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10 Interesting Things You Can Find In The CIA World Factbook

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10 Interesting Things You Can Find In The CIA World Factbook

cia factbookThe CIA publishes a hardbound and an electronic version of gathered intelligence data known as the World Factbook. The CIA Factbook contains over 267 entities and the printed version spans over 702 pages!

The World Factbook actually evolved from the National Basic Intelligence Factbook that was produced semiannually until 1980. This predecessor only included country entries that consisted of sections on Land, Water, People, Government, Economy, Communications, and Defense Forces.

In 1981, the publication became an annual product and is renamed The World Factbook. The 1981 overhaul of the document also included many more sections, such as Transnational Issues and Transportation. The World Factbook was introduced onto the Internet in 1997 and at present time is updated every two weeks. It contains all types of facts and statistics on nearly every country on earth.

10 Things You’ll Find in the CIA Factbook

Below you will find 10 interesting things that the CIA publishes in the World Factbook. These are in no particular order.

cia factbook

1. The Antarctic Treaty prohibits any measures of a military nature, such as the establishment of military bases and fortifications, the carrying out of military maneuvers, or the testing of any type of weapon; however, it does permit the use of military personnel or equipment for scientific research peaceful purposes.

2. The US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only a mutual agreement. Total United States abandonment of the area can terminate the lease.

3. The United States has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other states.

4. Tasmania is one of the world’s major suppliers of legal opiate products. The Australian government maintains strict controls over areas of opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate.

5. Bahrain, a country only 3 times the size of Washington, D.C., is a major destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. Many men and women from Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as laborers or domestic servants, where some face conditions of involuntary servitude such as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movements, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Many women from Thailand, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

6. Belgium has a significant domestic consumption of ecstasy.

7. Zambia is major consumer of cannabis.

8. One of the world’s largest petroleum refineries is at Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This area is quite vulnerable to substantial damage from tropical storms.

9. Taiwan is listed after the A-Z country entries because even though the mainland People’s Republic of China claims Taiwan, elected Taiwanese authorities de facto administer the island and reject mainland sovereignty claims. With the establishment of diplomatic relations with China on January 1, 1979, the US Government recognized the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government of Taiwan, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China.

10. The separate Vatican City State budget includes the Vatican museums and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos.

There is a plethora of information to be found in the CIA’s World Factbook. Some of this information is mundane, while much of it is interesting and sometimes even perplexing. However, there is no doubt that the World Factbook is definitely a source worth checking often.

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