2002).

Fiscal year:
calendar year.

COMMUNICATIONS

Telephones - main lines in use: 681,400 (2006)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 1.103 million (2006)

Telephone system:
general assessment: repair of the telecommunications system, severely damaged during the civil war, now complete
domestic: 2 wireless networks provide good service; political instability hampers privatization and deployment of new technologies; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership approaching 50 per 100 persons
international: country code - 961; submarine cable link to Cyprus; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean); coaxial cable to Syria.

Radio broadcast stations: AM 20, FM 22, shortwave 4 (1998).

Television broadcast stations: 15 (plus 5 repeaters) (1995).

Internet country code: .lb

Internet hosts: 5,635 (2007).

Internet users: 950,000 (2006).

TRANSPORTATION

Airports: 7 (2007).

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 under 914 m: 1 (2007).

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007).

Pipelines: gas 43 km (2006).

Railways:
total: 401 km
standard gauge: 319 km 1.435 m
narrow gauge: 82 km 1.050 m
note: rail system became unusable because of damage done during fighting in the 1980s and in 2006 (2006).

Roadways:
total: 7,300 km
paved: 6,198 km
unpaved: 1,102 km (1999).

Merchant marine:
total: 35 ships (1000 GRT or over) 132,871 GRT/140,011 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 3, cargo 14, livestock carrier 12, passenger/cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 2, vehicle carrier 2
foreign-owned: 3 (Greece 2, Syria 1)
registered in other countries: 55 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Barbados 1, Cambodia 7, Comoros 5, Cyprus 1, Dominica 1, Egypt 1, Georgia 3, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 1, North Korea 3, Liberia 2, Malta 12, Mongolia 1, Panama 3, St Vincent and The Grenadines 7, Syria 4, unknown 2) (2007).

Ports and terminals: Beirut, Chekka, Jounie, Tripoli.

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 405,425 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)), 20,000-40,000 (Iraq)
IDPs: 17,000 (1975-90 civil war, Israeli invasions), 200,000 (July-August 2006 war) (2006).

Illicit drugs:
cannabis cultivation dramatically reduced to 2,500 hectares in 2002 despite continued significant cannabis consumption; opium poppy cultivation minimal; small amounts of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin transit country on way to European markets and for Middle Eastern consumption; money laundering of drug proceeds fuels concern that extremists are benefiting from drug trafficking.