Oman Population: 4,613,241


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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. Sultan QABOOS has no children and has not designated a successor publicly; the Basic Law of 1996 outlines Oman’s succession procedure. Sultan QABOOS’ extensive modernization program opened the country to the outside world, and the sultan has prioritized strategic 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 Oman’s bicameral legislative body more power and authorizing direct elections for its lower house, which took place in November 2011. Additionally, the Sultan increased unemployment benefits, and, in August 2012, issued 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.

    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
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
contiguous zone: 24 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
Natural resources: petroleum, copper, asbestos, some marble, limestone, chromium, gypsum, natural gas
Land use: agricultural land: 4.7% (2011 est.) arable land: 0.1% (2011 est.)
permanent crops: 0.1% (2011 est.) permanent pasture: 4.5% (2011 est.) forest: 0% (2011 est.)
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: limited natural freshwater resources; high levels of soil and water salinity in the coastal plains; beach pollution from oil spills; industrial effluents seeping into the water tables and aquifers; desertificaiton due to high winds driving desert sand into arable lands
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, Swahili, Urdu, Indian dialects
Religions: Muslim 85.9%, Christian 6.5%, Hindu 5.5%, Buddhist 0.8%, Jewish <0.1%, other 1%, unaffiliated 0.2% (2010 est.)

note: Omani citizens represent approximately 56.4% of the population and are overwhelming Muslim (Ibadhi and Sunni sects each constitute about 45% and Shia about 5%); Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists account for roughly 5% of Omani citizens
Population: 4,613,241 (July 2017 est. est.) note: immigrants make up approximately 45% of the total population (2017)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 30.1% (male 539,202 /female 512,416)
15-24 years: 18.26% (male 334,784 /female 303,172)
25-54 years: 44.15% (male 886,080 /female 656,734)
55-64 years: 3.94% (male 73,233 /female 64,450)
65 years and over: 3.55% (male 60,354 /female 63,691) (2018 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 32.4 (2015 est.)
youth dependency ratio: 29.4 (2015 est.)
elderly dependency ratio: 3.1 (2015 est.)
potential support ratio: 32.6 (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 25.8 years
male: 26.8 years
female: 24.5 years (2018 est.)
Population growth rate: 2% (2018 est.)
Birth rate: 23.7 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate: 3.3 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Net migration rate: -0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 84.5% of total population (2018)
rate of urbanization: 5.25% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Major urban areas - population: 1.447 million MUSCAT (capital) (2018)
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: 1.35 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.18 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 17 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 12.4 deaths/1,000 live births male: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.9 years male: 73.9 years
female: 78 years (2018 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.8 children born/woman (2018 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 29.7% (2014)
Physicians density: 1.97 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
Hospital bed density: 1.6 beds/1,000 population (2014)
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 (2015 est.)
rural: 94.7% of population (2015 est.)
total: 96.7% of population (2015 est.)

urban: 2.7% of population (2015 est.)
rural: 5.3% of population (2015 est.)
total: 3.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: n/a
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: n/a
HIV/AIDS - deaths: n/a
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 27% (2016)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 9.7% (2014)
Education expenditures: 6.7% of GDP (2017)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2017 est.)
total population: 96.1%
male: 97.4%
female: 93.2% (2017 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 15 years male: 14 years female: 15 years (2016)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 13.7% male: 10.3% female: 33.9% (2016)
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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)
etymology: the name, whose meaning is uncertain, traces back almost two millennia; two 2nd century A.D. scholars, the geographer Ptolemy and the historian Arrian, both mention an Arabian Sea coastal town of Moscha, which most likely referred to Muscat
Administrative divisions: 11 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafaza); 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: National Day, 18 November; note - coincides with the birthday of Sultan QABOOS, 18 November (1940)
Constitution: history: promulgated by royal decree 6 November 1996 (the Basic Law of the Sultanate of Oman serves as the constitution); amended by royal decree in 2011 amendments: promulgated by the sultan or proposed by the Council of Oman and drafted by a technical committee as stipulated by royal decree and then promulgated through royal decree; amended 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: 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) Consultative Council or Majlis al-Shura (84 seats; members directly elected in single- and 2-seat constituencies by simple majority popular vote to serve renewable 4-year terms); note - since political reforms in 2011, legislation from the Consultative Council is submitted to the Council of State for review by the Royal Court

elections: Council of State - last appointments on 7 November 2015 (next - NA) Consultative Assembly - last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held in October 2019)

election results: Council of State - composition - men 72, women 13, percent of women 15.3% Consultative Council percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party -n/a(organized political parties in Oman are legally banned); composition men 85, women 1, percent of women 1.2%; note - total Council of Oman percent of women 8.2%
Judicial branch: highest courts: 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
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 2 December 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 15 December 2016)
embassy: P.C. 115, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, 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 oil and gas resources, which can generate between and 68% and 85% of government revenue, depending on fluctuations in commodity prices. In 2016, low global oil prices drove Oman’s budget deficit to $13.8 billion, or approximately 20% of GDP, but the budget deficit is estimated to have reduced to 12% of GDP in 2017 as Oman reduced government subsidies. As of January 2018, Oman has sufficient foreign assets to support its currency’s fixed exchange rates. It is issuing debt to cover its deficit. Oman is using enhanced oil recovery techniques to boost production, but it has simultaneously pursued a development plan that focuses on diversification, industrialization, and privatization, with the objective of reducing the oil sector's contribution to GDP. The key components of the government's diversification strategy are tourism, shipping and logistics, mining, manufacturing, and aquaculture. Muscat also has notably focused on creating more Omani jobs to employ the rising number of nationals entering the workforce. However, high social welfare benefits - that had increased in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring - have made it impossible for the government to balance its budget in light of current oil prices. In response, Omani officials imposed austerity measures on its gasoline and diesel subsidies in 2016. These spending cuts have had only a moderate effect on the government’s budget, which is projected to again face a deficit of $7.8 billion in 2018.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $190.1 billion (2017 est.) $191.9 billion (2016 est.) $182.8 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $70.78 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -0.9% (2017 est.) 5% (2016 est.) 4.7% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $46,000 (2017 est.) $47,900 (2016 est.) $48,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars
Gross national saving: 16.1% of GDP (2017 est.) 10.5% of GDP (2016 est.) 14.3% of GDP (2015 est.) GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 36.8% (2017 est.) government consumption: 26.2% (2017 est.) investment in fixed capital: 27.8% (2017 est.) investment in inventories: 3% (2017 est.) exports of goods and services: 51.5% (2017 est.) imports of goods and services: -46.6% (2017 est.) GDP - composition, by sector of origin: agriculture: 1.8% (2017 est.) industry: 46.4% (2017 est.) services: 51.8% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products: dates, limes, bananas, alfalfa, vegetables; camels, cattle; fish
Industries: crude oil production and refining, natural and liquefied natural gas production; construction, cement, copper, steel, chemicals, optic fiber
Industrial production growth rate: -3% (2017 est.)
Labor force: 2.255 million (2016 est.) note: about 60% of the labor force is non-national
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 4.7% n/a
industry: 49.6% n/a
services: 45% n/a (2016 est.)
Unemployment rate: n/a
Population below poverty line: n/a
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: n/a
highest 10%: n/a
Budget: revenues: 22.14 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 31.92 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 31.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.) Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-): -13.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt: 46.9% of GDP (2017 est.) 32.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: excludes indebtedness of state-owned enterprises
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.6% (2017 est.) 1.1% (2016 est.)
Current account balance: -$10.76 billion (2017 est.) -$12.32 billion (2016 est.)
Exports: $103.3 billion (2017 est.) $27.54 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum, reexports, fish, metals, textiles
Exports - partners: China 43.7%, UAE 11%, South Korea 7.9%, Saudi Arabia 4.2% (2017)
Imports: $24.12 billion (2017 est.) $21.29 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, livestock, lubricants
Imports - partners: UAE 35.5%, US 27.8%, Brazil 4% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $16.09 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $20.26 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external: $46.27 billion (31 December 2017 est.) $27.05 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: n/a
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: n/a
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 (2017 est.) 0.3845 (2016 est.) 0.3845 (2015 est.) 0.3845 (2014 est.) 0.3845 (2013 est.)
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Electricity - production: 32.16 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 28.92 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 8.167 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 100% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Crude oil - production: 970,400 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 844,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 5.373 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production: 229,600 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 188,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 33,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 6,041 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 31.23 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 21.94 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 11.16 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 1.982 billion cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 651.3 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 68.94 million Mt (2017 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total subscriptions: 6,943,910
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 151 (2017 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: modern system consisting of open-wire, microwave, and radiotelephone communication stations; coaxial cable; domestic satellite system with 8 earth stations; both 3G and 4G LTE networks; exploring 5G options; competition among mobile network operators (MNO) (2018)

domestic: fixed-line 11 per 100 and mobile-cellular 151 per 100, subscribership both increasing with fixed-line phone service gradually being introduced to remote villages using wireless local loop systems (2018)

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
Broadcast media: 1 state-run TV broadcaster; TV stations transmitting from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Iran, and Yemen available via satellite TV; state-run radio operates multiple stations; first private radio station began operating in 2007 and several additional stations now operating (2019)
Internet country code: .om
Internet users: total: 2,342,483
percent of population: 69.8% (July 2016 est.)
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Airports: 132 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 13
(2017) over 3,047 m: 7 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2017)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 119
(2013) over 3,047 m: 2 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 51 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 33 (2013)
under 914 m: 26 (2013)
Heliports: 3 (2013)
Pipelines: 106 km condensate, 4224 km gas, 3558 km oil, 33 km oil/gas/water, 264 km refined products (2013)
Roadways: total 60,230 km
(2012) paved: 29,685 km (includes 1,943 km of expressways) (2012)
unpaved: 30,545 km (2012)
Merchant marine: total 51

by type: general cargo 9, other 42 (2018)
Ports and terminals: major seaport(s): Mina' Qabus, Salalah, Suhar container port(s) (TEUs): Salalah (3,946,421) (2017) 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: 12.07% of GDP (2017) 13.73% of GDP (2016) 14.38% of GDP (2015) 13.51% of GDP (2014) 14.81% of GDP (2013)
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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) (2017)
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