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the World Factbook :: What's New
October 30, 2009
In the Economy category, all the energy-related fields have been updated with the latest data; new photos added for Estonia, Norway, and Poland.
October 14, 2009
In addition to regular informational updates, new photos have been added for Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Russia, and Sweden.
October 02, 2009
In the Transportation category, updates have been made to the "Airports" and "Heliports" fields; new photos added for Libya, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
September 17, 2009
NASA images taken from space have been introduced to enhance various country photo presentations. Significant numbers of high altitude photos appear under China, Egypt, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand, but can also be found scattered among other country entries. In the Economy category, statistics for "Distribution of family income - Gini index," "Public debt," and "Debt - external" now include two year's worth of data.
September 03, 2009
In the Economy category, statistics for "Current Account Balance," "Exports," "Imports," "Reserves of foreign exchange and gold," "Stock of direct foreign investment - at home," and "Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad" now include two year's worth of data; statistics for "Market value of publicly traded shares" now include three year's worth of data. New photos added for Austria, France, Monaco, Netherlands, and Netherlands Antilles.
August 17, 2009
Various rail gauge line lengths have been updated for all countries in the Railways entry; selected economic and political entries also updated.
July 31, 2009
In the Economy category, statistics for "Central bank discount rate," "Commercial bank prime lending rate," "Stock of money," "Stock of quasi money," and "Stock of domestic credit" now include two year's worth of data.
July 20, 2009
Latest updates include changes to the chief of state or head of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Lithuania, and Panama. New photographs have been added for Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and South Africa.
July 01, 2009
With the launch of the new Web site, the former "Rank Order" function was renamed "Country Comparisons." The link to Country Comparisons may be found under the References tab. In addition, many of the regional reference maps now incorporate both elevation and vegetation on landmasses, and bathymetry for ocean areas. Statistics for "Unemployment rate" and "Inflation rate (consumer prices)" now include two year's worth of data.
June 08, 2009
Completely redesigned website - presenting a cleaner look, improved navigation, and a host of added features - launched on the World Wide Web. Among the major enhancements are downloadable and printable photos for nearly 100 countries, a "Did You Know?" section explaining the impact of the Factbook around the world, and built-in world rankings for many of the Factbook information fields. Government sections reflect the results of recent parliamentary elections in Kuwait - where women were elected for the first time - and India, as well as presidential elections in Lithuania, Mongolia, Panama, and South Africa.
April 27, 2009
Significant updates made to the People and Economy categories; statistics for "GDP - real growth rate" and "GDP - per capita" (at purchasing power parity) now include three year's worth of data, in 2008 dollars. The Urbanization entry under People expanded to include all countries.
April 03, 2009
In addition to regular country updates, statistics for "GDP (purchasing power parity)" now include three year's worth of data, in 2008 dollars.
March 20, 2009
Recent major leadership changes in Guinea-Bissau, Latvia, and Madagascar included in the Government sections of those countries.
March 02, 2009
Latest US Census Bureau figures - updating basic demographic data for all countries - entered into the database. Entries on religions, languages, ethnic groups, and literacy also updated.
February 06, 2009
Country information updated across all categories. Economic data now includes 2008 estimates where available.
November 05, 2008
In order to provide more information on the nature and global dimensions of the current financial crisis, five additional fields appended to the Economy category: "Central bank discount rate," "Commercial bank prime lending rate," "Stock of money," "Stock of quasi money," and "Stock of domestic credit."
August 06, 2008
In the People category, two new fields provide information on education in terms of opportunity and resources: "School Life Expectancy" and "Education expenditures."
November 06, 2007
In the Geography category, two new fields focus on the vital resource of water: "Total renewable water resources" and "Freshwater withdrawal."
October 31, 2007
Three new fields added to the Economy category: "Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad," "Stock of direct foreign investment - at home," "Market value of publicly traded shares."
Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001 edition, continues. Several regional maps have been updated to reflect boundary changes and place name spelling changes.
The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly. ISSN 1553-8133
For additional information on government leaders in selected foreign countries, go to World Leaders.