Oman Population: 3,355,262


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The inhabitants of the area of Oman have long prospered from Indian Ocean trade. In the late 18th century, the nascent sultanate in Muscat signed the first in a series of friendship treaties with Britain. Over time, Oman's dependence on British political and military advisors increased, although the Sultanate never became a British colony. In 1970, QABOOS bin Said Al-Said overthrew his father, and has since ruled as sultan, but he has not designated a successor. His extensive modernization program has opened the country to the outside world, while preserving the longstanding close ties with the UK and US. Oman's moderate, independent foreign policy has sought to maintain good relations with its neighbors and to avoid external entanglements. Inspired by the popular uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa beginning in January 2011, some Omanis staged demonstrations, calling for more jobs and economic benefits and an end to corruption. In response to those protester demands, QABOOS in 2011 pledged to implement economic and political reforms, such as granting legislative and regulatory powers to the Majlis al-Shura and increasing unemployment benefits. Additionally, in August 2012, the Sultan announced a royal directive mandating the speedy implementation of a national job creation plan for thousands of public and private sector Omani jobs. As part of the government's efforts to decentralize authority and allow greater citizen participation in local governance, Oman successfully conducted its first municipal council elections in December 2012. Announced by the Sultan in 2011, the municipal councils have the power to advise the Royal Court on the needs of local districts across Oman's 11 governorates. The Sultan returned to Oman in March 2015 after eight months in Germany, where he received medical treatment. He has since appeared publicly on a few occasions.

Consists of Oman proper and two northern exclaves, Musandam and Al Madhah; the former is a peninsula that occupies a strategic location adjacent to the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit point for world crude oil
Location: Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, and Persian Gulf, between Yemen and the UAE
Geographic coordinates: 21 00 N, 57 00 E
Area: total: 309,500 sq km
land: 309,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Size comparison: twice the size of Georgia; slightly smaller than Kansas
Land Boundaries: total: 1,561 km border countries (3): Saudi Arabia 658 km, UAE 609 km, Yemen 294 km
Coastline: 2,092 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
Terrain: central desert plain, rugged mountains in north and south
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
Land use: agricultural land: 4.7% arable land 0.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 4.5% forest: 0%
other: 95.3% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 590 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: summer winds often raise large sandstorms and dust storms in interior; periodic droughts
Current Environment Issues: rising soil salinity; beach pollution from oil spills; limited natural freshwater resources
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
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Nationality: noun: Omani(s)
adjective: Omani
Ethnic groups: Arab, Baluchi, South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi), African
Languages: Arabic (official), English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
Religions: Muslim (official; majority are Ibadhi, lesser numbers of Sunni and Shia) 85.9%, Christian 6.5%, Hindu 5.5%, Buddhist 0.8%, Jewish

note: approximately 75% of Omani citizens, who compose almost 70% of the country's total population, are Ibadhi Muslims; the Omani government does not keep statistics on religious affiliation (2013)
Population: 3,355,262 (July 2016 est.) note: immigrants make up over 40% of the total population, according to UN data (2015)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30.14% (male 518,600/female 492,782)
15-24 years: 19.11% (male 336,310/female 304,871)
25-54 years: 43.41% (male 843,531/female 613,004)
55-64 years: 3.91% (male 69,904/female 61,248)
65 years and over: 3.43% (male 56,816/female 58,196) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 30%
youth dependency ratio: 26.7%
elderly dependency ratio: 3.4%
potential support ratio: 29.8% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 25.4 years
male: 26.5 years
female: 24 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.05% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 24.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 3.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 77.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 8.54% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: MUSCAT (capital) 838,000 (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.38 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
total population: 1.19 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 17 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 13.2 deaths/1,000 live births male: 13.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.8 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.5 years male: 73.5 years
female: 77.5 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.84 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 24.4% (2007/08)
Health expenditures: 3.6% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 2.43 physicians/1,000 population (2012)
Hospital bed density: 1.7 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 95.5% of population
rural: 86.1% of population
total: 93.4% of population

urban: 4.5% of population
rural: 13.9% of population
total: 6.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 97.3% of population
rural: 94.7% of population
total: 96.7% of population

urban: 2.7% of population
rural: 5.3% of population
total: 3.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.16% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 2,400 (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: less than 100 (2014 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 26.5% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 9.7% (2014)
Education expenditures: 5% of GDP (2013)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.1%
male: 93.6%
female: 85.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 14 years male: 14 years
female: 14 years (2011)
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Country name: conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman
conventional short form: Oman
local long form: Saltanat Uman
local short form: Uman
former: Sultanate of Muscat and Oman
etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it apparently dates back at least 2,000 years since an "Omana" is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.) and an "Omanon" by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)
Government type: absolute monarchy
Capital: name: Muscat
geographic coordinates: 23 37 N, 58 35 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazat); Ad Dakhiliyah, Al Buraymi, Al Wusta, Az Zahirah, Janub al Batinah (Al Batinah South), Janub ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah South), Masqat (Muscat), Musandam, Shamal al Batinah (Al Batinah North), Shamal ash Sharqiyah (Ash Sharqiyah North), Zufar (Dhofar)
Independence: 1650 (expulsion of the Portuguese)
National holiday: Birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
Constitution: 1996 (the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); amended by royal decree in 2011 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of Anglo-Saxon law and Islamic law
Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal; note - members of the military and security forces by law cannot vote
Executive branch: chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister QABOOS bin Said Al-Said (sultan since 23 July 1970 and prime minister since 23 July 1972)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch elections/appointments: members of the Ruling Family Council determine a successor from the sultan's extended family; if the Council cannot form a consensus within 3 days of the sultan's death or incapacitation, the Defense Council will relay a predetermined heir as chosen by the sultan
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Council of Oman or Majlis Oman consists of the Council of State or Majlis al-Dawla (85 seats including the chairman; members appointed by the sultan from among former government officials and prominent educators, businessmen, and citizens) and the Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (85 seats; members directly elected in single- and two-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms); note - following political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Council is submitted to the Council of State for review by the Royal Court

elections: Consultative Assembly - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; note - organized political parties in Oman are legally banned
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 5 judges) judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the 9-member Supreme Judicial Council (chaired by the monarch) and appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for life

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; Administrative Court; Courts of First Instance; sharia courts; magistrates' courts; military courts
Political parties and leaders: none; note - organized political parties are legally banned in Oman, and loyalties tend to form around tribal affiliations
Political pressure groups and leaders: none
National symbol(s): khanjar dagger superimposed on two crossed swords; national colors: red, white, green
National anthem: name: "Nashid as-Salaam as-Sultani" (The Sultan's Anthem)
lyrics/music: Rashid bin Uzayyiz al KHUSAIDI/James Frederick MILLS, arranged by Bernard EBBINGHAUS

note: adopted 1932; new lyrics written after QABOOS bin Said al Said gained power in 1970; first performed by the band of a British ship as a salute to the Sultan during a 1932 visit to Muscat; the bandmaster of the HMS Hawkins was asked to write a salutation to the Sultan on the occasion of his ship visit
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Hunaina bint Sultan bin Ahmad al-MUGHAIRI (since 9 November 2005)
chancery: 2535 Belmont Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 387-1980
FAX: [1] (202) 745-4933
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Marc J. SIEVERS (since 7 January 2016)
embassy: Jamait Ad Duwal Al Arabiyya Street, Al Khuwair area, Muscat
mailing address: P.O. Box 202, P.C. 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Muscat
telephone: [968] 24-643-400
FAX: [968] 24-643-740
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Oman is heavily dependent on its dwindling oil resources, which generate 84% of government revenue. In 2015, low global oil prices drove Oman’s budget deficit to $6.5 billion, or nearly 11% of GDP. Oman has limited foreign assets and is issuing debt to cover its deficit. Oman is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production and has actively pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP from 46% at present to 9% by 2020. Tourism and gas-based industries are key components of the government's diversification strategy. Muscat also is focused on creating more jobs to employ the rising number of Omanis entering the workforce. Increases in social welfare benefits, however, particularly since the Arab Spring, dating to 2011, have challenged the government's ability to effectively balance its budget, as oil prices decline. Omani officials intend to reduce social entitlements to cut the deficit but have faced stiff public opposition to spending cuts, hindering their implementation.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $173.1 billion (2016 est.) $170 billion (2015 est.) $164.6 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $59.68 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1.8% (2016 est.) 3.3% (2015 est.) 2.9% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $43,700 (2016 est.) $44,300 (2015 est.) $44,300 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 9.7% of GDP (2016 est.) 11.5% of GDP (2015 est.) 27.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 41%
government consumption: 28.4%
investment in fixed capital: 37%
investment in inventories: -4.7%
exports of goods and services: 49.4%
imports of goods and services: -51.1% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 41%
government consumption: 28.4%
investment in fixed capital: 37%
investment in inventories: -4.7%
exports of goods and services: 49.4%
imports of goods and services: -51.1% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
Industries: crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
Industrial production growth rate: 1.5% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 968,800 note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Unemployment rate: 15% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Budget: revenues: $20.26 billion
expenditures: $31.55 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 34% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 18.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 8.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (2016 est.) 0.1% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$12.71 billion (2016 est.) -$11.23 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $30.39 billion (2016 est.) $34.43 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Exports - partners: China 35.4%, UAE 15.3%, South Korea 6.8%, Saudi Arabia 5.8%, Pakistan 4.2% (2015)
Imports: $25.78 billion (2016 est.) $28.27 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Imports - partners: UAE 29.7%, Japan 10.2%, US 7.5%, China 6.7%, India 6.3% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $14.54 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $17.54 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $20.85 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $12.94 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares: $41.12 billion (31 December 2015 est.) $37.83 billion (31 December 2014 est.) $36.77 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Exchange rates: Omani rials (OMR) per US dollar - 0.3845 (2016 est.) 0.3845 (2015 est.) 0.3845 (2014 est.) 0.3845 (2013 est.) 0.3845 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 28 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 25 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8.2 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 982,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 806,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 7,060 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 5.3 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 158,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 160,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 33,450 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 14,810 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 30.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 22.6 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 10.27 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.97 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 688.1 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 69 million Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 6.647 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 202 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; limited coaxial cable; domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations

domestic: fixed-line and mobile-cellular subscribership both increasing with fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems

international: country code - 968; the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable provide connectivity to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Indian Ocean), 1 Arabsat (2015)
Broadcast media: 1 state-run TV broadcaster; TV stations transmitting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Yemen available via satellite TV; state-run radio operates multiple stations; first private radio station began operating in 2007 and 2 additional stations now operating (2007)
Internet country code: .om
Internet users: total: 2.438 million percent of population: 74.2% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 132 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 13
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 119
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 51
914 to 1,523 m: 33
under 914 m: 26 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Pipelines: condensate 106 km; gas 4,224 km; oil 3,558 km; oil/gas/water 33 km; refined products 264 km (2013)
Roadways: total 60,230 km
paved: 29,685 km (includes 1,943 km of expressways)
unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)
Merchant marine: total 5

by type: chemical tanker 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3

registered in other countries: 15 (Malta 5, Panama 10) (2010)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar container port(s) (TEUs): Salalah (3,200,000) LNG terminal(s) (export): Qalhat
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Military branches: Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF): Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman, Royal Air Force of Oman (al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Sultanat Oman) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Military expenditures: 12.75% of GDP (2016) 14.58% of GDP (2015) 11.8% of GDP (2014) 15% of GDP (2013) 8.61% of GDP (2012)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: boundary agreement reportedly signed and ratified with UAE in 2003 for entire border, including Oman's Musandam Peninsula and Al Madhah exclave, but details of the alignment have not been made public
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 5,000 (Yemen) (2016)
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