Fast Facts

Population:
768,000
Capital:
Doha; 286,000
Area:
11,521 square kilometers (4,448 square miles)
Language:
Arabic, English
Religion:
Muslim
Currency:
Qatari rial
Life Expectancy:
72
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $67,000
Literacy Percent:
83
Flag: Qatar
Map: Qatar

Qatar occupies a peninsula that extends into the Persian Gulf. This oil-rich nation, under British protection until 1971, chose not to join the United Arab Emirates. Qatar has exported oil since 1949, and as reserves decline, the nation has turned to its natural gas. The North Field (half the size of the entire country) is the largest single reservoir of natural gas in the world. The current emir has instituted political reforms, including allowing women to vote and hold office.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Crude oil production and refining, fertilizers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement
  • Agriculture: Fruits, vegetables; poultry, dairy products, beef; fish
  • Exports: Petroleum products, fertilizers, steel

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

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