Oil-rich Kuwait is a tiny country nestling at the top of the Gulf. Flanked by powerful neighbours Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, its strategic location and massive oil reserves make it one of the world’s richest countries per capita.
A conservative state with a Sunni Muslim majority and a US ally, Kuwait stands out from the other Gulf monarchies for having the most open political system.
But tensions have persisted between parliament and the cabinet, controlled by the ruling Al-Sabah family, and the government is facing increasing calls for radical political reform from the opposition.
- The State of Kuwait
- Capital: Kuwait
- Population 2.9 million
- Area 17,818 sq km (6,880 sq miles)
- Major language Arabic
- Major religion Islam
- Life expectancy 74 years (men), 76 years (women)
- Currency Dinar