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Introduction World
Background: Globally, the 20th century was
marked by: (a) two devastating world
wars; (b) the Great Depression of
the 1930s; (c) the end of vast
colonial empires; (d) rapid advances
in science and technology, from the
first airplane flight at Kitty Hawk,
North Carolina (US) to the landing
on the moon; (e) the Cold War
between the Western alliance and the
Warsaw Pact nations; (f) a sharp
rise in living standards in North
America, Europe, and Japan; (g)
increased concerns about the
environment, including loss of
forests, shortages of energy and
water, the decline in biological
diversity, and air pollution; (h)
the onset of the AIDS epidemic; and
(i) the ultimate emergence of the US
as the only world superpower. The
planet's population continues to
explode: from 1 billion in 1820, to
2 billion in 1930, 3 billion in
1960, 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion
in 1988, and 6 billion in 2000. For
the 21st century, the continued
exponential growth in science and
technology raises both hopes (e.g.,
advances in medicine) and fears
(e.g., development of even more
lethal weapons of war).

Geography World
Map references: Physical Map of the World, Political
Map of the World, Standard Time
Zones of the World
Area: total: 510.072 million sq km
land: 148.94 million sq km
water: 361.132 million sq km
note: 70.8% of the world's surface
is water, 29.2% is land
Area - comparative: land area about 16 times the size of
the US
Land boundaries: the land boundaries in the world
total 250,472 km (not counting
shared boundaries twice)
Coastline: 356,000 km
Maritime claims: a variety of situations exist, but
in general, most countries make the
following claims: contiguous zone -
24 NM; continental shelf - 200-
m depth or to the depth of
exploitation, or 200 NM or to the
edge of the continental margin;
exclusive fishing zone - 200 NM;
exclusive economic zone - 200 NM;
territorial sea - 12 NM; boundary
situations with neighboring states
prevent many countries from
extending their fishing or economic
zones to a full 200 NM; 43 nations
and other areas that are landlocked
include Afghanistan, Andorra,
Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana,
Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central
African Republic, Chad, Czech
Republic, Ethiopia, Holy See
(Vatican City), Hungary, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho,
Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi,
Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal,
Niger, Paraguay, Rwanda, San Marino,
Slovakia, Swaziland, Switzerland,
Tajikistan, The Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan,
Uganda, Uzbekistan, West Bank,
Zambia, Zimbabwe; two of these,
Liechtenstein and Uzbekistan, are
doubly landlocked
Climate: two large areas of polar climates
separated by two rather narrow
temperate zones form a wide
equatorial band of tropical to
subtropical climates
Terrain: the greatest ocean depth is the
Mariana Trench at 10,924 m in the
Pacific Ocean
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Bentley Subglacial
Trench -2,540 m
note: in the oceanic realm,
Challenger Deep in the Mariana
Trench is the lowest point, lying -
10,924 m below the surface of the
Pacific Ocean
highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m
(1999 est.)
Natural resources: the rapid depletion of nonrenewable
mineral resources, the depletion of
forest areas and wetlands, the
extinction of animal and plant
species, and the deterioration in
air and water quality (especially in
Eastern Europe, the former USSR, and
China) pose serious long-term
problems that governments and
peoples are only beginning to
Land use: arable land: 10.58%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 88.41% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 2,714,320 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: large areas subject to severe
weather (tropical cyclones), natural
disasters (earthquakes, landslides,
tsunamis, volcanic eruptions)
Environment - current issues: large areas subject to
overpopulation, industrial
disasters, pollution (air, water,
acid rain, toxic substances), loss
of vegetation (overgrazing,
deforestation, desertification),
loss of wildlife, soil degradation,
soil depletion, erosion
Geography - note: the world is now thought to be about
4.55 billion years old, just about
one-third of the 13-billion-year age
estimated for the universe

People World
Population: 6,233,821,945 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 29.2% (male 932,581,592;
female 885,688,851)
15-64 years: 63.7% (male
2,009,997,089; female 1,964,938,201)

65 years and over: 7.1% (male
193,549,180; female 247,067,032)
(2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.23% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 21.16 births/1,000 population (2002
Death rate: 8.93 deaths/1,000 population (2002
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/
total population: 1.01 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 51.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 63.94 years
female: 65.67 years (2002 est.)
male: 62.28 years
Total fertility rate: 2.7 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA%
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Religions: Christians 32.88% (of which Roman
Catholics 17.39%, Protestants 5.62%,
Orthodox 3.54%, Anglicans 1.31%),
Muslims 19.54%, Hindus 13.34%,
Buddhists 5.92%, Sikhs 0.38%, Jews
0.24%, other religions 12.6%, non-
religious 12.63%, atheists 2.47%
(2000 est.)
Languages: Chinese, Mandarin 14.37%, Hindi
6.02%, English 5.61%, Spanish 5.59%,
Bengali 3.4%, Portuguese 2.63%,
Russian 2.75%, Japanese 2.06%,
German, Standard 1.64%, Korean
1.28%, French 1.27% (2000 est.)
note: percents are for "first
language" speakers only
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
and write
total population: 77%
male: 83%
female: 71% (1995 est.)

Government World
Administrative divisions: 268 nations, dependent areas, other,
and miscellaneous entries
Legal system: all members of the UN plus
Switzerland are parties to the
statute that established the
International Court of Justice (ICJ)
or World Court

Economy World
Economy - overview: Growth in global output (gross world
product, GWP) fell from 4.8% in 2000
to 2.2% in 2001. The causes:
slowdowns in the US economy (21% of
GWP) and in the 15 EU economies (20%
of GWP); continued stagnation in the
Japanese economy (7.3% of GWP); and
spillover effects in the less
developed regions of the world.
China, the second largest economy in
the world (12% of GWP), proved an
exception, continuing its rapid
annual growth, officially announced
as 7.3% but estimated by many
observers as perhaps two percentage
points lower. Russia (2.6% of GWP),
with 5.2% growth, continued to make
uneven progress, its GDP per capita
still only one-third that of the
leading industrial nations. The
other 14 successor nations of the
USSR and the other old Warsaw Pact
nations again experienced widely
divergent growth rates; the three
Baltic nations were strong
performers, in the 5% range of
growth. The developing nations also
varied in their growth results, with
many countries facing population
increases that eat up gains in
output. Externally, the nation-
state, as a bedrock economic-
political institution, is steadily
losing control over international
flows of people, goods, funds, and
technology. Internally, the central
government often finds its control
over resources slipping as
separatist regional movements -
typically based on ethnicity - gain
momentum, e.g., in many of the
successor states of the former
Soviet Union, in the former
Yugoslavia, in India, in Indonesia,
and in Canada. In Western Europe,
governments face the difficult
political problem of channeling
resources away from welfare programs
in order to increase investment and
strengthen incentives to seek
employment. The addition of 80
million people each year to an
already overcrowded globe is
exacerbating the problems of
pollution, desertification,
underemployment, epidemics, and
famine. Because of their own
internal problems and priorities,
the industrialized countries devote
insufficient resources to deal
effectively with the poorer areas of
the world, which, at least from the
economic point of view, are becoming
further marginalized. The
introduction of the euro as the
common currency of much of Western
Europe in January 1999, while paving
the way for an integrated economic
powerhouse, poses economic risks
because of varying levels of income
and cultural and political
differences among the participating
nations. The terrorist attacks on
the US on 11 September 2001
accentuate a further growing risk to
global prosperity, illustrated, for
example, by the reallocation of
resources away from investment to
anti-terrorist programs. (For
specific economic developments in
each country of the world in 2001,
see the individual country entries.)
GDP: GWP (gross world product) -
purchasing power parity - $47
trillion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 2.2% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,600
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4%
industry: 32%
services: 64% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): developed countries 1% to 4%
typically; developing countries 5%
to 60% typically (2001 est.);
national inflation rates vary widely
in individual cases, from declining
prices in Japan to hyperinflation in
several Third World countries
Labor force: NA
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%,
services NA%
Unemployment rate: 30% combined unemployment and
underemployment in many non-
industrialized countries; developed
countries typically 4%-12%
unemployment (2001 est.)
Industries: dominated by the onrush of
technology, especially in computers,
robotics, telecommunications, and
medicines and medical equipment;
most of these advances take place in
OECD nations; only a small portion
of non-OECD countries have succeeded
in rapidly adjusting to these
technological forces; the
accelerated development of new
industrial (and agricultural)
technology is complicating already
grim environmental problems
Industrial production growth rate: 6% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: NA%
hydro: NA%
nuclear: NA%
other: NA%
Exports: $6.3 trillion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: the whole range of industrial and
agricultural goods and services
Exports - partners: in value, about 75% of exports from
the developed countries
Imports: $6.3 trillion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: the whole range of industrial and
agricultural goods and services
Imports - partners: in value, about 75% of imports into
the developed countries
Debt - external: $2 trillion for less developed
countries (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: official development assistance
(ODA) $50 billion (2001 est.)

Communications World
Telephones - main lines in use: NA
Telephones - mobile cellular: NA
Telephone system: general assessment: NA
domestic: NA
international: NA
Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
Radios: NA
Television broadcast stations: NA
Televisions: NA
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 10,350 (2000 est.)
Internet users: 513.41 million (2001 est.)

Transportation World
Railways: total: 1,201,337 km includes about
190,000 to 195,000 km of electrified
routes of which 147,760 km are in
Europe, 24,509 km in the Far East,
11,050 km in Africa, 4,223 km in
South America, and 4,160 km in North
America; note - fastest speed in
daily service is 300 km/hr attained
by France's Societe Nationale des
Chemins-de-Fer Francais (SNCF) Le
Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV) -
Atlantique line
broad gauge: 251,153 km
narrow gauge: 239,430 km
standard gauge: 710,754 km
Highways: total: NA km
paved: NA km
unpaved: NA km
Ports and harbors: Chiba, Houston, Kawasaki, Kobe,
Marseille, Mina' al Ahmadi (Kuwait),
New Orleans, New York, Rotterdam,

Military World
Military expenditures - dollar aggregate real expenditure on arms
figure: worldwide in 1999 remained at
approximately the 1998 level, about
three-quarters of a trillion dollars
(1999 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of roughly 2% of gross world product
GDP: (1999 est.)
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