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    World Geography - 1991

      Total area: 510,072,000 km2
      361,132,000 km2 (70.8%) is water and 148,940,000 km2 (29.2%) is land

      Comparative area: land area about 16 times the size of the US

      Land boundaries: 442,000 km

      Coastline: 359,000 km

      Maritime claims: Contiguous zone: generally 24 nm, but varies from 4 nm to 25 nm
      Continental shelf: generally 200 nm, but some are 200 meters in depth
      Exclusive fishing zone: most are 200 nm, but varies from 3 nm to 200 nm
      Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm; only the Maldives varies from 35-310 nm
      Territorial sea: generally 12 nm, but varies from 3 nm to 50 nm; note--32 nations and miscellaneous areas are landlocked and include Afghanistan, Andorra, Austria, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Iraq-Saudi Arabia Neutral Zone, Laos, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mali, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Paraguay, Rwanda, San Marino, Swaziland, Switzerland, Uganda, Vatican City, West Bank, Zambia, Zimbabwe

      Disputes: major international land boundary disputes--Argentina-Uruguay, Bangladesh-India, Brazil-Paraguay, Brazil-Uruguay, Cambodia-Vietnam, Chad-Libya, China-India, China-USSR, Ecuador-Peru, Egypt-Sudan, El Salvador-Honduras, Ethiopia-Somalia, French Guiana-Suriname, Guyana-Suriname, Guyana-Venezuela, Israel-Jordan, Israel-Syria, North Korea-South Korea, Oman-UAE, Oman-Yemen, Qatar-UAE, Saudi Arabia-Yemen

      Climate: two large areas of polar climates separated by two rather narrow temperate zones from a wide equatorial band of tropical to subtropical climates

      Terrain: highest elevation is Mt. Everest at 8,848 meters and lowest depression is the Dead Sea at 392 meters below sea level; greatest ocean depth is the Marianas Trench at 10,924 meters

      Natural resources: the oceans represent the last major frontier for the discovery and development of natural resources

      Land use: arable land 10%; permanent crops 1%; meadows and pastures 24%; forest and woodland 31%; other 34%; includes irrigated 1.6%

      Environment: large areas subject to severe weather (tropical cyclones), natural disasters (earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions), overpopulation, industrial disasters, pollution (air, water, acid rain, toxic substances), loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife resources, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion

      NOTE: The information regarding World on this page is re-published from the 1991 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of World Geography 1991 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Geography 1991 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 08-Feb-03
    Copyright © 2003 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)