Country: SAUDI ARABIAsaudi arabia

Capital: Riyadh

Geographic Coordinates: 25 00 N, 45 00 E

Population: 29,207,277. Note:  includes 5,576,076 non-nationals (July 2010 est.)

Main Religion: Islam

Language: Arabic

Government Type: Monarchy

Head of State: King and Prime Minister ABDULLAH bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud     

Main Industries: crude oil production, petroleum refining, basic petrochemicals, ammonia, industrial gases, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), cement, fertilizer, plastics, metals, commercial ship repair, commercial aircraft repair, construction

GDP in US Dollars (per capita): $20,400 (2009 est.)

Currency Code: Saudi riyal (SAR)

Life Expectancy: 71 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN)

Environment - current issues: Desertification; Depletion of underground water resources; The lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; Coastal pollution from oil spills

Issues facing Women and Children: 

  • Investment in primary health-care infrastructure has improved child survival rates, though approximately 10 per cent of children under five are underweight region-wide.
  • Injuries and accidents, particularly those involving automobile traffic, are the leading causes of childhood morbidity and mortality.
  • HIV/AIDS prevalence remains low, but there is a general lack of knowledge among the region's population about how the virus is spread.

Land Mine Ban Signatory: N

Local Media: Press:  Al-Watan, Al-Riyadh, Al-Jazirah, Arab News, Saudi Gazette; Radio and TV: Broadcasting Service of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (BSKSA), Saudi Radio, Saudi TV

Interesting Fact: Saudi Arabia is the world's largest producer of desalinated water: thirty-three plants produce nearly two million cubic meters of fresh water from the sea.    The first university in Saudi Arabia was founded in 1957 and had twenty-one students; now there are seven universities and ninety-four colleges with more than one hundred and seventy thousand students.           

Famous for:  Petroleum industry, Mecca, Medina, Prince Abdullah Al Faisal, Al Ardha (national dance), gold and silver handicrafts, Al-Ittihad or Ittihad Jeddah, The Kaaba and Al-Haram Mosque, Wahhabi doctrine, the Hajj