The World Factbook 2005 is now available on the Central Intelligence Agency Web site; access it at http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html. The World Factbook remains the CIA's most widely disseminated and most popular product, now averaging more than 6 million visits each month. In addition, tens of thousands of government, commercial, academic, and other Web sites link to or replicate the online version of the Factbook, according to the CIA's announcement.
Although this reference site provides information as of 1 January 2005, it will be updated biweekly throughout the year to provide wide-ranging information about the background, geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for all included countries. The nine primary information categories and the 139 subcategories for most entities include geographic coordinates, gross domestic product, number of mobile cellular telephones, natural resources, legal systems, political parties, illicit drugs, mortality rates, and more. Included among the 271 geographic listings is one for the "World," which incorporates data and other information summarized where possible from the other 270 listings.
The World Factbook 2005 contains six appendices with reference information ranging from abbreviations and descriptions of international organizations and groups to cross-referenced lists of country data codes. The 2005 edition includes 15 reference maps, which are available in both JPEG and PDF formats. Many country maps and flags have been updated to reflect changes and refinements over the past year.
Six new entries have been added to The World Factbook 2005. In the people category, a major infectious diseases field has been added for countries deemed to pose a higher degree of risk for travelers. In the economy category, entries have been included for current account balance, investment (gross fixed), public debt, and reserves of foreign exchange and gold. The transnational issues category has a new refugees and internally displaced persons entry. Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001 edition, is continued in this edition.
Printed copies of The World Factbook 2005 will be available for purchase in July from the Government Printing Office (http://bookstore.gpo.gov) and the National Technical Information Service (http://www.ntis.gov). Ordering and pricing information for both domestic and international customers will be available on the GPO and NTIS Web sites.
The World Factbook 2005 is available for download in Zip file format for both high-bandwidth users and low-bandwidth users via the "Download This Publication" link on the Factbook home page or directly from http://www.cia.gov/cia/download.html.
Source: Central Intelligence Agency, http://www.cia.gov/