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The World Factbook
The CIA no longer prints The World Factbook. The Agency has made a decision to focus Factbook resources exclusively on the World Wide Web online edition, which is updated with new material every two weeks. Please look for the newly redesigned Factbook Web site coming in spring 2009.
- Country information has been updated as of 14 May 2009. Significant updates made to the People and Economy categories; statistics for "GDP (purchasing power parity)", "GDP - real growth rate", and "GDP - per capita (PPP)" now include three year's worth of data, in 2008 dollars. The Urbanization entry under People expanded to include all countries.
In the People category, two new fields provide information on education in terms of opportunity and resources: “School Life Expectancy” and “Education expenditures.”
In order to provide more information on the nature and global dimensions of the current financial crisis, The World Factbook has added five new fields to the Economy category: "Central bank discount rate," "Commercial bank prime lending rate," "Stock of money," "Stock of quasi money," and "Stock of domestic credit."
- In the Geography category, two new fields focus on the increasingly vital resource of water: “Total renewable water resources” and “Freshwater withdrawal.”
- Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001 edition, is continued in this edition. Several regional maps have also been updated to reflect boundary changes and place name spelling changes.
The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly.
For additional and more current information on
leadership in selected foreign countries, see