The area is a small oil-rich shiekdom on the northeast corner of the Persian Gulf and adjoining Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The name which is a diminutive of the Arabic kut, and meaning "small fort" was given by early settlers to the stronghold built in the center of the original tented villages. Its 9375 square miles is waterless and barren except for their petroleum.
From 1899 until 1961 the area was under the protection of Britain. A constutution was proclaimed in 1963. Its provision included the establishment of a 50-member assembly which are to be elected. The ruler of the country is the amir. There is also a crown prince, prime minister, and deputy ministers for information, foreign affairs and oil production. They joined the Arab League in 1961.
|Dawlat al Kuwayt|
|FORM OF GOVERNMENT:|
|Constitutional monarchy (emirate)|
|HEAD OF STATE:|
|Emir al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah|
|HEAD OF GOVERNMENT:|
|Prime Minister NASIR MUHAMMAD al-Ahmad al-Sabah|
|1 Dinar (KD)|
|RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION :|
|Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%|
|ETHNIC COMPOSITION :|
|Arab 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH :|
|77.53 yrs male: 76.38 yrs female: 78.73 yrs|
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