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Lebanon :: Middle East



Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French demarcated the region of Lebanon in 1920 and granted this area independence in 1943. Since independence, the country has been marked by periods of political turmoil interspersed with prosperity built on its position as a regional center for finance and trade. The country's 1975-90 civil war, which resulted in an estimated 120,000 fatalities, was followed by years of social and political instability. Sectarianism is a key element of Lebanese political life. Neighboring Syria has historically influenced Lebanon's foreign policy and internal policies, and its military occupied Lebanon from 1976 until 2005. The Lebanon-based Hizballah militia and Israel continued attacks and counterattacks against each other after Syria's withdrawal, and fought a brief war in 2006. Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel remain unresolved.



Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Israel and Syria

Geographic coordinates:

33 50 N, 35 50 E

Map references:

Middle East


total: 10,400 sq km
land: 10,230 sq km
water: 170 sq km
country comparison to the world: 168

Area - comparative:

about one-third the size of Maryland

Land boundaries:

total: 484 km
border countries (2): Israel 81 km, Syria 403 km


225 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm


Mediterranean; mild to cool, wet winters with hot, dry summers; the Lebanon Mountains experience heavy winter snows


narrow coastal plain; El Beqaa (Bekaa Valley) separates Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon Mountains


mean elevation: 1,250 m
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Qornet es Saouda 3,088 m

Natural resources:

limestone, iron ore, salt, water-surplus state in a water-deficit region, arable land

Land use:

agricultural land: 63.3% (2011 est.)
arable land: 11.9% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 12.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 39.1% (2011 est.)
forest: 13.4% (2011 est.)
other: 23.3% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

1,040 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density

Natural hazards:

earthquakes; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues:

deforestation; soil deterioration, erosion; desertification; species loss; air pollution in Beirut from vehicular traffic and the burning of industrial wastes; pollution of coastal waters from raw sewage and oil spills; waste-water management

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:

smallest country in continental Asia; Nahr el Litani is the only major river in Near East not crossing an international boundary; rugged terrain historically helped isolate, protect, and develop numerous factional groups based on religion, clan, and ethnicity

People and Society


5,469,612 (July 2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118


noun: Lebanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Lebanese

Ethnic groups:

Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%
note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendants of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians


Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian


Muslim 61.1% (30.6% Sunni, 30.5% Shia, smaller percentages of Alawites and Ismailis), Christian 33.7% (Maronite Catholics are the largest Christian group), Druze 5.2%, very small numbers of Jews, Baha'is, Buddhists, and Hindus (2018 est.)
note: data represent the religious affiliation of the citizen population (data do not include Lebanon's sizable Syrian and Palestinian refugee populations); 18 religious sects recognized

Age structure:

0-14 years: 20.75% (male 581,015/female 554,175)
15-24 years: 14.98% (male 417,739/female 401,357)
25-54 years: 46.69% (male 1,296,250/female 1,257,273)
55-64 years: 9.62% (male 250,653/female 275,670)
65 years and over: 7.96% (male 187,001/female 248,479) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 48.4
youth dependency ratio: 37.2
elderly dependency ratio: 11.2
potential support ratio: 8.9 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 33.7 years
male: 33.1 years
female: 34.4 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95

Population growth rate:

-6.68% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 236

Birth rate:

13.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

Death rate:

5.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 184

Net migration rate:

-88.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 227

Population distribution:

the majority of the people live on or near the Mediterranean coast, and of these most live in and around the capital, Beirut; favorable growing conditions in the Bekaa Valley, on the southeastern side of the Lebanon Mountains, have attracted farmers and thus the area exhibits a smaller population density


urban population: 88.9% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 0.75% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

2.424 million BEIRUT (capital) (2020)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:

29 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 112

Infant mortality rate:

total: 6.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 7.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 6.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 160

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 78.3 years
male: 76.9 years
female: 79.8 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68

Total fertility rate:

1.71 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169

Drinking water source:

improved: total: 100% of population
unimproved: total: 0% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

8.2% (2017)

Physicians density:

2.03 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Hospital bed density:

2.7 beds/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: total: 99% of population
unimproved: total: 1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

<.1% (2019 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

2,700 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 134

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

<100 (2019 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

32% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 19

Education expenditures:

2.5% of GDP (2013)
country comparison to the world: 154


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.1%
male: 96.9%
female: 93.3% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2014)


Country name:

conventional long form: Lebanese Republic
conventional short form: Lebanon
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah
local short form: Lubnan
former: Greater Lebanon
etymology: derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon

Government type:

parliamentary republic


name: Beirut
geographic coordinates: 33 52 N, 35 30 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
etymology: derived from the Canaanite or Phoenician word "ber'ot," meaning "the wells" or "fountain," which referred to the site's accessible water table

Administrative divisions:

8 governorates (mohafazat, singular - mohafazah); Aakkar, Baalbek-Hermel, Beqaa (Bekaa), Beyrouth (Beirut), Liban-Nord (North Lebanon), Liban-Sud (South Lebanon), Mont-Liban (Mount Lebanon), Nabatiye


22 November 1943 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 22 November (1943)


history: drafted 15 May 1926, adopted 23 May 1926
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and introduced as a government bill to the National Assembly or proposed by at least 10 members of the Assembly and agreed upon by two thirds of its members; if proposed by the National Assembly, review and approval by two-thirds majority of the Cabinet is required; if approved, the proposal is next submitted to the Cabinet for drafting as an amendment; Cabinet approval requires at least two-thirds majority, followed by submission to the National Assembly for discussion and vote; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of a required two-thirds quorum of the Assembly membership and promulgation by the president; amended several times, last in 1989

Legal system:

mixed legal system of civil law based on the French civil code, Ottoman legal tradition, and religious laws covering personal status, marriage, divorce, and other family relations of the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Lebanon
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: unknown


21 years of age; authorized for all men and women regardless of religion; excludes persons convicted of felonies and other crimes or those imprisoned; excludes all military and security service personnel regardless of rank

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Michel AWN (since 31 October 2016)
head of government: Prime Minister Saad HARIRI (since 22 October 2020)
cabinet: Cabinet chosen by the prime minister in consultation with the president and National Assembly
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the National Assembly with two-thirds majority vote in the first round and if needed absolute majority vote in a second round for a 6-year term (eligible for non-consecutive terms); last held on 31 October 2016 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister appointed by the president in consultation with the National Assembly; deputy prime minister determined during cabinet formation
election results: Michel AWN elected president in second round; National Assembly vote - Michel AWN (FPM) 83; note - in the initial election held on 23 April 2014, no candidate received the required two-thirds vote, and subsequent attempts failed because the Assembly lacked the necessary quorum to hold a vote; the president was finally elected in its 46th attempt on 31 October 2016

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Nuwab in Arabic or Assemblee Nationale in French (128 seats; members directly elected by listed-based proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms); prior to 2017, the electoral system was by majoritarian vote
elections: last held on 6 May 2018 (next to be held in 2022)
election results: percent of vote by coalition - NA; seats by coalition – Strong Lebanon Bloc (Free Patriotic Movement-led) 25; Future Bloc (Future Movement-led) 20; Development and Liberation Bloc (Amal Movement-led) 16; Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc (Hizballah-led) 15; Strong Republic Bloc (Lebanese Forces-led) 15; Democratic Gathering (Progressive Socialist Party-led) 9; Independent Centre Bloc 4; National Bloc (Marada Movement-led) 3; Syrian Social Nationalist Party 3; Tashnaq 3; Kata'ib 3; other 8; independent 4; composition - men 122, women 6, percent of women 4.6%
note: Lebanon's constitution states the National Assembly cannot conduct regular business until it elects a president when the position is vacant

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (organized into 8 chambers, each with a presiding judge and 2 associate judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 10 members)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges appointed by Supreme Judicial Council, a 10-member body headed by the chief justice, and includes other judicial officials; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Council members appointed - 5 by the Council of Ministers and 5 by parliament; members serve 5-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Courts of First Instance; specialized tribunals, religious courts; military courts

Political parties and leaders:

Al-Ahbash or Association of Islamic Charitable Projects [Adnan TARABULSI] ++ Amal Movement [Nabih BERRI] ++ Azm Movement [Najib MIQATI] ++ Ba'th Arab Socialist Party of Lebanon [Fayiz SHUKR] ++ Free Patriotic Movement or FPM [Gibran BASSIL] ++ Future Movement Bloc [Sa'ad al-HARIRI] ++ Hizballah [Hassan NASRALLAH] ++ Islamic Actions Front [Sheikh Zuhayr al-JU'AYD] ++ Kata'ib Party [Sami GEMAYEL] ++ Lebanese Democratic Party [Talal ARSLAN] ++ Lebanese Forces or LF [Samir JA'JA] ++ Marada Movement [Sulayman FRANJIEH] ++ Progressive Socialist Party or PSP [Walid JUNBLATT] ++ Social Democrat Hunshaqian Party [Sabuh KALPAKIAN]Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Ali QANSO] ++ Syrian Social Nationalist Party [Hanna al-NASHIF] ++ Tashnaq or Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Hagop PAKRADOUNIAN]

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Gabriel ISSA (since 24 January 2018)
chancery: 2560 28th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6300
FAX: [1] (202) 939-6324
consulate(s) general: Detroit, New York, Los Angeles

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Dorothy SHEA (since 11 March 2020)
telephone: [961] (04) 543 600
embassy: Awkar-Facing the Municipality, Main Street, Beirut
mailing address: P. O. Box 70-840, Antelias, Lebanon; from US: US Embassy Beirut, 6070 Beirut Place, Washington, DC 20521-6070
FAX: [961] (4) 544136

Flag description:

three horizontal bands consisting of red (top), white (middle, double width), and red (bottom) with a green cedar tree centered in the white band; the red bands symbolize blood shed for liberation, the white band denotes peace, the snow of the mountains, and purity; the green cedar tree is the symbol of Lebanon and represents eternity, steadiness, happiness, and prosperity

National symbol(s):

cedar tree; national colors: red, white, green

National anthem:

name: "Kulluna lil-watan" (All Of Us, For Our Country!)
lyrics/music: Rachid NAKHLE/Wadih SABRA
note: adopted 1927; chosen following a nationwide competition


Economic overview:

Lebanon has a free-market economy and a strong laissez-faire commercial tradition. The government does not restrict foreign investment; however, the investment climate suffers from red tape, corruption, arbitrary licensing decisions, complex customs procedures, high taxes, tariffs, and fees, archaic legislation, and inadequate intellectual property rights protection. The Lebanese economy is service-oriented; main growth sectors include banking and tourism. ++ The 1975-90 civil war seriously damaged Lebanon's economic infrastructure, cut national output by half, and derailed Lebanon's position as a Middle Eastern banking hub. Following the civil war, Lebanon rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing heavily, mostly from domestic banks, which saddled the government with a huge debt burden. Pledges of economic and financial reforms made at separate international donor conferences during the 2000s have mostly gone unfulfilled, including those made during the Paris III Donor Conference in 2007, following the July 2006 war. The "CEDRE" investment event hosted by France in April 2018 again rallied the international community to assist Lebanon with concessional financing and some grants for capital infrastructure improvements, conditioned upon long-delayed structural economic reforms in fiscal management, electricity tariffs, and transparent public procurement, among many others. ++ The Syria conflict cut off one of Lebanon's major markets and a transport corridor through the Levant. The influx of nearly one million registered and an estimated 300,000 unregistered Syrian refugees has increased social tensions and heightened competition for low-skill jobs and public services. Lebanon continues to face several long-term structural weaknesses that predate the Syria crisis, notably, weak infrastructure, poor service delivery, institutionalized corruption, and bureaucratic over-regulation. Chronic fiscal deficits have increased Lebanon's debt-to-GDP ratio, the third highest in the world; most of the debt is held internally by Lebanese banks. These factors combined to slow economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-17, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Weak economic growth limits tax revenues, while the largest government expenditures remain debt servicing, salaries for government workers, and transfers to the electricity sector. These limitations constrain other government spending, limiting its ability to invest in necessary infrastructure improvements, such as water, electricity, and transportation. In early 2018, the Lebanese government signed long-awaited contract agreements with an international consortium for petroleum exploration and production as part of the country's first offshore licensing round. Exploration is expected to begin in 2019.

GDP real growth rate:

1.5% (2017 est.)
1.7% (2016 est.)
0.2% (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

2.8% (2019 est.)
6% (2018 est.)
4.4% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144

Credit ratings:

Fitch rating: RD (2020)
Moody's rating: C (2020)
Standard & Poors rating: D (2020)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$88.25 billion (2017 est.)
$86.94 billion (2016 est.)
$85.45 billion (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$53.253 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$19,600 (2017 est.)
$19,500 (2016 est.)
$19,300 (2015 est.)
note: data are in 2017 dollars
country comparison to the world: 73

Gross national saving:

-0.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 181

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 3.9% (2017 est.)
industry: 13.1% (2017 est.)
services: 83% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 87.6% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 13.3% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 21.8% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 23.6% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -46.4% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

78.2 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

citrus, grapes, tomatoes, apples, vegetables, potatoes, olives, tobacco; sheep, goats


banking, tourism, real estate and construction, food processing, wine, jewelry, cement, textiles, mineral and chemical products, wood and furniture products, oil refining, metal fabricating

Industrial production growth rate:

-21.1% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 201

Labor force:

2.166 million (2016 est.)
note: excludes as many as 1 million foreign workers and refugees
country comparison to the world: 120

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 39% NA (2009 est.)
industry: NA
services: NA

Unemployment rate:

9.7% (2007)
country comparison to the world: 144

Population below poverty line:

28.6% (2004 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA


revenues: 11.62 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 15.38 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

21.5% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 136

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-6.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 193

Public debt:

146.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
145.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
note: data cover central government debt and exclude debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment
country comparison to the world: 4

Fiscal year:

calendar year

Current account balance:

-$12.37 billion (2017 est.)
-$11.18 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 195


$3.524 billion (2017 est.)
$3.689 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129

Exports - partners:

China 13%, UAE 9.9%, South Africa 7.5%, Saudi Arabia 6.5%, Syria 6.5%, Iraq 5.8%, Turkey 4.6% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

jewelry, base metals, chemicals, consumer goods, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, construction minerals, electric power machinery and switchgear, textile fibers, paper


$18.34 billion (2017 est.)
$17.71 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 89

Imports - commodities:

petroleum products, cars, medicinal products, clothing, meat and live animals, consumer goods, paper, textile fabrics, tobacco, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals

Imports - partners:

China 10.2%, Italy 8.9%, Greece 7%, Germany 6.6%, US 6.3%, Turkey 4.5%, Egypt 4.2% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$55.42 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$54.04 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 37

Debt - external:

$39.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$36.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 76

Exchange rates:

Lebanese pounds (LBP) per US dollar -
1,517.5 (2020 est.)
1,513 (2019 est.)
1,506.5 (2018 est.)
1,507.5 (2014 est.)
1,507.5 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity - production:

17.59 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Electricity - consumption:

15.71 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 77

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157

Electricity - imports:

69 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 104

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

2.346 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 110

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

88% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 126

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

11% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 158

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 164

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

154,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 65

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 170

Refined petroleum products - imports:

151,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 41

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 156

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 166

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 147

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

23.36 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 83


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 752,547
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12.87 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 82

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 3,614,797
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 61.82 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 135

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: two mobile-cellular networks provide good service, with 4G LTE services; future improvements to fiber-optic infrastructure for total nation coverage proposed by 2020; in 2018 first successful 5G trial conducted and in 2019 first live mobile 5G site launched, unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted telecoms industry and pricing has been raised (2020)
domestic: fixed-line 13 per 100 and 62 per 100 for mobile-cellular subscriptions (2019)
international: country code - 961; landing points for the IMEWE, BERYTAR AND CADMOS submarine cable links to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

7 TV stations, 1 of which is state owned; more than 30 radio stations, 1 of which is state owned; satellite and cable TV services available; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible through partner stations (2019)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 4,769,039
percent of population: 78.18% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 9,395
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 171


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,981,937 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 56.57 million mt-km (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

OD (2016)


8 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 160

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 5 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 1

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
under 914 m: 1 (2013)


1 (2013)


88 km gas (2013)


total: 401 km (2017)
standard gauge: 319 km 1.435-m gauge (2017)
narrow gauge: 82 km 1.050-m gauge (2017)
note: rail system is still unusable due to damage sustained from fighting in the 1980s and in 2006
country comparison to the world: 119


total: 21,705 km (2017)
country comparison to the world: 111

Merchant marine:

total: 55
by type: bulk carrier 2, container ship 1, general cargo 39, oil tanker 1, other 12 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 114

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Beirut, Tripoli
container port(s) (TEUs): Beirut (1,305,038) (2017)

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF): Army Command (includes Presidential Guard Brigade, Land Border Regiments), Naval Forces, Air Forces; Lebanese Internal Security Forces Directorate (includes Mobile Gendarmerie); Directorate for General Security (DGS); Directorate General for State Security (2019)

Military expenditures:

4.2% of GDP (2019)
4.9% of GDP (2018)
4.5% of GDP (2017)
5.1% of GDP (2016)
4.5% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 9

Military and security service personnel strengths:

the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have approximately 58,000 active troops (55,000 Army; 1,500 Navy; 1,500 AF); est. 20,000 Internal Security Forces (2019 est.)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the LAF inventory includes a wide mix of mostly older equipment, largely from the US and European countries, particularly France and Germany; since 2010, the US is the leading supplier of armaments (mostly second hand equipment) to Lebanon (2019 est.)

Military service age and obligation:

17-25 years of age for voluntary military service (including women); no conscription (2019)

Military - note:

the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) has operated in the country since 1978, originally under UNSCRs 425 and 426 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in restoring its effective authority in the area; following the July-August 2006 war, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1701 enhancing UNIFIL and deciding that in addition to the original mandate, it would, among other things, monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons; UNIFIL had about 10,200 personnel deployed in the country as of March 2020 (2020)


Terrorist group(s):

Abdallah Azzam Brigades; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade; Asbat al-Ansar; Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps/Qods Force; Hizballah; al-Nusrah Front (Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham); Palestine Liberation Front; PFLP-General Command; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (2019)
note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms area in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights; the roughly 2,000-strong UN Interim Force in Lebanon has been in place since 1978

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 879,529 (Syria), 476,033 (Palestinian refugees) (2020)
IDPs: 11,000 (2007 Lebanese security forces' destruction of Palestinian refugee camp) (2019)
stateless persons: undetermined (2016); note - tens of thousands of persons are stateless in Lebanon, including many Palestinian refugees and their descendants, Syrian Kurds denaturalized in Syria in 1962, children born to Lebanese women married to foreign or stateless men; most babies born to Syrian refugees, and Lebanese children whose births are unregistered

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a transit point for Eastern European women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other Middle Eastern countries; women and girls from South and Southeast Asia and an increasing number from East and West Africa are recruited by agencies to work in domestic service but are subject to conditions of forced labor; under Lebanon's artiste visa program, women from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Dominican Republic enter Lebanon to work in the adult entertainment industry but are often forced into the sex trade; Lebanese children are reportedly forced into street begging and commercial sexual exploitation, with small numbers of Lebanese girls sex trafficked in other Arab countries; Syrian refugees are vulnerable to forced labor and prostitution
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Lebanon was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; law enforcement efforts in 2014 were uneven; the number of convicted traffickers increased, but judges lack of familiarity with anti-trafficking law meant that many offenders were not brought to justice; the government relied heavily on an NGO to identify and provide service to trafficking victims; and its lack of thoroughly implemented victim identification procedures resulted in victims continuing to be arrested, detained, and deported for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)

Illicit drugs:

Lebanon is a transit country for hashish, cocaine, heroin, and fenethylene; fenethylene, cannabis, hashish, and some opium are produced in the Bekaa Valley; small amounts of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin transit country on way to European markets and for Middle Eastern consumption; money laundering of drug proceeds fuels concern that extremists are benefiting from drug trafficking