The World Factbook (1982)/Saudi Arabia

The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Saudi Arabia


World Factbook (1982) Saudi Arabia.jpg
(See reference map VI)


Estimated at about 2,331,000 km² (boundaries undefined and disputed); 1% agricultural, 1% forested, 98% desert, waste, or urban

Land boundaries: 4,537 km


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 12 nm (plus 6 nm "necessary supervision zone")

Coastline: 2,510 km


Population: 19,795,000 (July 1982), average annual growth rate 2.8%

Nationality: noun—Saudi(s); adjective—Saudi Arabian or Saudi

Ethnic divisions: 90% Arab, 10% Afro-Asian (est.)

Religion: 100% Muslim

Language: Arabic

Literacy: 15-25% (est.)

Labor force: about 33% (one-half foreign) of population; 44% commerce, services, and government; 28% agriculture, 21% construction, 4% industry, 3% oil and mining


Official name: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Type: monarchy

Capital: Riyadh; foreign ministry and foreign diplomatic representatives located in Jiddah

Political subdivisions: 18 amirates

Legal system: largely based on Islamic law, several secular codes have been introduced; commercial disputes handled by special committees; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: 23 September

Branches: King Khalid (Al Sa'ud, Khalid ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz) rules in consultation with royal family (especially Crown Prince Fahd), and Council of Ministers

Government leader: King and Prime Minister Khalid ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz Al SA'UD

Communists: negligible

Member of: Arab League, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMCO, IMF, ISCON, ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, NAM, OAPEC, OPEC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WMO


GDP: $115 billion (FY80 est.), $9,500 per capita; annual growth in real nonoil GNP approx. 15% (1976/80 average, nonoil)

Agriculture: dates, grains, livestock; not self-sufficient in food

Major industries: petroleum production 10.2 million b/d (1980); payments to Saudi Arabian Government, $54 billion (1979); cement production and small steel-rolling mill and oil refinery; several other light industries, including factories producing detergents, plastic products, furniture, etc.; PETROMIN, a semipublic agency associated with the Ministry of Petroleum, has recently completed a major fertilizer plant

Electric power: 10,460,800 kW capacity (1980); 27,490 billion kWh produced (1980), 2,719 kWh per capita

Exports: $110 billion (f.o.b., 1981); 99% petroleum and petroleum products

Imports: $34 billion (f.o.b., 1981); manufactured goods, transportation equipment, construction materials, and proc- essed food products

Major trade partners: exports—US, Western Europe, Japan; imports—US, Japan, West Germany

Budget: FY82 appropriation $88.7 billion; current expenditure $27.5 billion, project expenditure $61.2 billion

Monetary conversion rate: 1 Saudi riyal= US$0.30 (1980; linked to SDR, freely convertible)

Fiscal year: follows Islamic year; the 1980-81 Saudi fiscal year covers the period 15 May 1980 through 4 May 1981


Railroads: 575 km standard gauge (1.435 m)

Highways: 30,100 km total; 16,500 km paved, 13,600 km improved earth

Pipelines: 5,850 km crude oil; 386 km refined products; 1,570 km natural gas, includes 1,370 km of natural gas liquids

Ports: 3 major (Jidda, Ad Damman, Ras Tanura), 6 minor

Civil air: 112 major transport aircraft, including 22 leased in

Airfields: 157 total, 122 usable; 52 with permanent-surface runways; 7 with runways over 3,659 m, 21 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 62 with runways 1,220-2,439 m, 4 with runways over 3,660 m

Telecommunications: good system exists, major expansion program nearly complete with microwave, coaxial cable, satellite systems; 200,000 telephones (2.5 per 100 popl.); 6 AM, 1 FM, 27 TV stations, 1 submarine cable; 1 Atlantic and 1 Indian Ocean satellite station; 13 domestic satellite stations


Military manpower: males 15-49, 2,562,000; 1,464,000 fit for military service; about 93,000 reach military age (18) annually

Military budget: for fiscal year ending 30 April 1982, $24,640 million; about 28% of central government budget