• 2,149,690 sq km: All of it land, no water. Thus it’s mostly sandy desert. It’s about 1/5 the size of the United States.
  • It has 2,640 km of coastline.
  • Population: 28,571,770 (July 2017)
  • 37 percent are immigrants
  • 83.8 percent are in urban areas
  • Arabic is the official language

Religion

  • Muslim is the official religion
  • 85 percent – 9o percent Sunni
  • 10 percent – 15 percent Shia

Government

  • Gained independence Sept. 23, 1932
  • Ruled by absolute monarchy
  • Royal decree established a constitution March 1, 1992.
  • Legal system based upon Islamic (sharia) law with secular influences
  • Only children of a father who is a Saudi citizen or a Saudi mother and an unknown father.
  • Only males older than 18 can vote.

National leadership

  • Chief of state & head of government: King and Prime Minister SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud; Crown Prince MUHAMMAD BIN SALMAN bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud; (the monarch is both chief of state and head of government)
  • Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch every four years and includes many royal family members
  • Elections/appointments: None. The monarchy is hereditary but a committee of Saudi princes offers advice in selecting Saudi kings.
  • Legislative branch: Unicameral, 150 seat Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura. Each member appointed by the monarch to serve four years.

Source: Central Intelligence World Factbook

(Central Intelligence Agency map)


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