Form of Government: Provisional government
Area: 1 676 198 sq km
Population: 6 931 061 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 4.14 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 33° - 20° N; long. 10° - 25° E
Capital: Tripoli 1 157 746 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: Libyan dinar (1000 dirham)
Human development index: 0.724 (rank: 105)
Chairman of the Presidential Council: Mohamed al-Menfi, since 5 February 2021
Prime Minister: Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, since 15 March 2021
Internet: www.cbl.gov.ly (Central Bank of Libya)
Member of Arab League, AU, COMESA, EBRD, OIC, OPEC, UN, WTO observer
International license plate code LAR
International dialling code 00218
Travel vaccinations requirement yellow fever (required only if traveling from a country with risk of transmission)
Electricity (Voltage) 127/230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .ly
DST not applied
Annual average temperature (°C) Tripoli 19.6; Al Kufrah 23
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Tripoli 12.5/25.5; Al Kufrah 13/30.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Tripoli 10/5; Al Kufrah 11/8
Annual average precipitation (mm) Tripoli 284; Al Kufrah 2
Days of rainfall (annual average) Tripoli 37; Al Kufrah 0
Politics and current affairs
With UN mediation, a ceasefire was signed between fighting factions in Geneva on 23 October 2020. Between 7 and 15 November, the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum brought together 75 delegates in Tunis, who agreed to create a unitary government that resulted in elections on 24 December 2021. The new executive entered office on 15 March 2021.
Libya is bordered by Egypt to the east, by Sudan to the south-east, by Chad and Niger to the south, by Algeria to the west and by Tunisia to the north-west.
To the north the country faces out onto the Mediterranean. The flat coastline slopes quickly upwards towards Tripoli and more gradually towards Sirtica and Cyrenaica.
The inland area is a huge plateau, going as far as the Tassili-n-Ajjer mountains in the west and the Libyan Desert in the east. The climate is Mediterranean along the coast with mild winters and hot summers, while further inland there is hardly any rainfall.
Libya became independent on 24 December 1951 after decades of Italian colonialism and a period of Franco-British occupation from 1943-51. On 1 September 1969, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi succeeded in overthrowing King Mohammed Idris-al-Senussi and proclaimed a republic. Even without assigning himself a clear political role, Gaddafi assumed control of the country as “Guide of the Revolution”, and abolished elections and political parties.
With the constitutional reform on 2 March 1977, the country adopted the name Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Republic), which remained in forced until the fall of the Gaddafi regime (killed on 23 October, 2011), the final act of the first civil war that broke out in February 2011 following widespread protests.
The country was then governed by the National Transitional Council, the interim government body in charge of leading the first stage of the transition to democracy until the elections held on 7 July, 2012, which appointed the General People’s Congress of 200 members, then replaced by a 200-member House of Representatives after the elections held on 25 June 2014.
Following the outbreak of the second civil war, Libya finds itself divided on an institutional level. Extremist militia, siding with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Justice and Reconstruction party, attacked the capital Tripoli and reinstated the general national congress. The national forces of Zintān and other armed groups uphold the more liberal and federal House of Representatives, which has been transferred to Tobruk: here the strongest influence is that of General Khalifa Haftar, who is supported by Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Russia, and indirectly by other nations, such as France and the USA. On 4 April 2019, Haftar launched an assault on the capital, where Fayez al-Sarraj’s Presidential Council had been installed three years earlier, on 30 March 2016; in 2020, however, he had to face a counteroffensive from forces loyal to Tripoli, which could count on Turkish reinforcements and weapons.
The chaotic situation encourages activities by criminal groups who exploit the migrant flows coming from Sub-Saharan Africa and heading toward Europe and the penetration along the southern border of armed militias from nearby countries.
Defence and justice.
The legal codes (civil, penal and commercial) bring together elements of the Italian and the French legal systems as well as Islamic law.
|Homicides||2.5||per 100 000 pop.||2015|
|Tripoli=Ṭarābulus||1 157 746||inhab.||2018|
|Tripoli||1 157 746||inhab.||2018|
|Bengasi||1 110 000||inhab.||2011|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2020)|
The arid regions are populated by nomadic and semi-nomadic Berber tribes, such as the Tuareg. Libya is a popular departure point for emigrants trying to get to the southern Italian coasts.
The civil war has seriously affected the country’s manufacturing industry, both as a result of damage caused directly by the war, and on account of the discontinuity in exports of oil and natural gas (the block caused by military operations in 2020 compromised the entire Libyan economy.)
The improved stability of the political scene in 2021 facilitated a nevertheless arduous recovery. The shortage of many goods has led to a sharp rise in prices.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||116.72||index||2016|
|Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)||101.8||index||2019|
|Active population||2 389 203||units||2020|
|Active population, Females||34$||%||2020|
|Unemployment rate, Females||45.1||%||2019|
|Expenses||45 813||M LCU||2019|
|Revenues||57 365.2||M LCU||2019|
|Currency in circulation||105.38||BN LCU||2019|
|International reserves||84 663.6||M US$||2019|
Agriculture is carried out only in oases and in the regions of Benghazi and Tripoli, and most food is imported. The main products are potatoes, watermelons, tomatoes, onions, and dates. Olives are found all over the country, especially in Tripolitania. Some plants growing wild in the country are harvested, including alfalfa and esparto grass, especially in the Er Regina area in Cyrenaica and the An-Nuqāṭ al-Khams area in Tripolitania, which are used for cellulose, ropes and mats.
One of the major constructions commenced by the former regime, a large water network covering approximately 3500 km (“The Great Man-Made River”) pipes the water pumped from the desert subsoil to the coastal areas of Benghazi and Sirte (the infrastructure, however, has suffered considerable damage due to the ongoing conflict).
Livestock and fishing.
In the arid regions, livestock farming of goats and sheep by nomads is still of importance. Along the Cyrenaica coast, sponge diving is practiced.
|cereals, total||219.613||1000 t||2019|
|roots and tubers, total||359.457||1000 t||2019|
|carrots and turnips||33.66||1000 t||2019|
|beans, dry||1.267||1000 t||2019|
|broad beans, dry||0.197||1000 t||2019|
|citrus fruits||85.083||1000 t||2019|
|carrots and turnips||7.68||1000 ha||2019|
|beans, dry||0.366||1000 ha||2019|
|broad beans, dry||0.114||1000 ha||2019|
|citrus fruits||8.382||1000 ha||2019|
|timber||1 167 641||m³||2019|
|cattle and buffaloes||229.89||1000 heads||2019|
|sheep||7 562.22||1000 heads||2019|
|goats||2 663.801||1000 heads||2019|
|asses and mules||30$||1000 heads||2019|
|birds||36 553||1000 heads||2019|
|hides and skins||9.047||1000 t||2019|
|crustaceans and molluscs||2 305||t||2019|
The main oil reserves are found at Mabrūk, Al Ḥufrah, Zalṭan, Ar Rāqūbah, Al-Bayḍā’, ‘Awrā’, Samāḥ, Waha, Jālū, Āmāl, Sarīr, Awjilah and Magid. The pipeline network is very long. A 175 km pipeline connects the wells at Zalṭan to the terminal at Marsā al-Burayqah on the Gulf of Sirte.
Another 137 km pipeline transports oil from Al Ḥufrah to Sidra/As Sidrah. A 200 km pipeline takes oil extracted from Ar Rāqūbah into the Zalṭan-Marsā al-Burayqah pipeline.
The Ra’s Lānūf pipeline terminal is fed from Al Ḥufrah and ‘Awrā’ oilfields, and is also linked to the reserves in Al-Bayḍā’, Samāḥ, Waha and Jālū. More pipelines connect Āmāl to the Ra’s Lānūf terminal, Sarīr to the Marsā al-Ḥarīqah terminal, near Tobruk, and Awjilah to the Az Zuwaytīnah terminal. The subsoil also contains natural gas (since 2004 Libya and Italy have been connected by a pipeline between Mellitah and Gela), soda (from lakes to the east of Awbārī in Fezzan) and iron ore (also in Fezzan).
Oil refineries operate at Az-Zāwiyah, Marsā al-Burayqah, Ra’s Lānūf, Sarīr and Tobruk. Miṣrātah has a steelworks, while Rabtas, Tarhūnah and Marsā al-Burayqah have chemical plants.
Other industries include cement factories (near Tripoli, Homs, Benghazi and Darnah), tanning plants in Tripoli and Benghazi and tobacco plants, also in Tripoli. Artisans produce rugs and embroidery in silk and silver.
|natural gas||13 306||M m³||2020|
|oil, crude||20 352.8||1000 t||2020|
|- thermal||32 113.22||M kWh||2018|
|non-renewable electricity generation||99.975||%||2018|
|- thermal||10 511||1000 kW||2018|
|- other renew.||5$||1000 kW||2019|
|total net generation||32 121.22||M kWh||2018|
|total installed capacity||10 516||1000 kW||2018|
|steel, crude||495||1000 t||2020|
|sulfur, rec.||135||1000 t||2018|
|petrol||1 051.1||1000 t||2018|
|nitrogen fertilizers||121||1000 t||2019|
|beer of barley||0.4||1000 t||2012|
|olive oil||17.3||1000 t||2018|
|other paper||6$||1000 t||2019|
|cement||6 200||1000 t||2018|
|manufacturing production||3 879.2||M US$||2008|
Almost 80% of the country’s export income comes from oil, while imports are mostly foodstuffs, manufactured products and technology.
Tripoli has a stock exchange.
Main exports (M US$ - 2017) crude oil 15 662, natural gas 1 000, petroleum products 576, iron and steel 153, refined copper 88, chemicals 77, aluminium 69, gold and silver 48, fish 40, fertilizers 34, sulfur 14, electrical and electronic equipment 8, hides and skins 7, machinery 6, refined lead 5, wheat 4, wool 3
|fuels||95.397||% of goods exports||2018|
|manufactures||0.981||% of goods exports||2018|
|Italy||10 682||M US$||2013|
|Germany||6 183||M US$||2013|
|Italy||3 783||M US$||2013|
|China||2 822||M US$||2013|
Tourism. Prior to the recent conflict, tourism was extremely active in the desert (Akākus, Murzuq) and in archaeological sites (Leptis Magna, Ṣabrātha).
|Expenditures||2 042||M US$||2018|
|Number of arrivals||34 000||units||2008|
The road networks is concentrated in the north where the national coast road (1822 km) goes from the Egyptian border to the Tunisian border, linking Tripoli and Benghazi. There is no rail network, but air travel is increasing.
|Civil aviation, km flown||8 800 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||1 367.5||1000 units||2019|
|Broadband subscribers||48.323||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||21.9||per 1000 pop.||2005|
Social and welfare
Education is compulsory from 6 to 15 years, after which there are another three years of secondary schooling.
|Expected years of schooling||16.5||years||2003|
|Gross enrolment ratio, primary - Female||108||index||2006|
|Students, primary level||755 338||units||2006|
|Students, secondary level||732 614||units||2006|
|Hospital beds||3.2||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Physicians||2.1||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|HIV||0.2||% of adults||2019|
|Access to electricity||68.532||%||2019|
|Access to improved drinking-water source||98.529||%||2017|