August 2003

Central Intelligence Agency Factbook

Central Intelligence Agency Factbook

The abc CIA Factbook xyz is an online almanac created by the Central Intelligence Agency that offers statistical, historical, and cultural background notes on every nation. One may choose from a category of interests - complete with an introduction to a country’s historic profile. This resource is valuable for those interested in international business as well as for those with a mere curiosity about foreign lands.

Categories include concise encyclopedic topics. Under "geography" one can find data on a geographical location, map references, climate, and natural resources. Looking at "people", information is provided about the population, demographic structure, birthrates as well as life expectancies of a certain country. The "government" heading discusses topics on capitals, holidays, legal system, and political parties. Overviews on the GDP, household incomes, inflation rates, labor force, currency, exchange rates are profiled in the reference for "economy."

In addition, the abc CIA Factbook xyz gives more detailed aspects on a nation’s infrastructure. Reports found in "communications" statistically counts telephone lines, Internet, and other various media outlets. "Transportation" lists how many railways, highways, ports/harbors, airports there are. "Military" summarizes figures on the different branches, manpower, and expenditures. "Transitional" covers information on international on international disputes. Annual updates from this web tool give a framework for understanding the diversity of different nations and how we all might interrelate.

Reviewer: Glenda Ronduen, FIDM Library Staff Member