Kuwait - KW - KWT - KUW - Middle East

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires James HOLTSNIDER (since July 2021)

embassy: P.O. Box 77, Safat 13001

mailing address: 6200 Kuwait Place, Washington DC  20521-6200

telephone: [00] (965) 2259-1001

FAX: [00] (965) 2538-0282

email address and website:
KuwaitACS@state.gov

https://kw.usembassy.gov/

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.32% (male 377,040/female 346,791)

15-64 years: 73.28% (male 1,371,010/female 903,309)

65 years and over: 3.4% (2023 est.) (male 45,351/female 60,079)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Kuwait. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

29 30 N, 45 45 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.52 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 1.37 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Heliports

20 (2024)

Natural hazards

sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year but are most common between March and August

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than New Jersey
Area comparison map

slightly smaller than New Jersey


Military service age and obligation

18-55 years of age for voluntary military service; Kuwait reintroduced 12-month mandatory service for men aged 18-35 in May 2017 after having suspended conscription in 2001; mandatory service is divided in two phases – 4 months for training and 8 months for military service; women were allowed to volunteer in 2021 (2023)

note: the National Guard is restricted to citizens, but in 2018, the Army began allowing non-Kuwaitis to join on contract or as non-commissioned officers; that same year, it also began allowing stateless people (Bidoon) to join

Background

Kuwait has been ruled by the AL-SABAH dynasty since the 18th century. The threat of Ottoman invasion in 1899 prompted Amir Mubarak AL-SABAH to seek protection from Britain, ceding foreign and defense responsibility to Britain until 1961, when the country attained its independence. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq in August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led UN coalition began a ground assault in February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. In 1992, the Amir reconstituted the parliament that he had dissolved in 1986. Amid the 2010-11 uprisings and protests across the Arab world, stateless Arabs, known as Bidoon, staged small protests in early 2011 demanding citizenship, jobs, and other benefits available to Kuwaiti nationals. Other demographic groups, notably Islamists and Kuwaitis from tribal backgrounds, soon joined the growing protest movements, which culminated in late 2011 with the resignation of the prime minister amidst allegations of corruption. Demonstrations renewed in late 2012 in response to an amiri decree amending the electoral law that lessened the voting power of the tribal blocs.

An opposition coalition of Sunni Islamists, tribal populists, and some liberals, largely boycotted legislative elections in 2012 and 2013, which ushered in a legislature more amenable to the government's agenda. Faced with the prospect of painful subsidy cuts, oppositionists and independents actively participated in the November 2016 election, winning nearly half of the seats, but a cohesive opposition alliance largely ceased to exist with the 2016 election and the opposition became increasingly factionalized. Between 2006 and his death in 2020, the previous Kuwaiti Amir dissolved the National Assembly on seven occasions (the Constitutional Court annulled the Assembly elections in June 2012 and again in June 2013) and shuffled the cabinet over a dozen times, usually citing political stagnation and gridlock between the legislature and the government.

The current Amir, who assumed his role in 2020, launched a "National Dialogue" in September 2021 meant to resolve political gridlock. As part of the "National Dialogue," the Amir pardoned several opposition figures who had been living in exile, and they returned to Kuwait. Legislative challenges remain, and the cabinet has been reshuffled six times since late 2020. 


Environment - current issues

limited natural freshwater resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification; loss of biodiversity

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping-London Convention

Population below poverty line

NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, natural gas, industrial hydrocarbon products, industrial alcohols (2021)

Exports - partners

China 20%, South Korea 16%, India 15%, Japan 10%, Taiwan 6%, Vietnam 5% (2019)

Administrative divisions

6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir

Agricultural products

eggs, dates, tomatoes, cucumbers, poultry, milk, mutton, potatoes, vegetables, eggplants

Military and security forces

Kuwaiti Armed Forces (KAF): Kuwaiti Land Forces (KLF), Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya; includes Kuwaiti Air Defense Force, KADF), 25th Commando Brigade, and the Kuwait Emiri Guard Authority; Kuwaiti National Guard (KNG) (2023)

note 1: the Emiri Guard Authority and the 25th Commando Brigade exercise independent command authority within the Kuwaiti Armed Forces, although activities such as training and equipment procurement are often coordinated with the other services; the 25th Commando Brigade is Kuwait's leading special forces unit; the Emiri Guard Authority (aka Emiri Guard Brigade) is responsible for protecting Kuwait's heads of state

note 2: the Kuwaiti National Guard reports directly to the prime minister and the amir and possesses an independent command structure, equipment inventory, and logistics corps separate from the Ministry of Defense, the regular armed services, and the Ministry of Interior; it is responsible for protecting critical infrastructure and providing support for the Ministries of Interior and Defense as required

note 3: the police, Kuwait State Security, and Coast Guard are under the Ministry of Interior

Budget

revenues: $77.988 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $72.03 billion (2019 est.)

Capital

name: Kuwait City

geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the name derives from Arabic "al-Kuwayt" a diminutive of "kut" meaning "fortress," possibly a reference to a small castle built on the current location of Kuwait City by the Beni Khaled tribe in the 17th century

Imports - commodities

cars, broadcasting equipment, natural gas, packaged medicines, jewelry (2019)

Climate

dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters

Coastline

499 km

Constitution

history: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962; suspended 1976 to 1981 (4 articles); 1986 to 1991; May to July 1999

amendments: proposed by the amir or supported by at least one third of the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds consent of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the amir; constitutional articles on the initiation, approval, and promulgation of general legislation cannot be amended

Exchange rates

Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
0.302 (2021 est.)
0.306 (2020 est.)
0.304 (2019 est.)
0.302 (2018 est.)
0.303 (2017 est.)

Executive branch

chief of state: Amir Sheikh MISHAL al-Ahmad al-Sabah (since 16 December 2023); he succeeded his brother, Amir Sheikh NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah following his death on 16 December 2023

head of government: Prime Minister Sheikh MOHAMMAD Sabah Al Salim Al Sabah (since 4 January 2024); First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh TALAL al-Khalid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (since 16 October 2022); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Khalid al-FADIL (since 9 April 2022); Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil Bader Hamed Yusef Al-Mula (since 16 October 2022)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by the amir

elections/appointments: amir chosen from within the ruling family, confirmed by the National Assembly; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the amir; crown prince appointed by the amir and approved by the National Assembly

Fiscal year

1 April - 31 March

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; colors and design are based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I; green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords, black signifies the defeat of the enemy

Independence

19 June 1961 (from the UK)

Industries

petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Constitutional Court (consists of 5 judges); Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (organized into several circuits, each with 5 judges)

judge selection and term of office: all Kuwaiti judges appointed by the Amir upon recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, a consultative body comprised of Kuwaiti judges and Ministry of Justice officials

subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; Court of First Instance; Summary Court

Land boundaries

total: 475 km

border countries (2): Iraq 254 km; Saudi Arabia 221 km

Land use

agricultural land: 8.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 0.6% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 7.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.4% (2018 est.)

other: 91.1% (2018 est.)

Legal system

mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic sharia law

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (65 seats; 50 members directly elected from 5 multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 15 ex-officio members (cabinet ministers) appointed by the amir; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: snap election held on 6 June 2023 (next to be held in 2027)

election results:
50 non-partisan candidates, including 29 oppositionists; composition of elected members - 49 men, 1 woman, percent of women 2%

note: on 17 April 2023, Crown Prince Mishal al-AHMAD al-Sabah dissolved the National Assembly, which had been reinstated in March at the direction of the Constitutional Court, following its annulment of the September 2022 election; the Assembly was formally dissolved by royal decree on 1 May 2023, and a new election was held on 6 June

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96.5%

male: 97.1%

female: 95.4% (2020)

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

International organization participation

ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CD, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNOOSA, UNRWA, UN Security Council (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

National holiday

National Day, 25 February (1950)

Nationality

noun: Kuwaiti(s)

adjective: Kuwaiti

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas

Geography - note

strategic location at head of Persian Gulf

Economic overview

small, high-income, oil-based Middle East economy; renewable energy proponent; regional finance and investment leader; maintains oldest sovereign wealth fund; emerging space and tourism industries; mid-way through 25-year development program

Pipelines

261 km gas, 540 km oil, 57 km refined products (2013)

Political parties and leaders

none; the government does not recognize any political parties or allow their formation, although no formal law bans political parties

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi

Suffrage

21 years of age and at least 20-year citizenship

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Kuwait’s telecom infrastructure is well developed, with a focus on mobile infrastructure and services; the telecom sector is important to the country’s economy, and this will become more pronounced in coming years as the economy is purposefully transitioned away from a dependence on oil and gas to one which is increasingly knowledge-based and focused on ICT and related services; the MNOs have focused investment on 5G networks, which support and promote the growth of data traffic; this in turn has been a catalyst for revenue growth in recent quarters; while Kuwait’s mobile sector shows considerable progress; the country’s fixed broadband system is the lowest in the region; the government has stepped up efforts to build up fixed broadband networks, and ultimately this sector offers a potential future growth opportunity; improvements to the fixed broadband infrastructure will help develop sectors such as e-commerce, along with smart infrastructure developments, and tech start-ups (2022)

domestic: fixed-line subscriptions are nearly 13 per 100 and mobile-cellular stands at nearly 163 per 100 subscriptions (2021)

international: country code - 965; landing points for the FOG, GBICS, MENA, Kuwait-Iran, and FALCON submarine cables linking Africa, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 6 (3 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean, and 2 Arabsat) (2019)

Terrain

flat to slightly undulating desert plain

Government type

constitutional monarchy (emirate)

Country name

conventional long form: State of Kuwait

conventional short form: Kuwait

local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt

local short form: Al Kuwayt

etymology: the name derives from the capital city, which is from Arabic "al-Kuwayt" a diminutive of "kut" meaning "fortress," possibly a reference to a small castle built on the current location of Kuwait City by the Beni Khaled tribe in the 17th century

Location

Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia

Map references

Middle East

Irrigated land

100 sq km (2015)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Alzain Sabah Naser Saud ALSABAH (since 19 April 2023)

chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (po)

telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702

FAX: [1] (202) 966-8468

email address and website:
consulate@kuwaitembassy.us

https://www.kuwaitembassy.us/

consulate(s) general: Beverly Hills (CA), New York

Internet country code

.kw

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 92,000 (2022); note - Kuwait's 1959 Nationality Law defined citizens as persons who settled in the country before 1920 and who had maintained normal residence since then; one-third of the population, descendants of Bedouin tribes, missed the window of opportunity to register for nationality rights after Kuwait became independent in 1961 and were classified as bidun (meaning "without"); since the 1980s Kuwait's bidun have progressively lost their rights, including opportunities for employment and education, amid official claims that they are nationals of other countries who have destroyed their identification documents in hopes of gaining Kuwaiti citizenship; Kuwaiti authorities have delayed processing citizenship applications and labeled biduns as "illegal residents," denying them access to civil documentation, such as birth and marriage certificates

GDP (official exchange rate)

$134.638 billion (2019 est.)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Kuwait does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; officials assisted more vulnerable migrant workers at the government shelter, launched an online platform for domestic workers to file grievances, and continued to hold fraudulent recruitment agencies accountable; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts, compared to the previous year, to expand its anti-trafficking capacity; there were fewer investigations of alleged trafficking crimes and no prosecutions or convictions of traffickers; fewer victims were identified, and some officials continued to use arbitration and administrative penalties instead of investigating cases as potential human trafficking crimes; Kuwait did not implement procedures to identify and prevent trafficking, nor regularly use standard operating procedures to identify and refer victims to services; officials continued to detain, prosecute, and deport potential trafficking victims, including those fleeing forced labor or in commercial sex, without screening for trafficking indicators; the government did not take any new steps to reform its visa sponsorship system, leaving migrant workers highly vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking; therefore, Kuwait remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Kuwait; men and women migrate primarily from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and other countries in South and Southeast Asia and the Middle East to work predominantly in the service, sanitation, construction, transportation, security, hospitality, and domestic service sectors, and, most recently, nurses working for medical supply companies; unskilled laborers and female domestic workers are especially vulnerable to forced labor and physical and sexual abuse; undocumented Bidoon (stateless residents of Arab heritage) face challenges gaining lawful employment and remain vulnerable to trafficking; many labor-source countries, including Bhutan, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe continue to restrict their female nationals from domestic employment in Kuwait due to the high risk they face; some visa sponsors subject migrants to forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, sex trafficking; some officials allegedly take bribes or sell work permits to illegal recruiting companies or directly to migrants; Cuban nationals working in Kuwait may have been forced to work by the Cuban government; Kuwait’s sponsorship law restricts workers’ movements and penalizes them for leaving abusive workplaces; domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to forced labor inside private homes; reports indicate some workers fleeing abusive employers are exploited in sex trafficking by recruiters or criminals (2023)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AA (2008)

Moody's rating: A1 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: AA- (2020)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

Total renewable water resources

20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 15 years

male: 13 years

female: 16 years (2015)

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.35% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

state-owned TV broadcaster operates 4 networks and a satellite channel; several private TV broadcasters have emerged; satellite TV available and pan-Arab TV stations are especially popular; state-owned Radio Kuwait broadcasts on a number of channels in Arabic and English; first private radio station emerged in 2005; transmissions of at least 2 international radio broadcasters are available (2019)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

National anthem

name: "Al-Nasheed Al-Watani" (National Anthem)

lyrics/music: Ahmad MUSHARI al-Adwani/Ibrahim Nasir al-SOULA

note: adopted 1978; the anthem is only used on formal occasions
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Kuwait. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Major urban areas - population

3.298 million KUWAIT (capital) (2023)

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Physicians density

2.34 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

2 beds/1,000 population (2017)

National symbol(s)

golden falcon; national colors: green, white, red, black

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 43.1% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 24.5% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 26.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 3.5% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 49.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -47% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 34.4

youth dependency ratio: 28.4

elderly dependency ratio: 6

potential support ratio: 24.9 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kuwait

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: not specified

Population distribution

densest settlement is along the Persian Gulf, particularly in Kuwait City and on Bubiyan Island; significant population threads extend south and west along highways that radiate from the capital, particularly in the southern half of the country

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 44

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 6,464,847 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 392.36 million (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

9K

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: NA

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Ethnic groups

Kuwaiti 30.4%, other Arab 27.4%, Asian 40.3%, African 1%, other 0.9% (includes European, North American, South American, and Australian) (2018 est.)

Religions

Muslim (official) 74.6%, Christian 18.2%, other and unspecified 7.2% (2013 est.)

note: data represent the total population; about 72% of the population consists of immigrants

Languages

Arabic (official), English widely spoken

major-language sample(s):
كتاب حقائق العالم، المصدر الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه للمعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Arabic audio sample

Imports - partners

China 14%, United Arab Emirates 12%, United States 10%, Saudi Arabia 6%, Japan 6%, Germany 5%, India 5% (2019)

Disputes - international

Kuwait-Iraq: no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf; Kuwait has called on Iraq to resolve the domestic legal status of the 2012 Kuwait-Iraq Agreement to regulate maritime navigation in Khor Abdullah and ensure that the agreement remains in force  

Kuwait-Saudi Arabia: their maritime boundary was established in 2000 and has a neutral zone but its extension to Iran’s maritime boundary has not been negotiated

 


Elevation

highest point: 3.6 km W. of Al-Salmi Border Post 300 m

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

mean elevation: 108 m

Contraceptive prevalence rate

NA

Current health expenditure

6.3% of GDP (2020)

Military - note

the Kuwaiti Armed Forces (KAF) are responsible for external defense; the independent National Guard is responsible for protecting critical infrastructure and providing support for the Ministries of Interior and Defense as required; the National Guard and the Ministry of Interior are the Kuwaiti Government’s lead counterterrorism organizations; Kuwait’s primary security concerns are potential threats emanating from Iran, including regional militias loyal to Iran, and Islamic terrorist groups

the KAF participates in bilateral and multilateral exercises, as well as a limited number of multinational security operations such as maritime patrols in the Persian Gulf; it also provided a few fighter aircraft to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen in 2015; the KAF is part of the military arm of the Gulf Cooperation Council; the Land Forces have approximately six small armored or mechanized brigades, plus the separate Emiri Guard and Commando brigades; the National Guard, which would support the Land Forces in a conflict, is comprised of a mix of security, light armored, and special forces battalions; the Air Force has less than 50 combat aircraft, while the Navy and Coast Guard operate a small force of missile-armed patrol craft and patrol boats
 
Kuwait's key security partner since the 1991 Gulf War has been the US; the US has approximately 13,000 military personnel as well as logistics and training facilities in Kuwait as part of a 1991 Defense Cooperation Agreement and a 2013 Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement; the KAF conducts bilateral exercises with the US military and would look to US assistance in the event of an external attack; Kuwait has Major Non-NATO Ally status with the US, a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation (2023)

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 17,000 active-duty armed forces personnel (12,500 Army, including the Amiri Guard and 25th Commando Brigade; 2,000 Navy; 2,500 Air Force); approximately 7,000 National Guard (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory consists of weapons from a wide variety of sources, including Western Europe, Russia, and the US; the US has been the leading supplier of arms to Kuwait (2023)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 450 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 20 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 780 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1.75 million tons (2010 est.)

Average household expenditures

on food: 19.2% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 0.2% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 64.08 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 98.73 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 6.21 megatons (2020 est.)

Major aquifers

Arabian Aquifer System

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: (Persian Gulf) Tigris and Euphrates (918,044 sq km)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 68,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 68,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 99.9% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 19,509,907,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 24,322,970,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 4,805,531,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 1,783,958,000,000 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 2,720,500 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 342,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 1,837,900 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 101.5 billion barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

1.09 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

59.6% (2023 est.)

Remittances

0.02% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.02% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.02% of GDP (2018 est.)

Labor force

2.363 million (2021 est.)

note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 25.5% (2021 est.)

male: 17.1%

female: 46.2%

Net migration rate

-4.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 30.1 years (2023 est.)

male: 31 years

female: 28.6 years

Debt - external

$47.24 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$38.34 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

7 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$49.525 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$52.919 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$43.668 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

20.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
9.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.22 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Military expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
6.8% of GDP (2021 est.)
6.3% of GDP (2020 est.)
5.6% of GDP (2019 est.)
5.1% of GDP (2018 est.)

Unemployment rate

3.71% (2021 est.)
3.54% (2020 est.)
2.17% (2019 est.)

Population

3,103,580 (2023 est.)

note: Kuwait's Public Authority for Civil Information estimates the country's total population to be 4,420,110 for 2019, with non-Kuwaitis accounting for nearly 70% of the population

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-10% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 4.3 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 100% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

92.582 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 578,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 44.288 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 47.715 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 17,818 sq km

land: 17,818 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

41.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$191.522 billion (2020 est.)
$210.13 billion (2019 est.)
$211.296 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 5,749 km (2018)

paved: 4,887 km (2018)

unpaved: 862 km (2018)

Infant mortality rate

total: 7.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 7.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 7 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6,918,180 (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 163 (2021 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.42% (2021 est.)
2.1% (2020 est.)
1.09% (2019 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

705,500 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

$34.943 billion (2021 est.)
$22.03 billion (2020 est.)
$30.255 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$43,900 (2020 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars
$47,300 (2019 est.) note: data are in 2017 dollars
$48,900 (2018 est.)

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 73,948 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2020 est.)

Tobacco use

total: 17.9% (2020 est.)

male: 33.5% (2020 est.)

female: 2.2% (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

37.9% (2016)

Energy consumption per capita

381.985 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

2.3 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

17.7 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 19.371 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 63,802,360,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 6.701 billion kWh (2019 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 176 (2023)

by type: general cargo 15, oil tanker 28, other 133

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

2.5% (2020)

Imports

$48.954 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$44.015 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$59.654 billion (2019 est.)

Exports

$77.121 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$47.416 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$72.833 billion (2019 est.)

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 572,511 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 13 (2020 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

915,800 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.4 years (2023 est.)

male: 77.9 years

female: 80.9 years

Real GDP growth rate

-8.86% (2020 est.)
-0.55% (2019 est.)
2.43% (2018 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

-12.2% (2020 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0.4% (2017 est.)

industry: 58.7% (2017 est.)

services: 40.9% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

6.6% of GDP (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

1.13% (2023 est.)

Airports

6 (2024)