The Leading Global Portal for Diplomats!    
    Keep in touch with the community Succeed in your new posting Take care of personal affairs Chat with diplomats online      
Home > New Diplomat > Country Briefs

Area: 10,452 sq. km. (4,015 sq. mi.), about the size of Connecticut.
Cities: Capital--Beirut (pop. 1.5 million). Other cities--Tripoli (275,000), Sidon (110,000), Tyre (60,000), Zahleh (68,000).
Terrain: Narrow coastal plain backed by the Lebanon Mountains, the fertile Bekaa Valley, and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, which extend to the Syrian border. Land--61% urban, desert, or waste; 21% agricultural; 8% forested.
Climate: Typically Mediterranean, resembling that of southern California.

Nationality: Noun and adjective--Lebanese (sing. and pl.).
Population (2005 est.): 3.8 million.
Annual growth rate (2005 est.): 1.3%.
Ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%.
Religions: Christian (Maronite, Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Armenian Apostolic, other), Muslim (Sunni, Shi'a, other), and Druze.
Languages: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian.
Education: Years compulsory--8. Attendance--99%. Literacy--87.4%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--24.5/1,000 (2005). Life expectancy--male, 70.1 yrs; female 75.2 yrs.
Work force (1.6 million excluding foreign labor, 2001): Industry, commerce, services--70%; agriculture--20%; government--10%.

Type: Parliamentary republic.
Independence: November 22, 1943.
Constitution: May 26, 1926 (amended).
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state, elected by simple majority of parliament for 6-year term), council of ministers (appointed). Legislative--unicameral parliament (128-member Chamber of Deputies elected for 4-year and renewable terms; last election May 29-June 19, 2005. Judicial--secular and religious courts; combination of Ottoman, civil, and canon law; limited judicial review of legislative acts.
Administrative subdivisions: Six governorates, each headed by a governor: Beirut, North Lebanon, South Lebanon, Mount Lebanon, Nabatiyah, and Bekaa.
Political parties: Organized along sectarian lines around individuals whose followers are motivated primarily by religious, clan, and ethnic considerations.
Suffrage: 21 years; compulsory for men, authorized for women with elementary education.

GDP (2004): $18.83 billion.
Annual growth rate (2004): 4.0%.
GDP per capita (2004): $5,000.
Natural resources: Limestone, water.
Agriculture (11.7% of GDP): Products--citrus, potatoes, grapes, tomatoes, olives, apples, sugar beets, tobacco, sheep, goats.
Industry (21.0% of GDP): Types--construction material, food processing, textiles and readymade garments, furniture, oil refining, mineral and chemical products, jewelry.
Services (67.3% of GDP): Types--banking, tourism, medical care, education.
Trade (2004): Exports--$1.783 billion (f.o.b.). Major markets--Switzerland, U.A.E., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, France, and U.S. Imports--$8.162 billion (f.o.b.). Major suppliers--Italy, France, Germany, China, U.S., Syria, and U.K.

Adapted from material published in the CIA World Factbook.
Share |