Form of Government: Absolute monarchy
Area: 2 149 690 sq km
Population: 33 413 660 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 15.54 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 32° - 15° N; long. 35° - 56° E
Capital: Riyadh=Ar-Riyāḍ (capital) 6 906 595 inhab. (2018);
Currency: riyal (100 halalas)
Human development index: 0.853 (rank: 39)
Sovereign: King Salmān bin ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Āl Sa‘ūd, since 23 January 2015
Internet: www.stats.gov.sa/en (General Authority for Statistics)
Member of Arab League, GCC, OAS observer, OIC, OPEC, UN, WTO

Saudi Arabia

Al-‘Arabīyah as-Su‘ūdīyah, Al-Mamlakah al-‘Arabīyah as-Su‘ūdīyah
Useful information

International license plate code KSA
International dialling code 00966
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission); malaria prophylaxis (recommended for some areas)
Electricity (Voltage) 127/220
Driving side rigth
Internet code .sa

GMT  +3
DST  not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Riyadh 25.5; Jeddah 28.2
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Riyadh 14/35; Jeddah 25/32
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Riyadh 11/7; Jeddah /
Annual average precipitation (mm) Riyadh 101; Jeddah 55
Days of rainfall (annual average) Riyadh 20; Jeddah 14

Politics and current affairs

The perception of Prince Muḥammad bin Salmān was compromised internationally following the disappearance of a Saudi journalist in the consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. This was exacerbated by the difficulties related to the expensive war in Yemen and the lack of success regarding the economic and social reform plan “Vision 2030”.

Geography.
It is bordered to the north by Jordan and Iraq, to the northeast by Kuwait, to the south-east by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, and to the south by Oman and Yemen. It faces the Arabian Gulf to the east and the Red Sea to the west. The mountainous area known as Al-Ḥijāz in the north and ‘Asīr in the south flanks the Red Sea coast. Beyond this lies the desert, which is sandy in the north (An-Nafūd) and stony in the centre (Nejd). To the east of Nejd the plateau descends to the Arabian Gulf in steep steps at the foot of which runs a line of springs forming densely populated oases. The sand desert called Ar-Rub’ al-Khālī extends to the south-east. The climate is arid.

Government


An independent kingdom, created on 23 September, 1932, upon the union of the kingdoms of Nejd (Najd) and Hejaz (Al-Ḥijāz) and the emirates of ‘Asīr, Najrān and Al-Aḥsā’.
After the death of the country’s founder Abdul Aziz (1953), as is the custom the power went to his sons, from one to the next in order of age. The health conditions of King Salmān has given a lot of freedom to his son, Muḥammad bin Salmān, Crown Prince since 2017, who has arrested many members of the royal family and promoted sometimes rash initiatives, such as the armed intervention in Yemen.
The Basic Law (1992) stipulates that the king, “Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques” (Mecca and Medina), holds all power (legislative, executive and judicial); there is no distinction between the assets and wealth of the royal family and those of the state. The King is advised by a Consultative Assembly, whose 150 members are appointed by the king himself (in 2013, he allocated 30 seats to women). In 2015 the right to vote, only exercised in administrative elections, was extended to women and the minimum age was lowered to 18 years. The official religion is Sunni Islam.


Defence and justice.
Military spending in relation to GDP is among the highest in the world. Military service is voluntary. The judicial system is based on Islamic Law (sharia).

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force15.8%2015
Army33%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes406per 100 000 pop.2002
Homicides1.5per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Riyadh=Ar-Riyāḍ6 906 595inhab.2018
Jeddah=Jiddah3 430 697inhab.2010
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2018)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

Foreigners account for approximately one third of the total population and more than half of the active population.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate19.22017
Death rate3.62017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Arab74%2005
Asian16%2005


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Muslim93%2010
Christian4.4%2010


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Arabic
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years25.7%2018
15-29 years24.4%2018


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Economy


Economic situation.
The fall in oil prices caused a serious budget deficit in 2015, aggravated by the cost of the war in Yemen. To compensate, the country turned to huge foreign currency reserves and the issuing of government bonds. An ambitious investment plan (“Vision 2030”) approved in 2016 was focused on diversifying the economy and social development in the country, but it has been met with difficulties. Cuts were made to high public spending (reducing the incomes of public employees and subsidies for energy, water and fuel), and in 2018, a value-added tax was introduced, though this led to an increase in prices and a reduction in growth.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)106.49index2016
Balance of trade164 083.9M US$2018
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population14 255 369units2018
Active population, Females16.8%2018
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate5.9%2018
Unemployment rate, Females57.6%2018
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses1 030 415M LCU2018
Revenues894 711M LCU2018
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture4.9%2018
industry24.4%2018
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture2.5%2017
industry45.1%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation1 217.9BN LCU2018
International reserves509 468.5M US$2018
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Agriculture


Primary and secondary sector.
Substantial investment has been made in agriculture. The main farming produce is wheat, chicken meat and dates (Saudi Arabia is among the leading exporters of dates).
The largest oil fields are in the eastern region bordering on the Arabian Gulf (Al-Ghawār, As Saffānīyah, Abqaiq, Al-Kharsānīyah, Abū Ḥadrīyah, Al-Qaṭīf, Ad-Dammām, Al-Fāḍilī, Khurayṣ, Abū Sa‘fah, Al-Barrī, Munīfah, Fazrān and Zuluf). Crude oil is pumped through a network of pipelines to the major refineries (Ra’s Tannūrah, Riyadh, Yanbu‘ al-Baḥr, Rābigh, Al-Jubayl and Jeddah) and to the terminals at Mīnā’ az Zawr (Kuwait) and Awālī (Bahrain). Most of the natural gas is consumed in the country itself. Other industrial activities include heavy engineering (Jeddah), steel (Yanbu‘ al-Baḥr, Al-Jubayl), alumi­nium founding (Ras al-Khaīr) and construction materials (about 25 cement factories).

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land1.7%2015
forests0.45%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley637.6121000 t2017
cereals, total1 429.0221000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes476.4181000 t2017
roots and tubers, total476.4181000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages9.8911000 t2017
carrots and turnips15.6171000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes44.5051000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts1.5561000 t2017
sesame seed3.2581000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coffee01000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fruits, total1 257.731000 t2014
Agriculture - products - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits40.0681000 t2017
citrus fruits, nes40.0681000 t2017
Agriculture - products - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
dates754.7611000 t2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley95.1661000 ha2017
maize2.4711000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes18.7551000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages8.5881000 ha2017
carrots and turnips0.9371000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape3.7851000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
groundnuts0.3831000 ha2017
sesame seed1.7291000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Aromatics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
coffee01000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Citrus fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
citrus fruits4.531000 ha2017
citrus fruits, nes4.531000 ha2017
Agriculture - areas harvested - Tropical fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
dates108.1331000 ha2017
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber294 7582017
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle364.9581000 heads2017
cattle and buffaloes364.9581000 heads2017
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep9 328.4551000 heads2017
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats3 670.441000 heads2017
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asses991000 heads2017
asses and mules991000 heads2017
Livestock - Camelids
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
camels485.9261000 heads2017
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds190 2101000 heads2017
Livestock - Beekeeping
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
honey0.1021000 t2014
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter5.2171000 t2014
cheese1651000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs53 076t2017
freshwater fishes7 600t2017
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Minerals

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural gas94 185M m³2017
oil, crude519 9571000 t2018
Mineral resources - Metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bauxite4 6231000 t2018
copper141000 t2015
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barite411000 t2016
clay9.71000 t2017
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
dolomite2 3481000 t2018
granite1 1601000 t2018
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal324 119.52M kWh2016
non-renewable electricity generation99.999%2016
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal82 8701000 kW2016
- other renew.701000 kW2016
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation324 120.52M kWh2016
total installed capacity82 9401000 kW2016
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
alumina1 4501000 t2017
aluminium7621000 t2017
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
tractors118no.2016
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners148 000no.2016
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen3 015.71000 t2016
petrol25 988.41000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia4 0001000 t2018
nitrogen fertilizers3 3621000 t2016
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets5621000 m²2016
cotton fabrics0.25M m²2016
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cottonseed oil13.11000 t2014
fish, frozen4.571000 t2016
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
other paper1 1861000 t2017
paper1 1861000 t2017
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement41 9371000 t2018
sheet glass8 5421000 m²2016
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production24 540.6M US$2016
food, beverages and tobacco production10 824M US$2016
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Trade


Tertiary sector

With several big banks and a stock exchange in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia is the main financial centre in the Middle East. Religious tourism is extremely important; more than 2 million pilgrims go to Mecca and Medina every year.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
fuels74.526% of goods exports2016
manufactures21.691% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China9 724M US$2018
United Arab Emirates8 132M US$2018
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China22 244M US$2018
United States18 041M US$2018
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2018299 100M US$ -
2017221 835M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2018135 016M US$ -
2017134 519M US$ -
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Tourism

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures18 745M US$2017
Number of arrivals16 109 000units2017
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Communications

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown135 500 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried37 5031000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers75.86per 1000 pop.2017
Computers693per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling16.9years2014
Gradautes, percentage23.2%2017
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level319 714units2016
Teachers, secondary level311 944units2014
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds2.2per 1000 pop.2017
Physicians2.5per 1000 pop.2017
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV-0.1% of adults2016
Malaria3 151cases2017
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending0.82% of GDP2013
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking95.96%2016
Access to electricity100%2017
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear3.8%2018
education2.6%2018
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