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Country In Focus

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

  • Capital:Riyadh
  • Population:29.37 million (WB, 2014)
  • Languages:Arabic (official)
  • Head of State:King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Country Data

The modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established in 1932 by Abdul Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman Al Saud who unified warring tribes into one nation. The young Abdulaziz led a small force in 1902 to regain control of Riyadh city’s garrison, which marked the formation of modern Saudi state setting Riyadh as its capital. He captured Hijaz in 1924 and eventually took over the reign of Saudi Arabia. His sons succeeded him after his death in 1953.King Abdullah ascended to the throne in 2005. He increased modernization of the country through social and economic investment that includes increasing social opportunities for women, attracting foreign investments among others. Since the Arab Spring the government announced several reforms and benefits to the citizens in response to unrest in the wider region.On 23rd Jan 2015 King Abdulla died and King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud ascended to the throne....


Middle East, bordering the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of

25 00 N, 45 00 E

2,149,690 sq km

Harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes

Mostly uninhabited, sandy desert


29.37 million (WB, 2014)



GDP (current US$)

$748.4 billion (WB, 2013)

GDP growth (annual %)

4 % (WB, 2013)

GNI per capita (current international $)

53,640 (WB, 2013)



With paved runways: 82
With unpaved runways: 132
Total: 214 (2013)

Total: 221,372 km

Ports and terminals   
Major seaport(s): Ad Dammam, Al Jubayl, Jeddah, Yanbu al Bahr
Container port(s) (TEUs): Ad Dammam (1,492,315), Jeddah (4,010,448)


Crude oil
Proven reserves (billion barrels): 265.85
Production (1,000 b/d): 9,763
Exports (1,000 b/d): 7,557

Natural gas
Proven reserves (billion cu. m.): 8,235
Marketed production (billion cu. m.): 9.330
Refinery capacity (1,000 b/d): 2,107

Oil demand (1,000 b/d): 2,873
Exports of petroleum products (1,000 b/d):  862.1

Source: OPEC Annual statistical bulletin 2013


Main lines in use: 4.8 million (2012)
Mobile cellular : 53 million (2012)


Military branches 
Ministry of Defense and Aviation Forces: Royal Saudi Land Forces, Royal Saudi Naval Forces (includes Marine Forces and Special Forces), Royal Saudi Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya as-Sa'udiya), Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces, Royal Saudi Strategic Rocket Forces, Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG)
Military service age and obligation

17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Manpower available for military service   
Males age 16-49: 8,644,522
Females age 16-49: 6,601,985 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service 
Males age 16-49: 7,365,624
Females age 16-49: 5,677,819 (2010 est.)


International Disputes   
Saudi Arabia has reinforced its concrete-filled security barrier along sections of the now fully demarcated border with Yemen to stem illegal cross-border activities; Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue discussions on a maritime boundary with Iran; Saudi Arabia claims Egyptian-administered islands of Tiran and Sanafir
Refugees and internally displaced persons   
Refugee population by country of origin
291,000 (Palestinian Territories) (2009)

Stateless persons
70,000 (2012). Note - Thousands of biduns (stateless Arabs) are descendants of nomadic tribes who were not officially registered when national borders were established, while others migrated to Saudi Arabia in search of jobs; some have temporary identification cards that must be renewed every five years, but their rights remain restricted; most Palestinians have only legal resident status; some naturalized Yemenis were made stateless after being stripped of their passports when Yemen backed Iraq in its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Tier rating
Tier 3 - Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has implemented regulations mandating the formation of unified recruitment companies to replace the sponsorship model. (2013)

Illicit drugs   
Death penalty for traffickers; improving anti-money-laundering legislation and enforcement

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Sources: The World Fact Book, World Bank