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Long Name: State of Kuwait

Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia

Area: 6,880 sq. mi. (17,820 sq. km)

Climate: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters

Terrain: flat to slightly undulating desert plain

Population: 2,596,799

Population Growth Rate: 3.591% (reflects a return to pre-Gulf crisis immigration of expatriates)

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 21.9

Death Rate (per 1,000): 2.37

Life Expectancy: 77.53 years

Ethnic Groups: Kuwaiti 45%, other Arab 35%, South Asian 9%, Iranian 4%, other 7%

Religion: Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) 15%

Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken

Government Type: constitutional emirate

Capital: Kuwait

Independence: 19 June 1961 (from United Kingdom)

GDP Per Capita: $55,900

Occupations: N/A Currency: Kuwaiti dinar (KD)


Long Name: Kyrgyz Republic

Location: Central Asia, west of China

Area: 76,641 sq. mi. (198,500 sq. km)

Climate: dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Terrain: peaks of Tien Shan and associated valleys and basins encompass entire nation

Population: 5,356,869

Population Growth Rate: 1.38%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 23.31

Death Rate (per 1,000): 6.97

Life Expectancy: 69.12 years

Ethnic Groups: Kyrgyz 64.9%, Uzbek 13.8%, Russian 12.5%, Dungan 1.1%, Ukrainian 1%, Uygur 1%, other 5.7%

Religion: Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%

Languages: Kyrgyz 64.7% (official), Uzbek 13.6%, Russian 12.5% (official), Dungun 1%, other 8.2%

Literacy: 98.7%

Government Type: republic

Capital: Bishkek

Independence: 31 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

GDP Per Capita: $2,000

Literacy: 93.3%

Occupations: agriculture 55%, industry 15%, services 30%

Currency: som (KGS)


Long Name: Lao People's Democratic Republic

Location: Southeastern Asia, northeast of Thailand, west of Vietnam

Area: 91,429 sq. mi. (236,800 sq. km)

Climate: tropical monsoon; rainy season (May to November); dry season (December to April)

Terrain: mostly rugged mountains; some plains and plateaus

Population: 6,677,534 Population Growth Rate: 2.344%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 34.46 Death Rate (per 1,000): 11.02

Life Expectancy: 56.29 years

Ethnic Groups: Lao 55%, Khmou 11%, Hmong 8%, other (over 100 minor ethnic groups) 26%

Religion: Buddhist 67%, Christian 1.5%,

other and unspecified 31.5%

Languages: Lao (official), French, English, and various ethnic languages

Literacy: 68.7%

Government Type: Communist state

Capital: Vientiane

Independence: 19 July 1949 (from France)

GDP Per Capita: $2,000

Occupations: agriculture 80%, industry and services 20%

Currency: kip (LAK)


Long Name: Republic of Latvia

Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Estonia and Lithuania

Area: 24,938 sq. mi. (64,589 sq. km)

Climate: maritime; wet, moderate winters

Terrain: low plain

Population: 2,245,423 Population Growth Rate: -0.629%

Birth Rate (per 1,000): 9.62

Death Rate (per 1,000): 13.63

Life Expectancy: 71.88 years

Ethnic Groups: Latvian 57.7%, Russian 29.6%, Belarusian 4.1%, Ukrainian 2.7%, Polish 2.5%, Lithuanian 1.4%, other 2%

Religion: Lutheran 19.6%, Orthodox 15.3%, other Christian 1%, other 0.4%, unspecified 63.7%

Languages: Latvian (official) 58.2%, Russian 37.5%, Lithuanian and other 4.3% Literacy: 99.7%

Government Type: parliamentary democracy

Capital: Riga

Independence: 18 November 1918 (from Soviet Russia); 4 May 1990 is when it declared the renewal of independence; 21 August 1991 was the date of de facto independence from the Soviet Union

GDP Per Capita: $17,700

Occupations: agriculture 13%, industry 19%, services 68%

Currency: lat (LVL)

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