December 19, 2013

In the Government category, the "Constitution" entry was recently thoroughly revised, expanded, and updated for all countries and now includes dates of previous constitutions, dates of constitution development and enactment, and amendment dates.

December 5, 2013

In the Economy sections of most countries the macroeconomic numbers have been updated with the most recent data available.

November 21, 2013

Only one country straddles all four of the world's hemispheres (the northern and southern, and the eastern and western). Can you name it? Hint: it lies in the Pacific Ocean and can be found on several of The World Factbook's maps including those of the World, Oceans, and Oceania.

November 14, 2013

Brazil is bordered by ten countries, the most of any nation in the Southern Hemisphere. Can you name Brazil's ten neighbors? Check the Brazil > Geography > Land boundaries entry or view one of the many World Factbook maps on which Brazil appears.

November 6, 2013

Spain is divided into 17 administrative units referred to as autonomous communities. However, it also includes two autonomous cities and three small islands that are NOT in Europe. Can you name them? See the "Administrative divisions" entry under Spain > Government to check your answer.

October 31, 2013

Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, and the United States are all roughly the same size in area. Can you rank them from largest to smallest? Hint: check the Country Comparison feature and go to Geography and then Area.

October 24, 2013

Spanish is generally thought to be the predominant language of Latin America, but on the South American continent four countries use other languages as their primary language. Can you name them? Check the "Languages" entry under People and Society for the various South American countries to determine the answer.

September 26, 2013

The tallest mountain in the former Soviet Union was named Communism Peak (7,495 m; 24,590 ft). It is now called Qullai Ismoili Somoni. Can you identify in which of the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan) it is located? Hint: check the "Elevation extremes" entry in the Geography sections of these countries to find out.

September 12, 2013

In the Transnational Issues section, the "Refugees and internally displaced persons" entry has a new 'stateless persons' subfield. Statelessness is the condition whereby an individual is not considered a national by any country. Stateless people are denied many basic rights such as access to employment, housing, education, healthcare, and pensions. The UN estimates there may be 12 million stateless people worldwide. See the Definitions and Notes section - under the References tab - for a complete description of this new subfield.

August 29, 2013

In the People and Society category, several important new demographic fields have been included: "Mother's mean age at first birth," "Contraceptive prevalence rate," and "Child labor - children ages 5-14." "Dependency ratios" - which are a measure of the age structure of a population and which relate the number of individuals that are likely to be economically "dependent" on the support of others - have also been added - after the "Age structure" entry.