- Kuwait City; 1,222,000
- 17,818 square kilometers (6,880 square miles)
- Arabic, English
- Sunni and Shiite Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Parsi
- Kuwaiti dinar
- Life Expectancy:
- GDP per Capita:
- U.S. $17,500
- Literacy Percent:
Kuwait Facts Flag
A small, oil-rich country on the Persian Gulf, Kuwait is flat and arid, but oil wealth makes this an attractive place for immigrants. Kuwaiti Arabs make up a third of the population, with other Arabs (Egyptians, Palestinians) 22 percent, and non-Arabs (mostly South Asians) 38 percent. Founded in the 18th century, the ruling al-Sabah dynasty was in place in 1899 when Kuwait came under British protection. Full independence was achieved in 1961. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, but a U.S.-led coalition routed Iraqi forces. Kuwait was the principal platform for U.S. military operations against Saddam Hussein in 2003.
- Industry: Petroleum, petrochemicals, desalination, food processing
- Agriculture: Practically no crops; fish
- Exports: Oil and refined products, fertilizers
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
See images of the people, landscapes, and cities that make the Middle East such a beautiful and historic region of the world.
The biggest oil field discovered in U.S. territory in three decades lies under the Gulf of Mexico. Learn more about its estimated one billion barrels of oil, and what it means for the industry.
A feverish dream of the future springs from the sands in Dubai.
2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest
Browse photos of nature, cities, and people and share your favorite photos.