Notes, Definitions, and Abbreviations

There have been some significant changes in this edition. The Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands became the independent nation of Palau. The gross domestic product (GDP) of all countries is now presented on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis rather than on the old exchange rate basis. There is a new entry on Age structure and the Airports entry now includes unpaved runways. The Communications category has been restructured and now includes the entries of Telephone system, Radio, and Television. The remainder of the entries in the former Communications category-Railroads, Highways, Inland waterways, Pipelines, Ports, Merchant marine, and Airports-can now be found under a new category called Transportation. There is a new appendix listing estimates of gross domestic product on an exchange rate basis for all nations. A reference map of the Republic of South Africa is included. The electronic files used to produce the Factbook have been restructured into a database. As a result, the formats of some entries in this edition have been changed. Additional changes will occur in the 1996 Factbook.

Abbreviations: (see Appendix B for abbreviations for international organizations and groups and Appendix D for abbreviations for selected international environmental agreements)

Administrative divisions: The numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions are generally those approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.

Airports: Only airports with usable runways are included in this listing. For airports with more than one runway, only the longest runway is included. Not all airports have facilities for refueling, maintenance, or air traffic control. Paved runways have concrete or asphalt surfaces; unpaved runways have grass, dirt, sand, or gravel surfaces.

Area: Total area is the sum of all land and water areas delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines. Land area is the aggregate of all surfaces delimited by international boundaries and/or coastlines, excluding inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, rivers). Comparative areas are based on total area equivalents. Most entities are compared with the entire US or one of the 50 states. The smaller entities are compared with Washington, DC (178 sq km, 69 sq mi) or The Mall in Washington, DC (0.59 sq km, 0.23 sq mi, 146 acres).

Birth rate: The average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. Dates of information: In general, information available as of 1 January 1995 is used in the preparation of this edition. Population figures are estimates for 1 July 1995, with population growth rates estimated for calendar year 1995. Major political events have been updated through April 1995.

Death rate: The average annual number of deaths during a year per l,000 population at midyear; also known as crude death rate.

Digraphs: The digraph is a two-letter "country code" that precisely identifies every entity without overlap, duplication, or omission. AF, for example, is the digraph for Afghanistan. It is a standardized geopolitical data element promulgated in the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication (FIPS) 10-3 by the National Bureau of Standards (now called National Institute of Standards and Technology) at the US Department of Commerce and maintained by the Office of the Geographer at the US Department of State. The digraph is used to eliminate confusion and incompatibility in the collection, processing, and dissemination of area-specific data and is particularly useful for interchanging data between databases.

Diplomatic representation: The US Government has diplomatic relations with 184 nations, including 178 of the 185 UN members (excluded UN members are Bhutan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, former Yugoslavia, and the US itself). In addition, the US has diplomatic relations with 6 nations that are not in the UN - Holy See, Kiribati, Nauru, Switzerland, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Economic aid: This entry refers to bilateral commitments of official development assistance (ODA) and other official flows (OOF). ODA is defined as financial assistance which is concessional in character, has the main objective to promote economic development and welfare of LDCs, and contains a grant element of at least 25%. OOF transactions are also official government assistance, but with a main objective other than development and with a grant element less than 25%. OOF transactions include official export credits (such as Ex-Im Bank credits), official equity and portfolio investment, and debt reorganization by the official sector that does not meet concessional terms. Aid is considered to have been committed when agreements are initialed by the parties involved and constitute a formal declaration of intent.

Entities: Some of the nations, dependent areas, areas of special sovereignty, and governments included in this publication are not independent, and others are not officially recognized by the US Government. "Nation" refers to a people politically organized into a sovereign state with a definite territory. "Dependent area" refers to a broad category of political entities that are associated in some way with a nation. Names used for page headings are usually the short-form names as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names. There are 266 entities in The World Factbook that may be categorized as follows:






Exchange rate:
The official value of a nation's monetary unit at a given date or over a given period of time, as expressed in units of local currency per US dollar and as determined by international market forces or official fiat.

GDP methodology: In the "Economy" section, GDP dollar estimates for all countries are derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations rather than from conversions at official currency exchange rates. The PPP method normally involves the use of international dollar price weights, which are applied to the quantities of goods and services produced in a given economy. In addition to the lack of reliable data from the majority of countries, the statistician faces a major difficulty in specifying, identifying, and allowing for the quality of goods and services. The division of a GDP estimate in local currency by the corresponding PPP estimate in dollars gives the PPP conversion rate. On average, one thousand dollars will buy the same market basket of goods in the US as one thousand dollars - converted to the local currency at the PPP conversion rate - will buy in the other country. Whereas PPP estimates for OECD countries are quite reliable, PPP estimates for developing countries are often rough approximations. Most of the GDP estimates are based on extrapolation of numbers published by the UN International Comparison Program and by Professors Robert Summers and Alan Heston of the University of Pennsylvania and their colleagues. Currency exchange rates depend on a variety of international and domestic financial forces that often have little relation to domestic output. In developing countries with weak currencies the exchange rate estimate of GDP in dollars is typically one-fourth to one-half the PPP estimate. Furthermore, exchange rates may suddenly go up or down by 10% or more because of market forces or official fiat whereas real output has remained unchanged. On 12 January 1994, for example, the 14 countries of the African Financial Community (whose currencies are tied to the French franc) devalued their currencies by 50%. This move, of course, did not cut the real output of these countries by half. One important caution: the proportion of, say, defense expenditures as a percentage of GDP in local currency accounts may differ substantially from the proportion when GDP accounts are expressed in PPP terms, as, for example, when an observer tries to estimate the dollar level of Russian or Japanese military expenditures. Note: The numbers for GDP and other economic data can not be chained together from successive volumes of the Factbook because of changes in the US dollar measuring rod, revisions of data by statistical agencies, use of new or different sources of information, and changes in national statistical methods and practices.

Gross domestic product (GDP): The value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year.

Gross national product (GNP): The value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income earned abroad, minus income earned by foreigners from domestic production.

Gross world product (GWP): The aggregate value of all goods and services produced worldwide in a given year.

Growth rate (population): The annual percent change in the population, resulting from a surplus (or deficit) of births over deaths and the balance of migrants entering and leaving a country. The rate may be positive or negative.

Illicit drugs: There are five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside medical channels.
Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana (pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).
Coca (Erythroxylum coca) is a bush, and the leaves contain the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush. Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid). Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual. Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual. Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid, microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog), phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin, psilocyn).
Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.
Mandrax is the Southwest Asian slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
Marijuana is the dried leaves of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, in slang referred to as Quaaludes in North America or Mandrax in Southwest Asia Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine (MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussan AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics include heroin (horse, smack), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). Synthetic narcotics include meperidine or Pethidine (Demerol, Mepergan), methadone (Dolophine, Methadose), and others (Darvon, Lomotil).
Opium is the milky exudate of the incised, unripe seedpod of the opium poppy. Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the source for many natural and semisynthetic narcotics. Poppy straw concentrate is the alkaloid derived from the mature dried opium poppy.
Qat (kat, khat) is a stimulant from the buds or leaves of catha edulis that is chewed or drunk as tea.
Quaaludes is the North American slang term for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
Stimulants are drugs that relieve mild depression, increase energy and activity, and include cocaine (coke, snow, crack), amphetamines (Desoxyn, Dexedrine), phenmetrazine (Preludin), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and others (Cylert, Sanorex, Tenuate).

Infant mortality rate: The number of deaths to infants under one year old in a given year per l,000 live births occurring in the same year.

International disputes: This category includes a wide variety of situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding disputes over international boundaries and maritime boundaries has been reviewed by the Department of State. References to other situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such as resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues. However, inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance or recognition by the US Government.

Irrigated land: The figure refers to the land area that is artificially supplied with water.

Land use: The land surface is categorized as arable land - land cultivated for crops that are replanted after each harvest (wheat, maize, rice); permanent crops - land cultivated for crops that are not replanted after each harvest (citrus, coffee, rubber); meadows and pastures - land permanently used for herbaceous forage crops; forest and woodland - under dense or open stands of trees; and other - any land type not specifically mentioned above (urban areas, roads, desert).

Leaders: The chief of state is the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but is not involved with the day- to-day activities of the government. The head of government is the administrative leader who manages the day-to-day activities of the government. In the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the Prime Minister is the head of government. In the US, the President is both the chief of state and the head of government.

Life expectancy at birth: The average number of years to be lived by a group of people all born in the same year, if mortality at each age remains constant in the future.

Literacy: There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise noted, all rates are based on the most common definition - the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of this publication.

Maritime claims: The proximity of neighboring states may prevent some national claims from being extended the full distance.

Merchant marine: All ships engaged in the carriage of goods. All commercial vessels (as opposed to all nonmilitary ships), which excludes tugs, fishing vessels, offshore oil rigs, etc. Also, a grouping of merchant ships by nationality or register.
Captive register - A register of ships maintained by a territory, possession, or colony primarily or exclusively for the use of ships owned in the parent country; also referred to as an offshore register, the offshore equivalent of an internal register. Ships on a captive register will fly the same flag as the parent country, or a local variant of it, but will be subject to the maritime laws and taxation rules of the offshore territory. Although the nature of a captive register makes it especially desirable for ships owned in the parent country, just as in the internal register, the ships may also be owned abroad. The captive register then acts as a flag of convenience register, except that it is not the register of an independent state.
Flag of convenience register - A national register offering registration to a merchant ship not owned in the flag state. The major flags of convenience (FOC) attract ships to their registers by virtue of low fees, low or nonexistent taxation of profits, and liberal manning requirements. True FOC registers are characterized by having relatively few of the ships registered actually owned in the flag state. Thus, while virtually any flag can be used for ships under a given set of circumstances, an FOC register is one where the majority of the merchant fleet is owned abroad. It is also referred to as an open register.
Flag state - The nation in which a ship is registered and which holds legal jurisdiction over operation of the ship, whether at home or abroad. Flag state maritime legislation determines how a ship is manned and taxed and whether a foreign-owned ship may be placed on the register.
Internal register - A register of ships maintained as a subset of a national register. Ships on the internal register fly the national flag and have that nationality but are subject to a separate set of maritime rules from those on the main national register. These differences usually include lower taxation of profits, manning by foreign nationals, and, usually, ownership outside the flag state (when it functions as an FOC register). The Norwegian International Ship Register and Danish International Ship Register are the most notable examples of an internal register. Both have been instrumental in stemming flight from the national flag to flags of convenience and in attracting foreign owned ships to the Norwegian and Danish flags.
Merchant ship - A vessel that carries goods against payment of freight; commonly used to denote any nonmilitary ship but accurately restricted to commercial vessels only.
Register - The record of a ship's ownership and nationality as listed with the maritime authorities of a country; also, the compendium of such individual ships' registrations. Registration of a ship provides it with a nationality and makes it subject to the laws of the country in which registered (the flag state) regardless of the nationality of the ship's ultimate owner.

Money figures: All money figures are expressed in contemporaneous US dollars unless otherwise indicated.

National product: The total output of goods and services in a country in a given year. See GDP methodology, Gross domestic product (GDP), and Gross national product (GNP).

Net migration rate: The balance between the number of persons entering and leaving a country during the year per 1,000 persons (based on midyear population). An excess of persons entering the country is referred to as net immigration (3.56 migrants/1,000 population); an excess of persons leaving the country as net emigration (-9.26 migrants/1,000 population).

Population: Figures are estimates from the Bureau of the Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past, and on assumptions about future trends. Starting with the 1993 Factbook, demographic estimates for some countries (mostly African) have taken into account the effects of the growing incidence of AIDS infections; in 1993 these countries were Burkina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Brazil, and Haiti.

Telephone numbers: All telephone numbers presented in the Factbook consist of the country code in brackets, the city or area code (where required) in parentheses, and the local number. The one component that is not presented is the international access code which varies from country to country. For example, an international direct dial phone call placed from the United States to Madrid, Spain, would be as follows:

An international direct dial phone call placed from another country to the United States would be as follows:

Total fertility rate: The average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. Years: All year references are for the calendar year (CY) unless indicated as fiscal year (FY). FY93/94 refers to the fiscal year that began in calendar year 1993 and ended in calendar year 1994 as defined in the Fiscal Year entry of the Economy section for each nation. FY90-94 refers to the four fiscal years that began in calendar year 1990 and ended in calendar year 1994.

Note: Information for the US and US dependencies was compiled from material in the public domain and does not represent Intelligence Community estimates. The Handbook of International Economic Statistics, published annually in September by the Central Intelligence Agency, contains detailed economic information for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, Eastern Europe, the newly independent republics of the former nations of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, and selected other countries. The Handbook can be obtained wherever The World Factbook is available.