Modern states /
Arabic Jamahiria of Libya
Arabic: jamāhiriyya lībiyā l-¢arabiyya
Independent republic in North Africa, with 6.3 million inhabitants (2009 estimate) and an area of 1,759,540 kmē. Its capital is Tripoli, which is also the largest city.
Libya is administratively divided into 25 municipalities, called baladiya. Libya defines itself as a “jamahiriya”, a system where all inhabitants express their views in local councils from where representatives form national councils. Still, in actual politics, most decisions are taken by the leaders of Libya, then implemented on a local scale.
The day of independence is December 24, 1951, commemorating the end of Italian colonial supremacy. Head of the state is Mu’ammar Gadhafi, but without any formal designations, neither president nor prime minister. His second-in-command is Abdussalam Jalloud. The government is made up of 12 secretariats, corresponding to ministries.
Libya does very well among African nations on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no. 55 of the 182 states that are ranked in the world, no. 6 among MENA countries, and no. 1 in Africa. On a scale with 1.000 as maximum, Libya gains 0.847 points.
The currency of Libya is the dinar (LYD), which is only partially convertible. It is a stable currency but is generally considered overrated, and there has since long been an extensive black market trade of it.
Libya’s economy has not only suffered from years of international sanctions, but also politics that has allocated huge resources into projects that have no or little impact on the national economy.
With a GDP per capita at US$14,200 (2008 estimate), the country is by far the richest in North Africa, and 35% above the world average. Unemployment is high at 14% and as many as 7% of the population are below the poverty line, the very same as in neighboring Tunisia, which overall has a weaker economy.
Libya is only ranked 10 among 22 MENA countries, but best among North African. Libya does very well on certain factors, like life expectancy and the number of hospital beds.
Libya is presently in the process of developing its institutions of higher learning. For long, much of the education system focused on basic training for all.
The population of Libya is varied, but natives are mainly Arabs and Berbers. There is also a significant number of foreign workers.
Arabic is the language of the nation, but Berber is still a vital language, although spoken by only a minority of ethnic Berbers.
Islam dominates all of the Libyan society. Almost all are Sunnis, but there are small Ibadi communities.
The fertility of Libya remains high, but population growth is less dramatic than before.
Libya has a long history, deep into antiquity. Libyan history covers the Roman era, the Christian, and the Islamic.