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''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the
Central Intelligence Agency The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA; ), known informally as "The Agency" and "The Company", is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the federal government of the United States, officially tasked with gathering, processing, and analyzing ...
(CIA) with
almanac An almanac (also spelled ''almanack'' and ''almanach'') is an annual publication listing a set of current, general or specific, information about one or multiple subjects. It includes information like weather forecasts, farmers' planting dates, ti ...
-style information about the
countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state, as a non-sovereig ...
of the
world The world is the Earth and all life on it, including human civilization. In a philosophical context, the "world" is the whole of the physical Universe, or an ontological world (the "world" of an individual). In a theological context, the ''w ...

world
. The official print version is available from the
Government Printing Office The United States Government Publishing Office (USGPO or GPO; formerly the United States Government Printing Office) is an agency of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The office produces and distributes information ...
. Other companies—such as
Skyhorse Publishing Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. is an American independent book publishing company founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, with a satellite office in Brattleboro, Vermont. History The current president and publisher is founder Tony Lyons, ...
—also print a paper edition. ''The Factbook'' is available in the form of a website that is partially updated every week. It is also available for download for use off-line. It provides a two- to three-page summary of the
demographics Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek δῆμος (''dēmos'') meaning 'the people', and ''-graphy'' from γράφω (''graphō'') meaning 'writing, description or measurement') is the statistical study of populations, especiall ...
,
geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφ ...
,
communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing meaning among entities or groups through the use of sufficiently mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic conventions. The main elements inherent to ...
s,
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a ...

government
,
economy An economy (from Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services by different agents. In general, it is defined 'as a social do ...
, and
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their ...
of each of 267 international entities including U.S.-recognized countries, dependencies, and other areas in the world. ''The World Factbook'' is prepared by the CIA for the use of
U.S. government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories and ...
officials, and its style, format, coverage, and content are primarily designed to meet their requirements. However, it is frequently used as a resource for academic research papers and news articles. As a work of the U.S. government, it is in the
public domain in the United States Works are in the public domain if they are not covered by intellectual property rights (such as copyright) at all, or if the intellectual property rights to the works have expired. All works first published or released before January 1, , have ...
.


Sources

In researching the ''Factbook'', the CIA uses the sources listed below. Other public and private sources are also consulted. * Antarctic Information Program (
National Science Foundation The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent agency of the United States government that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Inst ...
) *
Armed Forces Medical Intelligence CenterThe National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI; formerly known as the ''Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center'') is a component of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The role of NCMI is described in DoD Instruction 6420.01. Headquartered a ...
(
Department of DefenseDepartment of Defence or Department of Defense may refer to: Current departments of defence * Department of Defence (Australia) * Department of National Defence (Canada) * Department of Defence (Ireland) * Department of National Defense (Philippine ...
) *
Bureau of the Census The United States Census Bureau (USCB), officially the Bureau of the Census, is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy. The Census Bureau is part of the U. ...
(
Department of Commerce The United States Department of Commerce is an executive department of the U.S. federal government concerned with promoting economic growth. Among its tasks are gathering economic and demographic data for business and government decision makin ...
) *
Bureau of Labor Statistics The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a unit of the United States Department of Labor. It is the principal fact-finding agency for the U.S. government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics and serves as a principal agency of the ...
(
Department of Labor The Ministry of Labour (''UK''), or Labor (''US''), also known as the Department of Labour, or Labor, is a government department responsible for setting national labour standards, labour dispute mechanisms, employment, workforce participation, train ...
) *
Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) is the international association, formed in 1988, which brings together the National Antarctic Programs. National Antarctic Programs are those organizations that have responsibility for de ...
*
Defense Intelligence Agency The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is an intelligence agency of the United States federal government, specializing in defense and military intelligence. A component of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the United States Intelligence Communi ...
(Department of Defense) *
Department of EnergyA Ministry of Energy or Department of Energy is a government department in some countries that typically oversees the production of fuel and electricity; in the United States, however, it manages nuclear weapons development and conducts energy-relate ...
*
Department of State The United States Department of State (DOS), or State Department, is an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the nation's foreign policy and international relations. Equivalent to the ministry of foreign affairs of ...
*
Fish and Wildlife Service The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS or FWS) is an agency of the US federal government within the US Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats. The mission of the agency is "wo ...
(
Department of the Interior The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) is a federal executive department of the U.S. government. It is responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources, and the administration of programs rel ...
) *
Maritime Administration The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States Department of Transportation. MARAD also maintains the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) as a ready source of ships for use during national emergencies, an ...
(
Department of Transportation#REDIRECT Department of transportation#REDIRECT Department of transportation {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
) *
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense and a member of the United States Intelligence Community, with the primary mission of collecting, analyzing, and distributin ...

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
(Department of Defense) *
Naval Facilities Engineering Command The Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) is the United States Navy's engineering command, providing the Navy and United States Marine Corps with facilities and expeditionary expertise. NAVFAC is headquartered at the Washington Nav ...
(Department of Defense) *
Office of Insular Affairs The Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) is a unit of the United States Department of the Interior that oversees federal administration of several United States insular areas. It is the successor to the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the War Department, ...
(Department of the Interior) *
Office of Naval Intelligence The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is the military intelligence agency of the United States Navy. Established in 1882 primarily to advance the Navy's modernization efforts, ONI is the oldest member of the United States Intelligence Community a ...
(Department of Defense) * ''
Oil & Gas Journal The ''Oil & Gas Journal'' is a leading petroleum industry weekly publication with a worldwide coverage. It is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the journal has a major presence in Houston, Texas. The journal is published by Endeavor Business Med ...
'' *
United States Board on Geographic Names The United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is a federal body operating under the United States Secretary of the Interior. The purpose of the board is to establish and maintain uniform usage of geographic names throughout the federal governme ...
(Department of the Interior) *
United States Transportation Command The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) is one of eleven unified combatant commands of the United States Department of Defense. The command is located at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, and was established in 1987. The USTRANSCOM ...
(Department of Defense)


Copyright

Because the ''Factbook'' is in the
public domain The public domain consists of all the creative work to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. As examples, the works of William Shakespea ...
, people are free under United States law to redistribute it or parts of it in any way that they like, without permission of the CIA. However, the CIA requests that it be cited when the ''Factbook'' is used. Copying the official seal of the CIA without permission is prohibited by U.S. federal law—specifically, the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 ().


Frequency of updates and availability

Before November 2001 ''The World Factbook'' website was updated yearly; from 2004 to 2010 it was updated every two weeks; since 2010 it has been updated weekly. Generally, information currently available as of January 1 of the current year is used in preparing the ''Factbook''.


Government edition

The first classified edition of ''Factbook'' was published in August 1962, and the first unclassified version in June 1971. ''The World Factbook'' was first available to the public in print in 1975. In 2008 the CIA discontinued printing the ''Factbook'' themselves, instead turning printing responsibilities over to the Government Printing Office. This happened due to a CIA decision to "focus Factbook resources" on the online edition. The ''Factbook'' has been on the
World Wide Web upright=1.35, A global map of the web index for countries in 2014 The World Wide Web (WWW), commonly known as the Web, is an information system where documents and other web resources are identified by Uniform Resource Locators (URLs, such as ...
since October 1994. The web version receives an average of six million visits per month; it can also be downloaded. The official printed version is sold by the
Government Printing Office The United States Government Publishing Office (USGPO or GPO; formerly the United States Government Printing Office) is an agency of the legislative branch of the United States federal government. The office produces and distributes information ...
and
National Technical Information Service The National Technical Information Service (NTIS) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The primary mission of NTIS is to collect and organize scientific, technical, engineering, and business information generated by U.S. Governmen ...
. In past years, the ''Factbook'' was available on
CD-ROM A CD-ROM (, compact disc read-only memory) is a pre-pressed optical compact disc that contains data. Computers can read—but not write to or erase—CD-ROMs, i.e. it is a type of read-only memory. History During the 1990s, CD-ROMs were popularl ...
,
microfiche Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents, typically either films or paper, made for the purposes of transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microform images are commonly reduced to about 4% or one twenty-fifth of the original do ...
,
magnetic tape Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany in 1928, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and playback audio and vi ...
, and
floppy disk A floppy disk or floppy diskette (sometimes casually referred to as a floppy or diskette) is a type of disk storage composed of a thin and flexible disk of a magnetic storage medium in a square or nearly square plastic enclosure lined with a fa ...
.


Reprints and older editions online

Many Internet sites use information and images from the CIA ''World Factbook''. Several publishers, including Grand River Books, Potomac Books (formerly known as Brassey's Inc.), and
Skyhorse Publishing Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. is an American independent book publishing company founded in 2006 and headquartered in New York City, with a satellite office in Brattleboro, Vermont. History The current president and publisher is founder Tony Lyons, ...
have published the ''Factbook'' in recent years.


Entities listed

As of July 2011, ''The World Factbook'' comprises 267 entities, which can be divided into the following categories: ; Independent countries: The CIA defines these as people "politically organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory." In this category, there are 195 entities. ; Others: Places set apart from the list of independent countries. Currently there are two:
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has developed an internal s ...
. ; Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty: Places affiliated with another country. They may be subcategorized by affiliated country: :*
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixt ...

Australia
: six entities :*
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
: two entities :*
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ), officially the Kingdom of Denmark, da, Kongeriget Danmark, . See also: The unity of the Realm is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. Denmark proper, which is the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, consists o ...
: two entities :*
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of Fr ...
: eight entities :*
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

Netherlands
: three entities :*
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 smaller islands, covering a total area of . New Zealand ...
: three entities :*
Norway Norway ( nb, ; nn, ; se, Norga; smj, Vuodna; sma, Nöörje), officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe whose mainland territory comprises the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. T ...
: three entities :*
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
: seventeen entities :*
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
: fourteen entities ; Miscellaneous:
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Oce ...

Antarctica
and places in dispute. There are six such entities. ; Other entities: The
World The world is the Earth and all life on it, including human civilization. In a philosophical context, the "world" is the whole of the physical Universe, or an ontological world (the "world" of an individual). In a theological context, the ''w ...

World
and the
ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
s. There are five oceans and the World (the World entry is intended as a summary of the other entries).


Territorial issues and controversies


Political


Areas not covered

Specific regions within a country or areas in dispute among countries, such as
Kashmir Kashmir, ks, کٔشیٖر, kaśīr is the northernmost geographical region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the Kashmir Valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal Range. Tod ...
, are not covered, but other areas of the world whose status is disputed, such as the
Spratly Islands The Spratly Islands ( vi, Quần đảo Trường Sa; tl, Kapuluan ng Kalayaan; ms, Kepulauan Spratly; Mandarin zh, c=南沙群島/南沙群岛, s=, t=, p=Nánshā Qúndǎo; Dusun: ''Kopulohon Dibut)'' are a disputed archipelago in the South Chi ...
, have entries. Subnational areas of countries (such as
U.S. state In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares ...
s or the
Canadian provinces and territories The provinces and territories of Canada are sub-national divisions within the geographical areas of Canada under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Constitution. In the 1867 Canadian Confederation, three provinces of British North America—New Br ...
) are not included in the ''Factbook''. Instead, users looking for information about subnational areas are referred to "a comprehensive encyclopedia" for their reference needs. This criterion was invoked in the 2007 and 2011 (Archived by WebCite at ) editions with the decision to drop the entries for
French Guiana French Guiana ( or ; french: Guyane ) is an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France on the northern Atlantic coast of South America in the Guianas. It borders Brazil to the east and south and Suriname to the wes ...
,
Guadeloupe Guadeloupe (; ; gcf, label=Antillean Creole, Gwadloup, ) is an archipelago and overseas department and region of France in the Caribbean. It consists of six inhabited islands—Basse-Terre, Grande-Terre, Marie-Galante, La Désirade, and the t ...
,
Martinique Martinique ( , ; gcf, label=Martinican Creole, Matinik or ; Kalinago: or ) is an island and an Overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France, and therefore an integral part of the French Republic, located in the Less ...
,
Mayotte Mayotte (french: Mayotte, ; Shimaore: ''Maore'', ; mg, Maiôty) is an overseas department/region and single territorial collectivity of France officially named the Department of Mayotte (French: ''Département de Mayotte''). It consists of a main ...
, and Reunion. They were dropped because besides being
overseas department The overseas departments and regions of France (french: départements et régions d'outre-mer, ; ''DROM'') are departments of France that are outside metropolitan France, the European part of France. They have exactly the same status as mainland ...
s, they were now
overseas region The overseas departments and regions of France (french: départements et régions d'outre-mer, ; ''DROM'') are departments of France that are outside metropolitan France, the European part of France. They have exactly the same status as mainland ...
s, and an integral part of France. Since the
Trump administration The presidency of Donald Trump began at noon EST (17:00 UTC) on January 20, 2017, when Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States, and ended on January 20, 2021. Trump, a Republican originally from New York City, ...
has recognized Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara 2020, most of the
Western Sahara Western Sahara ( '; ; ) is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, while the remaining 8 ...
data has been merged into Morocco’s page.


Chagos Archipelago

Some entries on the World Factbook are known to be in line with the political views and agenda of the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
. The United States is behind both the excision of the
Chagos Archipelago The Chagos Archipelago () or Chagos Islands (formerly the Bassas de Chagas, and later the Oil Islands) are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south ...
from Mauritian territory and the forcible expulsion of the
Chagossians The Chagossians (also Îlois or Chagos Islanders) are a Creole ethnic group native to the Chagos Islands, specifically Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos, and the Salomon island chain, as well as other parts of the Chagos Archipelago, from the late 18th c ...
from their lands to establish a
military base A military base is a facility directly owned and operated by or for the military or one of its branches that shelters military equipment and personnel, and facilitates training and operations. A military base provides accommodations for one or mo ...
on one of the island of the archipelago, namely
Diego Garcia Diego Garcia is an island of the British Indian Ocean Territory, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. It is a militarised atoll just south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean, and the largest of 60 small islands comprising the C ...
. The US does not recognise the sovereignty of Mauritius over the Chagos Archipelago and the archipelago is listed as the British Indian Ocean Territory on the CIA Website. The website further erroneously mentioned that the Chagos Archipelago is also claimed by the Seychelles, while officially 116 countries including the Seychelles against only 6 countries including the United States voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly resolution dated 24 May 2019 which called upon the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom to withdraw its colonial administration from the Chagos Archipelago unconditionally to enable Mauritius to complete the decolonization of its territory as rapidly as possible.


Kashmir

Maps depicting Kashmir have the Indo-Pakistani border drawn at the Line of Control, but the region of Aksai Chin, Kashmir administered by China drawn in hash marks.


Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus, which the U.S. considers part of the Cyprus, Republic of Cyprus, is not given a separate entry because "territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United States Government are not shown on U.S. Government maps."


Taiwan/Republic of China

The name "Republic of China" is not listed as
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
's official name under the "Government" section, due to U.S. acknowledgement of Beijing's One-China policy according to which there is one China and Taiwan is a part of it. The name "Republic of China" was briefly added on January 27, 2005, but has since been changed back to "none". Of the ''Factbook''s two maps of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
, one highlights the island of Taiwan as part of the country while the other does not. (See also: Political status of Taiwan, Legal status of Taiwan)


Disputed South China Sea Islands

The Paracel Islands and
Spratly Islands The Spratly Islands ( vi, Quần đảo Trường Sa; tl, Kapuluan ng Kalayaan; ms, Kepulauan Spratly; Mandarin zh, c=南沙群島/南沙群岛, s=, t=, p=Nánshā Qúndǎo; Dusun: ''Kopulohon Dibut)'' are a disputed archipelago in the South Chi ...
, subjects of territorial disputes, have entries in the ''Factbook'' where they are not listed as the territory of any one nation. The disputed claims to the islands are discussed in the entries.


Burma/Myanmar

The U.S. does not recognize the renaming of Burma by its State Peace and Development Council, ruling military junta to ''Myanmar'' and thus keeps its entry for the country under the ''Burma'' name.


North Macedonia

The country was first entered as ''Macedonia'' in the ''Factbook'' upon independence in 1992. In the 1994 edition, the name of the entry was changed to the ''Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'', as it is recognised by the United Nations (pending resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute). For the next decade, this was the name the nation was listed under. In the 2004 edition of the ''Factbook'', the name of the entry was changed back to ''Macedonia'', following a November 2004 U.S. decision to refer to the country using this name. On February 19, 2019, the entry was renamed to ''North Macedonia'' following the country's name change to the North Macedonia, Republic of North Macedonia.


European Union

On December 16, 2004, the CIA added an entry for the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has developed an internal s ...
(EU) for the first time. The "What's New" section of the 2005 ''Factbook'' states: "The European Union continues to accrue European integration, more nation-like characteristics for itself and so a separate listing was deemed appropriate."


United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges and Iles Eparses

In the 2006 edition of ''The World Factbook'', the entries for Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Kingman Reef, Johnston Atoll, Palmyra Atoll and the Midway Atoll, Midway Islands were merged into a new United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges entry. The old entries for each individual insular area remain as redirects on the ''Factbook'' website. On September 7, 2006, the CIA also merged the entries for Bassas da India, Europa Island, the Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova Island, and Tromelin Island into a new Iles Eparses entry. As with the new United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges entry, the old entries for these five islands remained as redirects on the website. On July 19, 2007, the Iles Eparses entry and redirects for each island were dropped due to the group becoming a district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands in February.


Serbia and Montenegro/Yugoslavia

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) broke apart in 1991. The following year, it was replaced in the ''Factbook'' with entries for each of its former constituent republics. In doing this, the CIA listed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), proclaimed in 1992, as ''Serbia and Montenegro'', as the U.S. did not recognize the union between the two republics. This was done in accordance with a May 21, 1992, decision by the U.S. not to recognize any of the former Yugoslav republics as successor states to the recently dissolved SFRY. These views were made clear in a disclaimer printed in the ''Factbook'': "Serbia and Montenegro have asserted the formation of a joint independent state, but this entity has not been recognized as a state by the United States." Montenegro and Serbia were treated separately in the ''Factbook'' data, as can be seen on the map. In October 2000, Slobodan Milošević was 5th October (Serbia), forced out of office after a disputed election. This event led to democratic elections and U.S. diplomatic recognition. The 2001 edition of the ''Factbook'' thus referred to the state as ''Yugoslavia''. On March 14, 2002, an agreement was signed to transform the FRY into a loose state union called Serbia and Montenegro; it took effect on February 4, 2003. The name of the Yugoslavia entity was altered in the ''Factbook'' the month after the change.


Kosovo

On February 28, 2008, the CIA added an entry for Kosovo, which 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence, declared independence on February 17 of the same year. Before this, Kosovo was excluded in the ''Factbook''. Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute; Kosovo–Serbia relations, Serbia continues to claim Kosovo as part of its Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija, own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been out of United Nations Member states of the United Nations, member states, including the United States.


East Timor/Timor-Leste

On July 19, 2007, the entry for East Timor was renamed ''Timor-Leste'' following a decision of the
United States Board on Geographic Names The United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN) is a federal body operating under the United States Secretary of the Interior. The purpose of the board is to establish and maintain uniform usage of geographic names throughout the federal governme ...
(BGN).


Factual

The Factbook contains some errors (usually of a minor nature), inaccuracies, and out-of-date information, which are often repeated elsewhere due to the ''Factbook''s widespread use as a reference. For example, Albania was until recently, described in the ''Factbook'' as Muslim 56.7%, Roman Catholic 10%, Orthodox Church of Albania, Orthodox 6.8%, atheist 2.5%, Bektashi 2.1%, other 5.7%, unspecified 16.2%, which was based on a survey conducted in 1939, before World War II; numerous surveys conducted since the fall of the Communist regime since 1990 have given quite different figures. Another example is Singapore, which the ''Factbook'' states has a total fertility rate of 0.78 children per woman, despite figures in Statistics Singapore which state that the rate has been about 1.2–1.3 children per woman for at least the past several years, and it is unclear when, or even whether, it ever dropped as low as 0.78. This low and inaccurate value then gets cited in news articles which state that Singapore has the world's lowest fertility, or at least use the figure for its shock value. Another serious problem is that the Factbook never cites its sources, making verification of the information it presents difficult if not impossible. In June 2009, National Public Radio (NPR), relying on information obtained from the ''CIA World Factbook'', put the number of Israeli Jews living in settlements in the West Bank and Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem at 250,000. However, a better estimate, based on United States Department of State, State Department and Israeli sources put the figure at about 500,000. NPR then issued a correction. Chuck Holmes, foreign editor for NPR Digital, said, "I'm surprised and displeased, and it makes me wonder what other information is out-of-date or incorrect in the CIA ''World Factbook''." Scholars have acknowledged that some entries in the ''Factbook'' are out of date.


See also

* ''World Leaders'', another regular publication of the CIA * National Security Agency academic publications Alternative publications * ''Europa World Year Book'' * ''The New York Times Almanac'' * ''The World Almanac and Book of Facts'' * ''TIME Almanac with Information Please'' * ''Whitaker's Almanack''


References


Citations


Sources

*


External links

*
''CIA World Factbook'' as XML

The ''World Factbook'' for Google Earth
– The ''Factbook'' as Google Earth placemarks
On stephansmap.org
– The ''CIA World Factbook'' accessible by location and date range; covers the years 2001–2007. All ''Factbook'' entries are tagged with "cia". Requires graphical browser with javascript.
The current ''CIA World Factbook'' in Excel spreadsheet format


Mobile versions of the ''Factbook''



last updated February 2019

– Optimized ''CIA World Factbook'' version for Android Devices


The ''Factbook'' by year


Countries of the World – 36 years of the ''CIA World Factbook''
(1982–2019) * Previous editions of ''The World Factbook'' from the University of Missouri–St. Louis archive:
1992

1991 ''CIA World Factbook''

1990 ''CIA World Factbook''

1989 ''CIA World Factbook''

1987 ''CIA World Factbook''

1986 ''CIA World Factbook''

1985 ''CIA World Factbook''

1984 ''CIA World Factbook''

1982 ''CIA World Factbook''
{{DEFAULTSORT:World Factbook, The Wikipedia articles incorporating text from the World Factbook, Academic works about intelligence analysis Almanacs Central Intelligence Agency publications, Factbook Publications established in 1962 Reference works in the public domain 1962 establishments in the United States