The Мир Factbook CIA На главную CIA На главную About CIA Careers Offices of CIA News & Information Library Kid’s Page Contact CIA CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions

The Мир Factbook staff thanks you for your comments, suggestions, updates, kudos, и corrections over the past лет. The willingness of readers from around the world to share their observations и specialized knowledge is very helpful as we try to produce the best possible publications. Please feel free to continue to write и e-mail us. When submitting corrections или updates to the Factbook, please include your source(s) of information. At least two Factbook staffers review every submitted item. The sheer volume of correspondence precludes detailed personal replies, but we sincerely appreciate your time и interest in the Factbook. If you include your e-mail address we will at least acknowledge your note. Thank you again.

Answers to many frequently asked questions (FAQs) are explained in the Notes и Definitions section in The Мир Factbook. Please review this section to see if your question is already answered there. In addition, we have compiled the following list of FAQs to answer other common questions. Select from the following categories to narrow your search:

Spelling и Pronunciation
Policies и Procedures

  General В начало страницы

Can you provide additional information for a specific country?
The staff cannot provide data beyond what appears in The Мир Factbook. The format и information in the Factbook are tailored to the specific requirements of US Правление officials и content is focused on their current и anticipated needs. The staff welcomes suggestions for new entries.

How often is The Мир Factbook updated?
Formerly our Web site (и the published Factbook) were only updated annually. Beginning in November 2001 we instituted a new system of more frequent online updates. The Мир Factbook is currently updated every two weeks.

The annual printed version of the Factbook is usually released about midyear. US Правление officials may obtain information about Factbook availability from their own organizations или through liaison channels to the CIA. Other users may obtain sales information through the following channels:

Superintendent of Documents
P. O. Box 371954 Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
Telephone: [1] (202) 512-1800
факс: [1] (202) 512-2250

National Technical Information Service
5285 Port Royal Road Springfield, VA 22161
Telephone: [1] (800) 553-6847 (only in the US);
[1] (703) 605-6000 (for outside US)
факс: [1] (703) 605-6900

Can I use some или all of The Мир Factbook for my Web site (book, research project, homework, etc.)?
The Мир Factbook is in the public domain и may be used freely by anyone at anytime without seeking permission. However, US Code prohibits use of the CIA seal in a manner which implies that the CIA approved, endorsed, или authorized such use. If you have any questions about your intended use, you should consult with legal counsel. Further information on The Мир Factbook's use is described on the Contributors и Copyright Information page. As a courtesy, please cite The Мир Factbook when used.

Why doesn't The Мир Factbook include information on states, departments, provinces, etc., in the country format?
The Мир Factbook provides national-level information on countries, territories, и dependencies, but not subnational administrative units within a country. A good encyclopedia should provide state/province-level information.

Is it possible to access older editions of The Мир Factbook to do comparative research и trend analysis?
Previous versions of the Factbook, beginning with the 2000 edition, are available for downloading - but not browsing - on the CIA Web site. Hardcopy editions for earlier лет are available from libraries.

Would it be possible to set up a partnership или collaboration between the producers of The Мир Factbook и other organizations или individuals?
The Мир Factbook does not partner with other organizations или individuals, but we do welcome comments и suggestions that such groups или persons choose to provide.

  География В начало страницы

I can’t find a geographic name for a particular country. Why not?
The Мир Factbook is not a gazetteer (a dictionary или index of places, usually with descriptive или statistical information) и cannot provide more than the names of the administrative divisions (in the Правление category) и major cities/towns (on the country maps). Our expanded Cross-Reference List of Geographic Names, however, включая many of the world’s major geographic features as well as historic (former) names of countries и cities mentioned in The Мир Factbook.

Why are Тайвань и the Европейское сообщество listed out of alphabetical order at the end of the Factbook entries?
Тайвань is listed после the regular entries because even though the mainland Люди's Республика Китай claims Тайвань, elected Taiwanese authorities de facto administer the island и reject mainland sovereignty claims. With the establishment of diplomatic relations with Китай on January 1, 1979, the US Правление recognized the Люди's Республика Китай as the sole legal government Китая, acknowledging the Chinese position that there is only один Китай и that Тайвань is part of Китай.

The Европейское сообщество (EU) is not a country, but it has taken on many nation-like attributes и these are likely to be expanded in the future. A more complete explanation on the inclusion of the EU into the Factbook may be found in the Preliminary statement.

Since we have an ambassador who represents the US at the Vatican, why is this entity not listed in the Factbook?
Vatican City is found under Holy See. The term "Holy See" refers to the authority, jurisdiction, и sovereignty vested in the Pope и his advisors to direct the worldwide Catholic Church. The Holy See has a legal personality that allows it to enter into treaties as the juridical equal of a state и to send и receive diplomatic representatives. Vatican City, created in 1929 to administer properties belonging to the Holy See in Rome, is recognized under international law as a sovereign state, but it does not send или receive diplomatic representatives. Consequently, Holy See is included as a Factbook entry, with Vatican City cross-referenced in the Geographic Names appendix.

Why is Palestine not listed in The Мир Factbook?
The areas that could potentially form a future Palestinian state -- the Западный берег Иордании и Сектор Газa -- do appear in the Factbook. These areas are presently Israeli-occupied with current status subject to the Israeli-Palestinian 1995 Interim Agreement; their permanent status is to be determined through further negotiation.

Why are the Golan Heights not shown as part Израиля или Northern Кипр with Турция?
Territorial occupations/annexations not recognized by the United States Правление are not shown on US Правление maps.

Why don’t you include information on entities such as Tibet или Kashmir?
The Мир Factbook provides information on the administrative divisions of a country as recommended by the США Board on Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN is a component of the US Правление that develops policies, principles, и procedures governing the spelling, use, и application of geographic names—domestic, foreign, Antarctic, и undersea. Its decisions enable all departments и agencies of the US Правление to have access to uniform names of geographic features.

Also included in the Factbook are entries on parts of the world whose status has not yet been resolved (e.g., West Bank, Острова Спратли). Specific regions within a country или areas in dispute among countries are not covered.

What do you mean when you say that a country is "doubly landlocked"?
A doubly landlocked country is один that is separated from an ocean или an ocean-accessible sea by two intervening countries. Узбекистан и Лихтенштейн are the only countries that fit this definition.

Why is the area of the США described as “slightly larger than Китай” in the Factbook , while other sources list Китай as larger in area than the США?
It all depends on whether один is looking at total area (land и water) when making the comparison (which is the criterion used by the Factbook) или just land area (which excludes inland water features such as rivers или lakes).

Total area (combining land и water)

США = 9,826,630 кв. км.
Китай = 9,596,960 кв. км.

Land only (without any water features)

США = 9,161,923 кв. км.
Китай = 9,326,410 кв. км.

Why has The Мир Factbook dropped the four French departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, и French Guiana?
The reason the four entities are no longer in The Мир Factbook is because their status has changed. While they are overseas departments Франции, they are also now recognized as French regions, having equal status to the 22 metropolitan regions that make up European Франция. In other words, they are now recognized as being part Франции proper. Their status is somewhat analogous to Alaska и Hawaii vis-a-vis the contiguous США. Although separated from the larger geographic entity, they are still considered to be an integral part of it.

  Spelling и Pronunciation В начало страницы

Why is the spelling of proper names such as rulers, presidents, и prime ministers in The Мир Factbook different than their spelling in my country?
The Factbook staff applies the names и spellings from the Chiefs of State link on the CIA Web site. The Мир Factbook is prepared using the standard American английский computer keyboard и does not use any special characters, symbols, или most diacritical markings in its spellings. Surnames are always spelled with capital letters; they may appear first in some cultures.

The spelling of geographic names, features, cities, administrative divisions, etc. in the Factbook differs from those used in my country. Why is this?
The США Board on Geographic Names (BGN) recommends и approves names и spellings. The BGN is the component of the США Правление that develops policies, principles, и procedures governing the spelling, use, и application of geographic names—domestic, foreign, Antarctic, и undersea. Its decisions enable all departments и agencies of the US Правление to use uniform names of geographic features. (A note is usually included where changes may have occurred but have not yet been approved by the BGN). The Мир Factbook is prepared using the standard American английский computer keyboard и does not use any special characters, symbols, или most diacritical markings in its spellings.

Why doesn’t The Мир Factbook include pronunciations of country или leader names?
There are too many variations in pronunciation among английский-speaking countries, not to mention английский renditions of non-английский names, for pronunciations to be included. American английский pronunciations are included for some countries like Катар и Кирибати.

Why is the name of the Labour party misspelled?
When American и British spellings of common английский words differ, The Мир Factbook always uses the American spelling, even when these common words form part of a proper name in British английский.

  Policies и Procedures В начало страницы

What is The Мир Factbook’s source for a specific subject field?
The Factbook staff uses many different sources to publish what we judge are the most reliable и consistent data for any particular category. Space considerations preclude a listing of these various sources.

The names of some geographic features provided in the Factbook differ from those used in other publications. For example, in Азия the Factbook has Мьянма as the country name, but in other publications Myanmar is used; also, the Factbook uses Sea Японии whereas other publications label it East Sea. What is your policy on naming geographic features?
The Factbook staff follows the guidance of the United States Board on Geographic Names (BGN). The BGN is the component of the США Правление that develops policies, principles, и procedures governing the spelling, use, и application of geographic names—domestic, foreign, Antarctic, и undersea. Its decisions enable all departments и agencies of the US Правление to have access to uniform names of geographic features. The position of the BGN is that the names Мьянма и Sea Японии be used in official US Правление maps и publications.

Why is most of the statistical information in the Factbook given in metric units, rather than the units standard to US measure?
US Federal agencies are required by the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 (Public Law 94-168) и by Executive Order 12770 of July 1991 to use the Международные System of Units, commonly referred to as the metric system или SI. In addition, the metric system is used by over 95 percent of the world's population.

Why don’t you include information on minimum и maximum temperature extremes?
The Factbook staff judges that this information would only be useful for some (generally smaller) countries. Larger countries can have large temperature extremes that do not represent the landmass as a whole. In the future, such a category may be adopted listing the extremes, but also adding a normal temperature range found throughout most of a country’s territory.

What information sources are used for the country flags?
Флаг designs used in The Мир Factbook are those recognized by the protocol office of the US Department of State.

Why do your GDP (Gross Domestic Product) statistics differ from other sources?
We have two sets от ВВП dollar estimates in The Мир Factbook , один derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations и the other derived using official exchange rates (OER). Other sources probably use один of the two. See the Notes и Definitions section on GDP и GDP methodology for more information.

On the CIA Web site, Chiefs of State is updated weekly, but the last update for the Factbook was an earlier date. Why the discrepancy?
Although Chiefs of State и The Мир Factbook both appear on the CIA Web site, they are produced и updated by separate staffs. Chiefs of State включая fewer countries but more leaders, и is updated more frequently than The Мир Factbook, which has a much larger database, и включая all countries.

Some percentage distributions do not add to 100. Why not?
Because of rounding, percentage distributions do not always add precisely to 100%. Rounding of numbers always results in a loss of precision—i.e., error. This error becomes apparent when percentage data are totaled, as the following two examples show:

Original Data
Rounded to whole integer
Example 1
Example 2

When this occurs, we do not force the numbers to add exactly to 100, because doing so would introduce additional error into the distribution.

What rounding convention does The Мир Factbook use?
In deciding on the number of digits to present, the Factbook staff assesses the accuracy of the original data и the needs of US Правление officials. All of the economic data are processed by computer—either at the source или by the Factbook staff. The economic data presented in The Factbook, therefore, follow the rounding convention used by virtually all numerical software applications, namely, any digit followed by a "5" is rounded up to the next higher digit, no matter whether the original digit is even или odd. Thus, for example, when rounded to the nearest integer, 2.5 becomes 3, rather than 2, as occurred in some pre-computer rounding systems.

Why do you list “Independence” dates for countries like Франция, Германия, и the Великобритания?
For most countries, this entry presents the date that sovereignty was achieved и from which nation, empire, или trusteeship. For other countries, the date may be some other significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date или the date of unification, федерация, confederation, establishment, или state succession и so may not strictly be an “Independence” date. Dependent entities have the nature of their dependency status noted in this same entry.

  Technical В начало страницы

Does The Мир Factbook comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act regarding accessibility of Web pages?
The Мир Factbook home page has a link entitled "Text/Low Bandwidth Version." The country data in the text version is fully accessible. We believe The Мир Factbook is compliant with the Section 508 law in both fact и spirit. If you are experiencing difficulty, please use our comment form to provide us details of the specific problem you are experiencing и the assistive software и/или hardware that you are using so that we can work with our технический персонал support staff to find и implement a solution. We welcome visitors' suggestions to improve accessibility of The Мир Factbook и the CIA Web site.

I am using the Factbook online и it is not working. What is wrong?
Hundreds of “Factbook” look-alikes exist on the Интернет. The Factbook site at: is the only official site.

When I attempt to download a PDF (Portable Document Format) map file (или some other map) the file has no image. Can you fix this?
Some of the files on The Мир Factbook Web site are large и could take several minutes to download on a dial-up connection. The screen might be blank during the download process.

When I open a map on The Мир Factbook site, it is fuzzy или granular, или too big или too small. Why?
Adjusting the resolution setting on your monitor should correct this problem.

Is The Мир Factbook country data available in machine-readable format? All I can find is HTML, but I’m looking for simple tabular data.
The Factbook Web site now features "Ранжирование" pages for selected Factbook entries. "Ранжирование" pages are available for those data fields identified with a small bar chart icon located next to the title of the data entry. In addition, all of the "Ранжирование" pages can be downloaded as tab-delimited data files that can be opened in other applications such as spreadsheets и databases.

This page was last updated on 12 March, 2008

Bottom Banner
12 March, 2008