Where is Libya located?

What countries border Libya?

Libya Facts and Culture

What is Libya famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Libyans value courtesy. It is considered rude to criticize another person directly or to discuss family matters in public. When... More
  • Family: Most Libyans live in the coastal cities. Most are Arabs or of mixed Arab and Berber ancestry. In western Libya,... More
  • Personal Apperance: In the cities Western and traditional clothing are seen. Girls wear bright colored dresses, and boys wear jeans and shirts.... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the most popular sport in Libya. Libyans race horses or compete in chariot races. “Fantasias”, displays of special... More
  • Diet: The cuisine of Libya has been influenced by Arabic, Mediterranean and Italian cooking. Lamb, chicken, beef, beans, nuts, dried apricots,... More

Libya Facts

What is the capital of Libya?

Capital Tripoli (Tarabulus)
Government Type in transition
Currency Lybian Dinar (LYD)
Total Area 679,358 Square Miles
1,759,540 Square Kilometers
Location Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria
Language Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities
GDP - real growth rate -6.1%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $15,100.00 (USD)

Libya Demographics

What is the population of Libya?

Ethnic Groups Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians
Nationality Noun Libyan(s)
Population 6,890,535
Population - note note: immigrants make up just over 12% of the total population, according to UN data
Population Growth Rate 4.85%
Population in Major Urban Areas TRIPOLI (capital) 1.127 million
Urban Population 77.700000

Libya Government

What type of government does Libya have?

Executive Branch chief of state: Chairman, Presidential Council, Mohammed Al MENFI (since 5 February 2021)

head of government: Interim Prime Minister Abdul Hamid DUBAYBAH (since 5 February 2021)


Libya’s first direct presidential election, scheduled for 24 December 2021, was not held
Suffrage 18 years of age, universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent or grandparent must be a citizen of Libya

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: varies from 3 to 5 years
National Holiday Liberation Day, 23 October (2011)
Constitution history: previous 1951, 1977; in July 2017, the Constitutional Assembly completed and approved a draft of a new permanent constitution; in September 2018, the House of Representatives passed a constitutional referendum law in a session with contested reports of the quorum needed to pass the vote, and submitted it to the High National Elections Commission in December to begin preparations for a constitutional referendum; the referendum is planned in 2022, following the presidential election
Independence 24 December 1951 (from UN trusteeship)

Libya Video

YouTube, Expoza Travel Libya Guide

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Libya Geography

What environmental issues does Libya have?

Climate Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior
Border Countries Algeria 982 km, Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,115 km, Niger 354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km
Environment - Current Issues desertification; very limited natural fresh water resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities
Environment - International Agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Terrain mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions

Libya Economy

How big is the Libya economy?

Economic Overview Libya's economy, almost entirely dependent on oil and gas exports, has struggled since 2014 given security and political instability, disruptions in oil production, and decline in global oil prices. The Libyan dinar has lost much of its value since 2014 and the resulting gap between official and black market exchange rates has spurred the growth of a shadow economy and contributed to inflation. The country suffers from widespread power outages, caused by shortages of fuel for power generation. Living conditions, including access to clean drinking water, medical services, and safe housing have all declined since 2011. Oil production in 2017 reached a five-year high, driving GDP growth, with daily average production rising to 879,000 barrels per day. However, oil production levels remain below the average pre-Revolution highs of 1.6 million barrels per day.

The Central Bank of Libya continued to pay government salaries to a majority of the Libyan workforce and to fund subsidies for fuel and food, resulting in an estimated budget deficit of about 17% of GDP in 2017. Low consumer confidence in the banking sector and the economy as a whole has driven a severe liquidity shortage.
Industries petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement
Currency Name and Code Lybian Dinar (LYD)
Export Partners Italy 42.8%, Germany 14.1%, Spain 13.6%, Turkey 6.9%
Import Partners Italy 25.4%, Germany 9.9%, South Korea 6.5%, UK 6.5%, Tunisia 6.4%, Japan 6.3%, France 5.7%

Libya News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Libya?
Source: Google News

Libya Travel Information

What makes Libya a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Libya witnessed a popular uprising against the regime of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi that lasted from February to October 2011 and included fighting throughout the country. Libyans cast ballots July 7, 2012 in elections deemed to be free and fair according to election observers. Libya’s General National Congress replaced the Transitional National Council in August 2012 and will lead the country until elections are held on the basis of a new constitution. Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation of the country's customs, laws, and practices. On September 11-12, 2012, armed extremists attacked the U.S. facilities in Benghazi, killing four U.S. government personnel, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

Due to the current security situation, the ability of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Libya is extremely limited, especially outside of Tripoli.


Crime levels in Libya are rising. There have been increased reports of armed robbery, carjacking, burglary, and crimes involving weapons. The Libyan police and internal security institutions have not fully reconstituted themselves since the revolution. Thousands of criminals who were released from prisons by the former regime or who escaped following the revolution remain at large. Hundreds of thousands of small arms looted from government storage facilities are now in the hands of the local population, contributing to the rise in violent crime.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Libya, you are subject to Libyan laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be very different from our own. You may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. It is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings, especially military and government facilities. Driving under the influence can result in immediate detention. There are also some things that might be legal in Libya, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Libya, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not before you go.

Persons violating Libyan laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Libya are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Alcohol is also prohibited in Libya, and possessing, using, or trafficking in alcohol can carry severe penalties. Libyan customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning the introduction into Libya or removal from Libya of firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, and currency. The importation and consumption of alcohol, pornography, and pork products are illegal in Libya. Please see our Customs information.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the U.S. embassy as soon as you are arrested or detained.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

While some health care providers have been trained in the United States or Europe, basic modern medical care and/or medicines may not be available in Libya. Many Libyan citizens prefer to be treated outside Libya for serious medical conditions.

Safety and Security

The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable. U.S. citizens traveling to or remaining in Libya should use caution and limit nonessential travel. While in Libya, make contingency emergency plans and maintain security awareness at all times.

Recent worldwide terrorism alerts, including the Department of State’s Worldwide Caution, have stated that extremist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East region, including Libya. Any U.S. citizen who travels to Libya should maintain a strong security posture by being aware of surroundings, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, and varying times and routes for all required travel.

Terrorist incidents have occurred recently in Libya. On September 11, 2012, a group attacked the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi resulting in the deaths of four U.S. government personnel, including the Ambassador. There have been several recent attacks on diplomatic embassies, offices and vehicles, as well as against Libyan government officials and private Libyan citizens, though many of these attacks have also been the result of criminality and lawlessness. Since the February 2011 revolution, thousands of anti-aircraft missiles are still unaccounted for in Libya and extremist groups may use them against aircraft, including commercial flights.

Various militias have supplanted the police in maintaining internal security. Militia members operate checkpoints within and between major cities. Libyan militia members are poorly trained and may be unaffiliated with the interim government, which has not yet fully reconstituted the national army and police. The Embassy receives frequent reports of clashes between rival militias and occasional reports of killings and vigilante revenge killings. Militia groups sometimes detain travelers for arbitrary or unclear reasons, without access to a lawyer or legal process. Carry proof of citizenship and valid immigration status at all times. The Embassy has extremely limited capacity to assist U.S. citizens who are detained by militia groups.

Public demonstrations occur frequently in Libya in the central squares of cities, such as Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli and Freedom Square in Benghazi. Exercise caution in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations, as even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Avoid all demonstrations and take cover if you hear celebratory gunfire.

If travel in desert and border regions of Libya is critically necessary, exercise caution and comply with local regulations. Terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, continue to threaten the region. Recent terrorist attacks have occurred in the border region, and extremists have kidnapped Westerners in the border regions.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Libya is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Libya can be hazardous, and there is a high accident rate. Enforcement of traffic laws is rare. As a result, it is often difficult to anticipate the actions of other drivers on Libyan streets and highways. Wind-blown sand can reduce visibility without warning. Road conditions are poor, and limited public transportation is poor. Taxis are available, but many taxi drivers are reckless and untrained. English-speaking drivers areextremely rare. The sidewalks in urban areas are often in bad condition and cluttered, but pedestrians are able to use them.

Paved roads in rural areas are satisfactory; however, many rural roads are unpaved. Major highways along the seacoast and leading south merge into single-lane highways once they are outside major cities. These roads are heavily trafficked and can be precarious to navigate, especially at night and during the winter rainy season. The presence of sand deposits, as well as domestic and wild animals that frequently cross these highways and rural roads, makes them even more hazardous.

The availability of roadside assistance is extremely limited and offered only in Arabic. In urban areas and near the outskirts of major cities there is a greater possibility of assistance by police and emergency ambulance services, although emergency care providers are usually ill-equipped to deal with serious injuries or accidents. Very few streets are marked or have signage, and highway signs are normally available only in Arabic.

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