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Lebanon

 
Flag of Lebanon
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Coordinates:
33.83 N  35.83 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Lebanon

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Lebanon Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
Lebanon has made progress toward rebuilding its political institutions since 1991 and the end of the devastating 15-year civil war. Under the Ta'if Accord - the blueprint for national reconciliation - the Lebanese have established a more equitable political system, particularly by giving Muslims a greater voice in the political process while institutionalizing sectarian divisions in the government. Since the end of the war, the Lebanese have conducted several successful elections, most of the militias have been weakened or disbanded, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have extended central government authority over about two-thirds of the country. Hizballah, a radical Shi'a organization listed by the US State Department as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, retains its weapons. During Lebanon's civil war, the Arab League legitimized in the Ta'if Accord Syria's troop deployment, numbering about 16,000 based mainly east of Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. Damascus justified its continued military presence in Lebanon by citing Beirut's requests and the failure of the Lebanese Government to implement all of the constitutional reforms in the Ta'if Accord. Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, however, encouraged some Lebanese groups to demand that Syria withdraw its forces as well. The passage of UNSCR 1559 in early October 2004 - a resolution calling for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon and end its interference in Lebanese affairs - further emboldened Lebanese groups opposed to Syria's presence in Lebanon. The assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq HARIRI and 20 others in February 2005 led to massive demonstrations in Beirut against the Syrian presence ("the Cedar Revolution"). Syria finally withdrew the remainder of its military forces from Lebanon in April 2005. In May-June 2005, Lebanon held its first legislative elections since the end of the civil war free of foreign interference, handing a two-thirds majority to the bloc led by Saad HARIRI, the slain prime minister's son.
   Geography    Lebanon Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
33 50 N, 35 50 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 454 km
border countries: Israel 79 km, Syria 375 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
225 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; Lebanon mountains experience heavy winter snows
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qurnat as Sawda' 3,088 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 16.35%
permanent crops: 13.75%
other: 69.9% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
1,040 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
dust storms, sandstorms
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity
   People    Lebanon Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,874,050 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 26.5% (male 523,220/female 502,372)
15-64 years: 66.6% (male 1,235,915/female 1,342,540)
65 years and over: 7% (male 122,155/female 147,848) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 27.8 years
male: 26.7 years
female: 28.9 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.23% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.52 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.21 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 23.72 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.34 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 20.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 72.88 years
male: 70.41 years
female: 75.48 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.9 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2,800 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Lebanese
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.4%
male: 93.1%
female: 82.2% (2003 est.)
   Government    Lebanon Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
conventional short form: Lebanon
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
local short form: Lubnan
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Beirut
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beyrouth, Beqaa, Liban-Nord, Liban-Sud, Mont-Liban, Nabatiye
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 22 November (1943)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
23 May 1926; amended a number of times, most recently Charter of Lebanese National Reconciliation (Ta'if Accord) of October 1989
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
mixture of Ottoman law, canon law, Napoleonic code, and civil law; no judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; compulsory for all males; authorized for women at age 21 with elementary education
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Emile LAHUD (since 24 November 1998)
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 (next to be held in 2007 based on three-year extension); note - on 3 September 2004 the National Assembly voted 96 to 29 to extend Emile LAHUD'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 legislature is a Shi'a Muslim
election results: for 15 October 1998 election: Emile LAHUD elected president; National Assembly vote - 118 votes in favor, 0 against, 10 abstentions
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
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)
election results: percent of vote by group - NA; seats by group - Future Movement Bloc 36; Democratic Gathering 15; Development and Resistance Bloc 15; Loyalty to the Resistance 14; Free Patriotic Movement 14; Lebanese Forces 6; Qornet Shewan 5; Popular Bloc 4; Tripoli Independent Bloc 3; Syrian National Socialist Party 2; Kataeb Reform Movement 2; Tachnaq Party 2; Democratic Renewal Movement 1; Democratic Left 1; Nasserite Popular Movement 1; Ba'th Party 1; Kataeb Party 1; independent 5
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
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)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Ba'th Party; Democratic Gathering [Walid JUMBLATT]; Democratic Left [Ilyas ATALLAH]; Democratic Renewal Movement [Nassib LAHUD]; Development and Resistance Bloc [Nabih BERRI, Amal Movement leader/Speaker of the National Assembly]; Free Patriotic Movement [Michel AWN]; Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad HARIRI]; Kataeb Party [Karim PAKRADONI]; Kataeb Reform Movement [Amine GEMAYAL]; Lebanese Forces [Samir JA'JA]; Loyalty to the Resistance [Mohammad RA'AD]; Metn Bloc [Michel MURR]; Nasserite Popular Movement [Ussama SAAD]; National Bloc [Carlos EDDE]; Popular Bloc [Elias SKAFF]; Qornet Shewan Gathering [a grouping with no individual leader]; Syrian National Socialist Party [Ali QANSU]; Tachnaq Party; Tripoli Independent Bloc [a grouping with no individual leader]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
none
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ABEDA, ACCT, AFESD, AMF, FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Farid ABBOUD
chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Jeffrey D. FELTMAN
embassy: Awkar, Lebanon
mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Lebanon; PSC 815, Box 2, FPO AE 09836-0002; from US: Embassy Beirut, 6070 Beirut Place, Washington, DC 20521-6070
telephone: [961] (4) 542600, 543600
FAX: [961] (4) 544136
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band
   Economy    Lebanon Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The 1975-91 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and all but ended Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern entrepot and banking hub. In the years since, Lebanon has rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily - mostly from domestic banks. In an attempt to reduce the ballooning national debt, the Rafiq HARIRI government began an austerity program, reining in government expenditures, increasing revenue collection, and privatizing state enterprises. In November 2002, the government met with international donors at the Paris II conference to seek bilateral assistance in restructuring its massive domestic debt at lower interest rates. Substantial receipts from donor nations stabilized government finances in 2003, but did little to reduce the debt, which stands at nearly 170% of GDP. In 2004 the HARIRI government issued Eurobonds in an effort to manage maturing debt. The downturn in economic activity that followed the assassination of Rafiq al-HARIRI has eased, but has yet to be reversed. Tourism remains below the level of 2004. The new Prime Minister, Fuad SINIORA, has pledged to push ahead with economic reform, including privatization and more efficient government. The Core Group of nations has announced plans to hold a Donor's Conference in early 2006 to assist the government of Lebanon in restructuring its debt and increasing foreign investment.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$23.69 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$20.7 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.5% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 12%
industry: 21%
services: 67% (2000)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.6 million
note: in addition, there are as many as 1 million foreign workers (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
28% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.4% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $4.953 billion
expenditures: $6.595 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
180.5% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
banking, tourism, food processing, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.67 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.67 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
750 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
102,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$4.239 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.782 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
authentic jewelry, inorganic chemicals, miscellaneous consumer goods, fruit, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Syria 26.3%, UAE 10.6%, Turkey 7.3%, Switzerland 6.4%, Saudi Arabia 5.6% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8.855 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Syria 11.1%, Italy 11%, France 9.1%, Germany 6.9%, China 5.3%, US 5.3%, UK 4.4% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$16.62 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$26 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$2.2 billion received (2003), out of the $4.2 billion in soft loans pledged at the November 2002 Paris II Aid Conference
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Lebanese pound (LBP)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Lebanese pounds per US dollar - 1,507.5 (2005), 1,507.5 (2004), 1,507.5 (2003), 1,507.5 (2002), 1,507.5 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Lebanon Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
630,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
888,000 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: repair of the telecommunications system, severely damaged during the civil war, now complete
domestic: two commercial wireless networks provide good service; political instability hampers privatization and deployment of new technologies
international: country code - 961; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (erratic operations); coaxial cable to Syria; 3 submarine coaxial cables
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 20, FM 22, shortwave 4 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
15 (plus 5 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.lb
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,365 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
600,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Lebanon Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
oil 209 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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 during the civil war in the 1980s and fighting in 2006; short sections were operable (2006)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 7,300 km
paved: 6,198 km
unpaved: 1,102 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 42 ships (1000 GRT or over) 161,231 GRT/187,140 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 20, livestock carrier 10, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 3, vehicle carrier 4
foreign-owned: 2 (Greece 2)
registered in other countries: 53 (Antigua and Barbuda 1, Barbados 2, Cambodia 1, Comoros 3, Egypt 2, Georgia 5, Honduras 1, North Korea 14, Liberia 1, Malta 8, Mongolia 1, Panama 1, Portugal 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4, Syria 7, unknown 1) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Beirut, Chekka, Jounie, Tripoli
   Military    Lebanon Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF): Army, Navy, and Air Force
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18-30 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 12 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 974,363
females age 18-49: 1,024,273 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 821,762
females age 18-49: 865,770 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$540.6 million (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.1% (2004)
   Transnational Issues    Lebanon Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Lebanese Government claims Shab'a Farms area of Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; the roughly 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been in place since 1978
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 404,170 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
IDPs: 300,000 (1975-90 civil war, Israeli invasions) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
cannabis cultivation dramatically reduced to 2,500 hectares in 2002; 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

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook