Libya Country Facts

Libya Country Facts

Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa and forms the interface between the western and eastern Mediterranean countries. For a long time hardly in the focus of vacationers, Libya is currently open to tourism and enables spectacular tours in the Sahara.

The highlights of a trip to Libya are for sure the infinite vastness of the Sahara as well as the Roman monuments and ruins that date from the cultural tell the story of Libya. Several places have even been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site: the ruins of Leptis Magna, Sabratha and Cyrene, the rock paintings by Tadrart Acacus and the old town of Ghadames.

Libya is one of the most interesting destinations for an adventure holiday.

Despite the wonderful landscapes that the country of Libya has to offer, one should not forget that there is also a lot to be found here. The unemployment is particularly high and also the livelihood of the people is limited to only a few areas where they can make money. Among other things, Libya is only partially able to practice agriculture. This is of course due to the dry climate conditions. In the area of ​​the coast, wheat, barley, various vegetables, almonds, citrus fruits and dates can be grown in a few places. These areas are used effectively so that a part can also be exported. There are also some oil refineries near the coast. In addition to the food industry and refineries, the textile industry is the third most important industry in the country.

Libya is currently building tourism. However, this is negligible compared to countries such as Morocco or Tunisia. After the country’s political isolation, tourism in Libya does not yet matter. This will not change anytime soon.

Libya Country Facts

Area: 1,759,540 km², Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa.

Population: 6.598 million people (July 2011, COUNTRYAAH.COM). The majority of the Libyan population consists of Arabs (90%) and Berbers (4%), and Italians, Egyptians, Black Africans and other ethnic groups also live in Libya. Since 1975, the population has risen sharply from 2.5 million to 5.7 million, almost 30% of the population is younger than 15 years old. About 90% of the population lives in the coastal regions of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Almost a million guest workers live in Libya. Full nomads make up only 5% of the population. The Libyans’ average life expectancy is 73 years.

Population density: 3.7 residents per km², only three African countries have lower population densities.

Population growth: 2.064% per year (2011, CIA).

Capital: Tripoli (approximately 1.2 million residents, 2006).

Here is a detailed list of the major cities in Libya.

Highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

Lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m

Form of government: Libya is a republic, since 1994 Islamic law (Sharia) prevails in the country. Libya has been independent of Italy since December 24, 1951.

Administrative division: 25 municipalities (Arabic baladiyat, singular – baladiyah): Ajdabiya, Al ‘Aziziyah, Al Fatih, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jufrah, Al Khums, Al Kufrah, An Nuqat al Khams, Ash Shati’, Awbari, Az Zawiyah, Benghazi, Darnah, Ghadamis, Gharyan, Misratah, Murzuq, Sabha, Sawfajjin, Surt, Tarabulus, Tarhunah, Tubruq, Yafran and Zlitan.

Head of state: President of the General National Congress of Libya, Giuma Attaiga, since May 28, 2013

Prime Minister: Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, since November 14, 2012

Language: The official language in Libya is Arabic. In addition, some Berber languages ​​are spoken. English and Italian are common commercial languages ​​in large cities.

Religion: Islam (Sunni) is Libyan state religion, 97% of the population are Sunni Muslims. There are also small Catholic (around 74,000 Catholics) and Orthodox minorities. In 1969, after the revolution, most Christian churches were closed. The falling away from Islam is punished with the immediate loss of citizenship. In recent years, a stronger orientation towards orthodox Islam has been observed, and the veiling of women in public is increasing.

Local time: CET + 1 h
In Libya there is no change between summer and winter time.
The time difference to Central Europe is +1 h in winter and 0 h in summer.

Telephone code: 00218 or +218


Mains voltage: 150/220 V, 50 Hz. Power failures can occur.


Most of Libya is covered by deserts. The country is bordered in the west by Algeria and Tunisia, in the east by Egypt in the south by Niger and Chad and in the southeast by Sudan. The largest east-west extension is 1,500 km, the north to south 1,350 km. The Libyan coast of the Mediterranean is about 2,000 km long.

Here you can find a detailed topographic map of Libya.

The east of the country stretches from the Tunisian border to the region of Jabal Akhdar, while the Libyan interior is hilly. Agriculture is possible in the western coastal area between Zuara and Misurata and in the east between Susah and Benghazi. In the province of Cyrenaika and on Jabal Akhdar, the vegetation is a little more abundant due to the high altitude. Oases are spread all over the country, only missing in extremely dry regions.

Large rural areas are Tripolitania in the west, Cyrenaica in the east and Fezzan in the southwest.

Tripolitania is characterized by the coastal plain Al-Jifarah, the mountainous tiered country Jabal Nafusah and the stone desert Al-Hamadah al-hamrah. The southern transition to the adjacent Fezzan is formed by a steep step of a limestone plateau.

The fezzan is mainly covered by deserts made of sand, gravel and debris.

The desert landscape of Syrtika stretches for about 500 km between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica . Cyrenaika consists of a limestone plateau that falls steeply with the karst mountains Al-Jabal al-akhdar to the Mediterranean. The southern boundary is formed by the volcanic mountains Al-Haruj al-aswad (up to 1,200 m high). The Syrte Basin is the continuation of the Cyrenaika in the southeast. A large part of the oil and gas reserves in Libya was found in the Syrte Basin.

Libya claims the waters in the Bay of the Great Syrte as territorial waters.

In the east of the Cyreinaika is the Marmarika steppe, in the south the Libyan desert. In the long controversial border area between Chad and Libya are the northern foothills of the Tibesti Mountains, the highest mountain in the country at 2,286 m.

About 90% of the country is covered by the Sahara, this area is extremely sparsely populated, only about 10% of the Libyan population live here. In total, only two percent of the Libyan territory can be used for agriculture. Libya is one of the few countries in the world where there is no constant river. Only in the wadis (mostly dry river beds) does water flow occasionally after heavy rainfall.

Population in Libya

This map of the population distribution in Libya was created by the Worldmapper team. Densely populated areas appear bloated, the area of ​​sparsely populated areas is reduced. The shape of the grid has been preserved; an underlying map with the original geographical extent helps interpret the map. The distorted map should help to present abstract statistical information clearly.

Libya Population by Year (Historical)

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