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Geography

Location:
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map references:
Middle East
Area:
total: 17,818 sq km
land: 17,818 sq km
water: 0 sq km
country comparison to the world: 158
Area – comparative:
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Area comparison map:
Land boundaries:
total: 475 km
border countries (2): Iraq 254 km, Saudi Arabia 221 km
Coastline:
499 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate:
dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrain:
flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation:
mean elevation: 108 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: 3.6 km W. of Al-Salmi Border Post 300 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land use:
agricultural land: 8.5%
arable land 0.6%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 7.6%
forest: 0.4%
other: 91.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land:
105 sq km (2012)
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
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
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
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Geography – note:
strategic location at head of Persian Gulf

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