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Iraq vs. Kuwait

Introduction

IraqKuwait
Background"Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by the United Kingdom during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A ""republic"" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn from 1979 to 2003. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces.
In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011. In January 2009 and April 2013, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock, the COR approved the new government in December 2010. In April 2014, Iraq held a national legislative election and expanded the COR to 328 legislators. Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI dropped his bid for a third term in office, enabling new Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI, a Shia Muslim from Baghdad, to win legislative approval of his new cabinet in September 2014. Since 2014, Iraq has been engaged in a military campaign against ISIS to recapture territory lost in the western and northern portion of the country.
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Kuwait has been ruled by the AL-SABAH dynasty since the 18th century. The threat of Ottoman invasion in 1899 prompted Amir Mubarak AL-SABAH to seek protection from Britain, ceding foreign and defense responsibility to Britain until 1961, when the country attained its independence. Kuwait was attacked and overrun by Iraq on 2 August 1990. Following several weeks of aerial bombardment, a US-led UN coalition began a ground assault on 23 February 1991 that liberated Kuwait in four days. Kuwait spent more than $5 billion to repair oil infrastructure damaged during 1990-91. The AL-SABAH family returned to power in 1991 and established one of the most independent legislatures in the Arab World. The country witnessed the historic election in 2009 of four women to its National Assembly. Amid the 2010-11 uprisings and protests across the Arab world, stateless Arabs, known as bidoon, staged small protests in early 2011 demanding citizenship, jobs, and other benefits available to Kuwaiti nationals. Youth activist groups' repeated rallies in 2011 for the dismissal of a prime minister seen as being corrupt, ultimately led to his resignation in late 2011. Demonstrations renewed in late 2012 in response to an Amiri decree amending the electoral law. The opposition, led by a coalition of Sunni Islamists, tribalists, some liberals, and myriad youth groups, largely boycotted legislative elections in 2012 and 2013, which ushered in a legislature more amenable to the government's agenda. However, the opposition, expressing strong opposition to the government’s fiscal reforms, participated in the November 2016 National Assembly and won almost half of the positions. Since coming to power in 2006, the Amir has dissolved the National Assembly on seven occasions (the Constitutional Court annulled the Assembly in June 2012 and again in June 2013) and shuffled the cabinet over a dozen times, usually citing political stagnation and gridlock between the legislature and the government.

Geography

IraqKuwait
LocationMiddle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates33 00 N, 44 00 E
29 30 N, 45 45 E
Map referencesMiddle East
Middle East
Areatotal: 438,317 sq km
land: 437,367 sq km
water: 950 sq km
total: 17,818 sq km
land: 17,818 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than three times the size of New York state
slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundariestotal: 3,809 km
border countries (6): Iran 1,599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km
total: 475 km
border countries (2): Iraq 254 km, Saudi Arabia 221 km
Coastline58 km
499 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: not specified
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climatemostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq
dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters
Terrainmostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
flat to slightly undulating desert plain
Elevation extremes"mean elevation: 312 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Cheekha Dar (Kurdish for ""Black Tent"") 3,611 m
"
mean elevation: 108 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: unnamed elevation 306 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas
Land useagricultural land: 18.1%
arable land 8.4%; permanent crops 0.5%; permanent pasture 9.2%
forest: 1.9%
other: 80% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 8.5%
arable land 0.6%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 7.6%
forest: 0.4%
other: 91.1% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land35,250 sq km (2012)
105 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsdust storms; sandstorms; floods
sudden cloudbursts are common from October to April and bring heavy rain, which can damage roads and houses; sandstorms and dust storms occur throughout the year but are most common between March and August
Environment - current issuesgovernment water control projects drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification
limited natural freshwater resources; some of world's largest and most sophisticated desalination facilities provide much of the water; air and water pollution; desertification
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping
Geography - notestrategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf
strategic location at head of Persian Gulf
Population distributionpopulation is concentrated in the north, center, and eastern parts of the country, with many of the larger agglomerations found along extensive parts of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; much of the western and southern areas are either lightly populated or uninhabited
densest settlement is along the Persian Gulf, particularly in Kuwait City and on Bubiyan Island; significant population threads extend south and west along highways that radiate from the capital, particularly in the southern half of the country

Demographics

IraqKuwait
Population38,146,025 (July 2016 est.)
2,832,776 (July 2016 est.)
note: Kuwait's Public Authority for Civil Information estimates the country's total population to be 4,183,658 for 2015, with immigrants accounting more than 69%
Age structure0-14 years: 39.88% (male 7,766,832/female 7,445,633)
15-24 years: 19.07% (male 3,703,302/female 3,572,702)
25-54 years: 33.7% (male 6,499,345/female 6,354,506)
55-64 years: 3.96% (male 720,976/female 790,301)
65 years and over: 3.39% (male 574,521/female 717,907) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 25.18% (male 371,021/female 342,362)
15-24 years: 15.16% (male 236,012/female 193,303)
25-54 years: 52.28% (male 936,604/female 544,378)
55-64 years: 4.95% (male 79,551/female 60,602)
65 years and over: 2.43% (male 32,096/female 36,847) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 19.9 years
male: 19.6 years
female: 20.2 years (2016 est.)
total: 29.2 years
male: 30.3 years
female: 27.2 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.87% (2016 est.)
1.53% (2016 est.)
Birth rate30.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
19.6 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
2.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.22 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.72 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.31 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.41 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 37.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 40.6 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 7.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 7.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 74.9 years
male: 72.6 years
female: 77.2 years (2016 est.)
total population: 78 years
male: 76.6 years
female: 79.4 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate4.06 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.44 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Iraqi(s)
adjective: Iraqi
noun: Kuwaiti(s)
adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groupsArab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkmen, Assyrian, Shabak, Yazidi, other 5%
Kuwaiti 31.3%, other Arab 27.9%, Asian 37.8%, African 1.9%, other 1.1% (includes European, North American, South American, and Australian) (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
NA
ReligionsMuslim (official) 99% (Shia 55-60%, Sunni 40%), Christian <.1%, Yazidi <.1%, Sabean Mandaean <.1%, Baha'i <.1%, Zoroastrian <.1%, Hindu <0.1%, Buddhist <0.1%, Jewish <0.1%, folk religion <0.1, unafilliated 0.1%, other <0.1%
note: while there has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq, recent reporting indicates that the overall Christian population may have dropped by as much as 50 percent since the fall of the SADDAM Husayn regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon (2010 est.)
Muslim (official) 76.7%, Christian 17.3%, other and unspecified 5.9%
note: represents the total population; about 69% of the population consists of immigrants (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
NA
LanguagesArabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect), Syriac (Neo-Aramaic), and Armenian are official in areas where native speakers of these languages constitute a majority of the population)
Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.7%
male: 85.7%
female: 73.7% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.3%
male: 96.5%
female: 95.8% (2015 est.)
Urbanizationurban population: 69.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.01% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 98.3% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.63% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 93.8% of population
rural: 70.1% of population
total: 86.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 6.1% of population
rural: 31.5% of population
total: 14.6% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99% of population
unimproved:
urban: 1% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 1% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 86.4% of population
rural: 83.8% of population
total: 85.6% of population
unimproved:
urban: 13.6% of population
rural: 16.2% of population
total: 14.4% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationBAGHDAD (capital) 6.643 million; Mosul 1.694 million; Erbil 1.166 million; Basra 1.019 million; As Sulaymaniyah 1.004 million; Najaf 889,000 (2015)
KUWAIT (capital) 2.779 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate50 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight8.5% (2011)
3% (2014)
Health expenditures5.5% of GDP (2014)
3% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.85 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
1.95 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density1.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
2.2 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.2% (2014)
38.3% (2014)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 78.7
youth dependency ratio: 73.2
elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
potential support ratio: 18.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 32.1
youth dependency ratio: 29.5
elderly dependency ratio: 2.6
potential support ratio: 38.4 (2015 est.)

Government

IraqKuwait
Country name"conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
conventional short form: Iraq
local long form: Jumhuriyat al-Iraq/Komar-i Eraq
local short form: Al Iraq/Eraq
etymology: the name probably derives from ""Uruk"" (Biblical ""Erech""), the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian city on the Euphrates River
"
"conventional long form: State of Kuwait
conventional short form: Kuwait
local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt
local short form: Al Kuwayt
etymology: the name derives from the capital city, which is from Arabic ""al-Kuwayt"" a diminutive of ""kut"" meaning ""fortress encircled by water""
"
Government typefederal parliamentary republic
constitutional monarchy
Capitalname: Baghdad
geographic coordinates: 33 20 N, 44 24 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Kuwait City
geographic coordinates: 29 22 N, 47 58 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC,during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah (Arabic); parezgakan, singular - parezga (Kurdish)) and 1 region*; Al Anbar; Al Basrah; Al Muthanna; Al Qadisiyah (Ad Diwaniyah); An Najaf; Arbil (Erbil) (Arabic), Hewler (Kurdish); As Sulaymaniyah (Arabic), Slemani (Kurdish); Babil; Baghdad; Dahuk (Arabic), Dihok (Kurdish); Dhi Qar; Diyala; Karbala'; Kirkuk; Kurdistan Regional Government*; Maysan; Ninawa; Salah ad Din; Wasit
6 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Ahmadi, Al 'Asimah, Al Farwaniyah, Al Jahra', Hawalli, Mubarak al Kabir
Independence3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government
19 June 1961 (from the UK)
National holidayIndependence Day, 3 October (1932); Republic Day, 14 July (1958)
National Day, 25 February (1950)
Constitutionhistory: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 October 2005
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and the Council of Minsters collectively, or by one-fifth of the Council of Representatives members; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Council of Representatives, approval by referendum, and ratification by the president; passage of amendments to articles on citizen rights and liberties requires a two-thirds majority vote of Council of Representatives members after two successive electoral terms, approval in a referendum, and ratification by the president (2016)
history: approved and promulgated 11 November 1962
amendments: proposed by the amir or supported by at least one-third of the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds consent by the Assembly membership and promulgation by the amir; constitutional articles on the initiation, approval, and promulation of general legislation cannot be amended (2016)
Legal systemmixed legal system of civil and Islamic law
mixed legal system consisting of English common law, French civil law, and Islamic religious law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military or police by law cannot vote; all voters must have been citizens for 20 years
Executive branchchief of state: President Fuad MASUM (since 24 July 2014); Vice Presidents Ayad ALLAWI (since 9 September 2014), Nuri al-MALIKI (since 8 September 2014), Usama al-NUJAYFI (since 9 September 2014)
head of government: Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI (since 8 September 2014)
cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, approved by Council of Representatives
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Council of Representatives (COR) to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in April 2018); prime minister nominated by the majority COR bloc and submission of COR minister nominees for full COR approval; disapproval requires designation of a new prime minister candidate
election results: Fuad MASUM elected president; Council of Representatives vote - Fuad MASUM (PUK) 211, Barham SALIH (PUK) 17; Haydar al-ABADI (Da'wa Party) approved as prime minister
chief of state: Amir SABAH al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 29 January 2006); Crown Prince NAWAF al-Ahmad al-Jabir al-Sabah (born 25 June 1937)
head of government: Prime Minister JABIR AL-MUBARAK al-Hamad al-Sabah (since 30 November 2011); First Deputy Prime Minister SABAH Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah; Deputy Prime Ministers al-KHALD al-Jarrah al-Sabah, MUHAMMAD AL-KHALID al-Hamad al-Sabah, Abdulmohsen MUDEJ
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister, approved by the amir
elections/appointments: amir chosen from within the ruling family, confirmed by the National Assembly; prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the amir
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Council of Representatives or Majlis an-Nuwwab al-Iraqiyy (328 seats; 320 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 8 seats reserved for minorities; members serve 4-year terms); note - Iraq's constitution calls for the establishment of an upper house, the Federation Council, but it has not been instituted
elections: last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by coalition/party – State of Law Coalition 95, Ahrar Bloc/Sadrist Trend 34, ISCI/Muwatin 30, KDP 25, United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun 23, PUK 21, Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah 19, other Sunni coalitions/parties 15, Al-Arabiyah Coalition 10, Goran 9, other Shia parties/coalitions 9, Fadilah 6, National Reform Trend 6, Iraq Coalition 5, KIU 4, other 17
description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Umma (65 seats; 50 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by simple majority vote and 15 ex-officio members - cabinet ministers - appointed by the prime minister; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 26 November 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: preliminary results - opposition groups including those linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists won 24 seats, 1 woman, other 25
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or FSC (consists of 9 judges); note - court jurisdiction limited to constitutional issues and disputes between regions or governorates and the central government; Court of Cassation (consists of a court president, 5 vice-presidents, and at least 24 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Federal Supreme Court and Court of Cassation judges selected by the president of the republic from nominees selected by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), a 25-member committee of judicial officials that manage the judiciary and prosecutors; FSC members appointed for life; Court of Cassation judges appointed by the SJC and confirmed by the Council of Representatives to serve until retirement nominally at age 63
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); civil courts including first instance, personal status, labor, and customs; criminal courts including felony, misdemeanor, investigative, major crimes, juvenile and traffic; religious courts
highest court(s): Constitutional Court (consists of 5 judges); Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (organized into several circuits, each with 5 judges)
judge selection and term of office: all Kuwaiti judges appointed by the Amir upon recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, a consultative body comprised of Kuwaiti judges and Ministry of Justice officials
subordinate courts: High Court of Appeal; Court of First Instance; Summary Court
Political parties and leadersAl-Arabiyah Coalition [Salih al-MUTLAQ]
Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
Da`wa Party [Vice President Nuri al-MALIKI]
Da`wa Tanzim [Hashim al-MUSAWI]
Fadilah Party [Muhammad al-YAQUBI]
Goran Party [Nawshirwan MUSTAFA]
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI/Muwatin Coalition [Ammar al-HAKIM]
Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Masud BARZANI]
Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah [Vice President Ayad ALLAWI]
National Reform Trend [Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [former President Jalal TALABANI]
Sadrist Trend or Ahrar Bloc [Muqtada al-SADR]
State of Law Coalition [Vice President Nuri al MALIKI]
United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun Lil Islah [Vice President Usama al-NUJAYFI]
note: numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties
none; while the formation of political parties is not permitted, they are not forbidden by law
Political pressure groups and leadersSunni militias; Shia militias, some associated with political parties
other: Islamists; merchants; political groups; secular liberals and pro-governmental deputies; Shia activists; tribal groups
International organization participationABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
ABEDA, AfDB (nonregional member), AFESD, AMF, BDEAC, CAEU, CD, FAO, G-77, GCC, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, Paris Club (associate), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Farid YASIN (since 18 January 2017)
chancery: 3421 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 742-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 333-1129
consulate(s) general: Detroit, Los Angeles
chief of mission: Ambassador SALIM al-Abdallah al-Jabir al-Sabah (since 10 October 2001)
chancery: 2940 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-0702
FAX: [1] (202) 966-8468
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Douglas A. SILLIMAN (since 1 September 2016)
embassy: Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
mailing address: APO AE 09316
telephone: 0760-030-3000
FAX: NA
chief of mission: Ambassador Lawrence R. SILVERMAN (since 19 September 2016)
embassy: Bayan 36302, Block 13, Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa Street (near the Bayan palace), Kuwait City
mailing address: P. O. Box 77 Safat 13001 Kuwait; or PSC 1280 APO AE 09880-9000
telephone: [965] 2259-1001
FAX: [965] 2538-6562
Flag description"three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning ""God is great"") in green Arabic script is centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); the Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'thist SADDAM-era flag
note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two stars but no script; Yemen, which has a plain white band; and that of Egypt, which has a golden Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band
"
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red with a black trapezoid based on the hoist side; colors and design are based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I; green represents fertile fields, white stands for purity, red denotes blood on Kuwaiti swords, black signifies the defeat of the enemy
National anthem"name: ""Mawtini"" (My Homeland)
lyrics/music: Ibrahim TOUQAN/Mohammad FLAYFEL
note: adopted 2004; following the ouster of SADDAM Husayn, Iraq adopted ""Mawtini,"" a popular folk song throughout the Arab world; also serves as an unofficial anthem of the Palestinian people
"
"name: ""Al-Nasheed Al-Watani"" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Ahmad MUSHARI al-Adwani/Ibrahim Nasir al-SOULA
note: adopted 1978; the anthem is only used on formal occasions
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)golden eagle; national colors: red, white, black
golden falcon; national colors: green, white, red, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Iraq
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kuwait
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: not specified

Economy

IraqKuwait
Economy - overviewIraq's GDP grew by more than 10% in 2016, the best performance in the past decade, because of rising oil prices, which are a significant driver of Iraqi GDP. During 2016, security and financial stability throughout Iraq began to improve as Iraqi Security Forces made gains against the ongoing insurgency and oil prices slowly rose. The Iraqi Government entered into a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF in July 2016, which helped stabilize its finances by encouraging improved fiscal management, needed economic reform, and expenditure reduction. Iraq passed its first SBA review in December 2016, and additional progress on the program is critical to its long-term fiscal health. Diversification efforts – a key component to Iraq’s long-term economic development – require a strengthened investment climate to bolster private-sector engagement. Sustained improvements in the overall standard of living depend heavily on global oil prices, the central government passing major policy reforms, and progress in the conflict with ISIL.

Iraq's largely state-run economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides more than 90% of government revenue and 80% of foreign exchange earnings. Oil exports in 2016 averaged 3.3 million barrels per day from southern Iraq, up from 2015. Moreover, the slow recovery of global oil prices improved export revenues throughout 2016, although monthly revenue remained below 2015 levels. Iraq's contracts with major oil companies have the potential to further expand oil exports and revenues, but Iraq will need to make significant upgrades to its oil processing, pipeline, and export infrastructure to enable these deals to reach their economic potential.

Iraqi oil exports from northern fields are hampered by fundamental disagreements between the Iraqi Government and autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq’s Kurdistan region (IKR) on the roles of federal and regional authorities in the development and export of natural resources. In 2007, the KRG passed an oil law to develop IKR oil and gas reserves independent of the federal government. The KRG has signed about 50 contracts with foreign energy companies to develop its reserves, some of which lie in territories whose status is in dispute between Baghdad and Erbil. Some of the companies have left or returned blocks, citing lack of commercial prospects. In 2014, the KRG began exporting its oil unilaterally through its own pipeline to Turkey, which Baghdad claims is illegal. In the absence of a national hydrocarbons law, the two sides have entered into four provisional oil- and revenue-sharing deals since 2009, all of which collapsed. In September 2016, the two sides began implementing a fifth ad hoc agreement to split oil exports from Baghdad-controlled fields in Kirkuk.

Iraq is making slow progress enacting laws and developing the institutions needed to implement economic policy, and political reforms are still needed to assuage investors' concerns regarding the uncertain business climate. The Government of Iraq is eager to attract additional foreign direct investment, but it faces a number of obstacles, including a tenuous political system and concerns about security and societal stability. Rampant corruption, outdated infrastructure, insufficient essential services, skilled labor shortages, and antiquated commercial laws stifle investment and continue to constrain growth of private, nonoil sectors. Under the Iraqi constitution, some competencies relevant to the overall investment climate are either shared by the federal government and the regions or are devolved entirely to local governments. Investment in the IKR operates within the framework of the Kurdistan Region Investment Law (Law 4 of 2006) and the Kurdistan Board of Investment, which is designed to provide incentives to help economic development in areas under the authority of the KRG.

Inflation has remained under control since 2006. However, Iraqi leaders remain hard-pressed to translate macroeconomic gains into an improved standard of living for the Iraqi populace. Unemployment remains a problem throughout the country despite a bloated public sector. Encouraging private enterprise through deregulation would make it easier for Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. Rooting out corruption and implementing reforms - such as restructuring banks and developing the private sector - would be important steps in this direction.
Kuwait has a geographically small, but wealthy, relatively open economy with crude oil reserves of about 102 billion barrels - more than 6% of world reserves. Kuwaiti officials plan to increase production to 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2020. Petroleum accounts for over half of GDP, 92% of export revenues, and 90% of government income.

In 2015, Kuwait, for the first time in 15 years, realized a budget deficit after decades of high oil prices; in 2016, the deficit grew to 16.5% of GDP. Kuwaiti authorities announced cuts to fuel subsidies in August 2016, provoking outrage among the public and National Assembly, and the Amir dissolved the government for the seventh time in ten years. Despite Kuwait’s dependence on oil, the government has cushioned itself against the impact of lower oil prices, by saving annually at least 10% of government revenue in the Fund for Future Generations.

Kuwait has failed to diversify its economy or bolster the private sector, because of a poor business climate, a large public sector that employs about 76% of citizens, and an acrimonious relationship between the National Assembly and the executive branch that has stymied most economic reforms. The Kuwaiti Government has made little progress on its long-term economic development plan first passed in 2010. While the government planned to spend up to $104 billion over four years to diversify the economy, attract more investment, and boost private sector participation in the economy, many of the projects did not materialize because of an uncertain political situation or delays in awarding contracts.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$596.7 billion (2016 est.)
$541 billion (2015 est.)
$554.1 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$301.1 billion (2016 est.)
$293.7 billion (2015 est.)
$290.4 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate10.3% (2016 est.)
-2.4% (2015 est.)
-0.4% (2014 est.)
2.5% (2016 est.)
1.1% (2015 est.)
0.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,500 (2016 est.)
$15,400 (2015 est.)
$16,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$71,300 (2016 est.)
$71,500 (2015 est.)
$72,600 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 5.7%
industry: 45.1%
services: 49.3% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.4%
industry: 59.6%
services: 40% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line23% (2014 est.)
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.4% (2016 est.)
1.4% (2015 est.)
3.3% (2016 est.)
3.3% (2015 est.)
Labor force8.9 million (2010 est.)
2.546 million
note: non-Kuwaitis represent about 60% of the labor force (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 21.6%
industry: 18.7%
services: 59.8% (2008 est.)
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate16% (2012 est.)
15% (2010 est.)
3% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $52.43 billion
expenditures: $77.87 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $47.14 billion
expenditures: $65.32 billion (2016 est.)
Industriespetroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, shipbuilding and repair, water desalination, food processing, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate7% (2016 est.)
1.6% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productswheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
fish
Exports$44.67 billion (2016 est.)
$54.67 billion (2015 est.)
$43.84 billion (2016 est.)
$55.32 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiescrude oil 99%, crude materials excluding fuels, food, live animals
oil and refined products, fertilizers
Exports - partnersChina 22.8%, India 20.4%, South Korea 11.3%, US 7.8%, Italy 6.7%, Greece 6.1% (2015)
South Korea 14.8%, China 12.3%, Japan 10.6%, India 9.8%, US 7.7%, Pakistan 6%, Singapore 4.4% (2015)
Imports$43.27 billion (2016 est.)
$43.84 billion (2015 est.)
$28.32 billion (2016 est.)
$27.34 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfood, medicine, manufactures
food, construction materials, vehicles and parts, clothing
Imports - partnersTurkey 20.3%, Syria 19.2%, China 18.8%, US 4.7%, Russia 4.3% (2015)
China 13.2%, US 9.6%, Saudi Arabia 7.7%, Japan 6.5%, Germany 5.1%, France 4.3%, India 4.3% (2015)
Debt - external$68.01 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$60.28 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$41.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$37.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesIraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -
1,179.3 (2016 est.)
1,167.63 (2015 est.)
1,167.63 (2014 est.)
1,213.72 (2013 est.)
1,166.17 (2012 est.)
Kuwaiti dinars (KD) per US dollar -
0.3024 (2016 est.)
0.3009 (2015 est.)
0.3009 (2014 est.)
0.2845 (2013 est.)
0.28 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
1 April - 31 March
Public debt79% of GDP (2016 est.)
63.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
11.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$44.15 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$54.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$28.72 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.96 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$12.2 billion (2016 est.)
-$11.63 billion (2015 est.)
$2.977 billion (2016 est.)
$5.974 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$173 billion (2016 est.)
$110.5 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$26.63 billion (2015 est.)
$23.16 billion (2014 est.)
$12.39 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$14.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$2.109 billion (2015 est.)
$1.956 billion (2014 est.)
$73.65 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$31.58 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$4 billion (9 December 2011)
$2.6 billion (31 July 2010)
$2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)
$81.78 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$83.13 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$99.77 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate6% (2016)
6% (2015)
2.5% (31 December 2016)
1.25% (31 December 2010)
Commercial bank prime lending rate4.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
6% (31 December 2015 est.)
4.6% (31 December 2016 est.)
4.3% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$3.191 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.773 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$102.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$96.96 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$54.53 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$55.36 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$31.54 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$30.95 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$74.61 billion (30 August 2016 est.)
$80.83 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$117.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$114.8 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues30.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
42.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-14.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
-16.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50.4%
government consumption: 18.8%
investment in fixed capital: 23.5%
investment in inventories: -4.5%
exports of goods and services: 39.7%
imports of goods and services: -27.9% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 47.6%
government consumption: 27.2%
investment in fixed capital: 29.5%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 47.8%
imports of goods and services: -52.1% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving10.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
28.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
27.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
31.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
50.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

IraqKuwait
Electricity - production84 billion kWh (2016 est.)
61 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption66 billion kWh (2016 est.)
54 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports12 billion kWh (2016 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production4.59 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
2.718 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - exports3.301 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
1.8 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
Oil - proved reserves143 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
104 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves3.158 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
1.784 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production905 million cu m (2014 est.)
15.03 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption905 million cu m (2014 est.)
18.49 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
3.46 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity28 million kW (2017 est.)
16 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels87.3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants6.2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production599,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
920,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption807,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
500,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports10,240 bbl/day (2013 est.)
400,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports256,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
11,900 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy137 million Mt (2013 est.)
107 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesspopulation without electricity: 600,000
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 99.6%
electrification - rural areas: 95.4% (2013)
population without electricity: 56,655
electrification - total population: 98%
electrification - urban areas: 98%
electrification - rural areas: 93% (2012)

Telecommunications

IraqKuwait
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 1.997 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 480,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 17 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 33.559 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2015 est.)
total: 8.305 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 298 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: the 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications have slowed due to the ongoing conflict with ISIS/ISIL
domestic: the mobile cellular market continues to expand (cell phones were banned prior to 2003 under the SADDAM regime); 3G services offered by three major mobile operators in 2015; ongoing conflict has destroyed infrastructure in areas
international: country code - 964; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region, and 1 Arabsat (inoperative)); local microwave radio relay connects border regions to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; international terrestrial fiber-optic connections have been established with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iran; links to the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the Gulf Bridge International (GBI) submarine fiber-optic cables have been established (2017)
general assessment: the quality of service is excellent
domestic: new telephone exchanges provide a large capacity for new subscribers; trunk traffic is carried by microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, and open-wire and fiber-optic cable; a 4G LTE mobile-cellular telephone system operates throughout Kuwait, and the country is well-supplied with pay telephones
international: country code - 965; linked to international submarine cable Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); linked to Bahrain, Qatar, UAE via the Fiber-Optic Gulf (FOG) cable; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia; satellite earth stations - 6 (3 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean, 1 Inmarsat - Atlantic Ocean, and 2 Arabsat) (2017)
Internet country code.iq
.kw
Internet userstotal: 6.381 million
percent of population: 17.2% (July 2015 est.)
total: 2.289 million
percent of population: 82.1% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediathe number of private radio and TV stations has increased rapidly since 2003; government-owned TV and radio stations are operated by the publicly funded Iraqi Media Network; private broadcast media are mostly linked to political, ethnic, or religious groups; satellite TV is available to an estimated 70% of viewers and many of the broadcasters are based abroad; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are accessible (2015)
state-owned TV broadcaster operates 4 networks and a satellite channel; several private TV broadcasters have emerged since 2003; satellite TV available with pan-Arab TV stations are especially popular; state-owned Radio Kuwait broadcasts on a number of channels in Arabic and English; first private radio station emerged in 2005; transmissions of at least 2 international radio broadcasters are available (2007)

Transportation

IraqKuwait
Roadwaystotal: 59,623 km
paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)
total: 6,608 km (2010)
Pipelinesgas 2,455 km; liquid petroleum gas 913 km; oil 5,432 km; refined products 1,637 km (2013)
gas 261 km; oil 540 km; refined products 57 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsriver port(s): Al Basrah (Shatt al-'Arab); Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr (Khawr az Zubayr waterway)
major seaport(s): Ash Shu'aybah, Ash Shuwaykh, Az Zawr (Mina' Sa'ud), Mina' 'Abd Allah, Mina' al Ahmadi
Merchant marinetotal: 2
by type: petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 2 (Marshall Islands 2) (2010)
total: 34
by type: bulk carrier 2, carrier 3, container 6, liquefied gas 4, petroleum tanker 19
registered in other countries: 45 (Bahamas 1, Bahrain 5, Comoros 1, Libya 1, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 2, Panama 12, Qatar 6, Saudi Arabia 4, UAE 10) (2010)
Airports102 (2013)
7 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 72
over 3,047 m: 20
2,438 to 3,047 m: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2013)
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 30
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 6 (2013)
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
Heliports16 (2013)
4 (2013)

Military

IraqKuwait
Military branchesMinistry of Defense: Iraqi Army (includes Army Aviation Directorate), Iraqi Navy, Iraqi Air Force; Counterterrorism Service (2015)
Kuwaiti Land Forces (KLF), Kuwaiti Navy, Kuwaiti Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Kuwaitiya; includes Kuwaiti Air Defense Force, KADF), Kuwaiti National Guard (KNG) (2013)
Military service age and obligation18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription suspended (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP7.28% of GDP (2015)
4.16% of GDP (2014)
3.37% of GDP (2013)
2.78% of GDP (2012)
3.18% of GDP (2011)
3.65% of GDP (2014)
3.27% of GDP (2013)
3.41% of GDP (2012)
3.5% of GDP (2011)

Transnational Issues

IraqKuwait
Disputes - internationalIraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Turkey has expressed concern over the autonomous status of Kurds in Iraq
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia continue negotiating a joint maritime boundary with Iran; no maritime boundary exists with Iraq in the Persian Gulf
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 15,692 (Turkey); 7,703 (West Bank and Gaza Strip); 7,545 (Iran) (2016); 242,558 (Syria) (2017)
IDPs: 3,974,162 (since 2006 due to ethno-sectarian violence; includes 3,020,034 displaced in central and northern Iraq since January 2014) (2017)
stateless persons: 48,200 (2016); note - in the 1970s and 1980s under SADDAM Husayn's regime, thousands of Iraq's Faili Kurds, followers of Shia Islam, were stripped of their Iraqi citizenship, had their property seized by the government, and many were deported; some Faili Kurds had their citizenship reinstated under the 2006 Iraqi Nationality Law, but others lack the documentation to prove their Iraqi origins; some Palestinian refugees persecuted by the SADDAM regime remain stateless
note: estimate revised to reflect the reduction of statelessness in line with Law 26 of 2006, which allows stateless persons to apply for nationality in certain circumstances; more accurate studies of statelessness in Iraq are pending (2015)
"stateless persons: 93,000 (2016); note - Kuwait's 1959 Nationality Law defined citizens as persons who settled in the country before 1920 and who had maintained normal residence since then; one-third of the population, descendants of Bedouin tribes, missed the window of opportunity to register for nationality rights after Kuwait became independent in 1961 and were classified as bidun (meaning without); since the 1980s Kuwait's bidun have progressively lost their rights, including opportunities for employment and education, amid official claims that they are nationals of other countries who have destroyed their identification documents in hopes of gaining Kuwaiti citizenship; Kuwaiti authorities have delayed processing citizenship applications and labeled biduns as ""illegal residents,"" denying them access to civil documentation, such as birth and marriage certificates
"

Source: CIA Factbook