Saudi Arabia Geography 2020


Saudi Arabia Geography 2020

Page last updated on January 27, 2020

Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, north of Yemen

Geographic coordinates:
25 00 N, 45 00 E

Map references:
Middle East

total: 2,149,690 sq km
[see also: Area - total country ranks ]
land: 2,149,690 sq km
[see also: Area - land country ranks ]
water: 0 sq km
[see also: Area - water country ranks ]
country comparison to the world (CIA rank, may be based on non-current data): 14

Area - comparative:
slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US

Area comparison map:Area comparison map

slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US

Land boundaries:
total: 4,272 km
[see also: Land boundaries - total country ranks ]
border countries (7): Iraq 811 km, Jordan 731 km, Kuwait 221 km, Oman 658 km, Qatar 87 km, UAE 457 km, Yemen 1307 km

2,640 km
[see also: Coastline country ranks ]

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
[see also: Maritime claims - territorial sea country ranks ]
contiguous zone: 18 nm
[see also: Maritime claims - contiguous zone country ranks ]
continental shelf: not specified
[see also: Maritime claims - continental shelf country ranks ]

harsh, dry desert with great temperature extremes
More Climate Details

mostly sandy desert

mean elevation: 665 m
[see also: Elevation - mean elevation country ranks ]
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal Sawda' 3,133 m

Natural resources:
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold, copper

Land use:
agricultural land: 80.7% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use - agricultural land country ranks ]
arable land: 1.5% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use - arable land country ranks ]
permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use - permanent crops country ranks ]
permanent pasture: 79.1% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use - permanent pasture country ranks ]
forest: 0.5% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use - forest country ranks ]
other: 18.8% (2011 est.)
[see also: Land use country ranks ]

Irrigated land:
16,200 sq km (2012)
[see also: Irrigated land country ranks ]

Population distribution:
historically a population that was mostly nomadic or semi-nomadic, the Saudi population has become more settled since petroleum was discovered in the 1930s; most of the economic activities - and with it the country's population - is concentrated in a wide area across the middle of the peninsula, from Ad Dammam in the east, through Riyadh in the interior, to Mecca-Medina in the west near the Red Sea

Natural hazards:
frequent sand and dust storms

volcanism: despite many volcanic formations, there has been little activity in the past few centuries; volcanoes include Harrat Rahat, Harrat Khaybar, Harrat Lunayyir, and Jabal Yar

Environment - current issues:
desertification; depletion of underground water resources; the lack of perennial rivers or permanent water bodies has prompted the development of extensive seawater desalination facilities; coastal pollution from oil spills; air pollution; waste management

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:
Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the world without a river; extensive coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea allow for considerable shipping (especially of crude oil) through the Persian Gulf and Suez Canal

NOTE: 1) The information regarding Saudi Arabia on this page is re-published from the 2020 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Saudi Arabia Geography 2020 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Saudi Arabia Geography 2020 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.
2) The rank that you see is the CIA reported rank, which may have the following issues:
  a) They assign increasing rank number, alphabetically for countries with the same value of the ranked item, whereas we assign them the same rank.
  b) The CIA sometimes assigns counterintuitive ranks. For example, it assigns unemployment rates in increasing order, whereas we rank them in decreasing order.

This page was last modified 27-Jan-20
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