Libya Economy: An Oil Dependent Nation


Libya is located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia. The country has a total surface area of 1.8 million square kilometers. The majority of this land mass is desert, although there is a strip of fertile land bordering the Mediteranean on the countries north coast, with a more mountainous region towards the Tunisian border.

The Libyan economy is dependant on revenues from the oil sector, which contribute about 95 percent of export earnings, 25 percent of GDP, and 80 percent of government revenue.

With the uprising, civil war, sanctions and UN-backed bombings stopping two-thirds of oil exports and most other trade, we can expect a sharp drop in 2011 GDP.

Libyan oil exports are affected by regional strife, however. It was affected in 1967 during the war, and again during the Libya crisis in 2011 with control of the oil facilities being key to both to Gaddafi loyalists and rebels. 

Libya is estimated to have lost two thirds of its oil output while fighting between  government and rebel forces and international sanctions have halted all oil exports from Africa's third-largest producer.

Demography and Social Indicators

2010 population estimates indicate Libya's population at 6,597,960 and population growth rate at 2 percent in 2011. As with many Arab countries it has a young, fast growing population that needs economic growth to provide jobs for these often well-educated youth, and when opportunities are not available, social problems build.

The life expectancy years of the country as in the year 2011 is estimated at 77.6 years. The infant mortality rate per 1,000 life births is calculated at 20.09 in the same year.

Libyan Key Economic Indicators

GPD (PPP): US$77.912 billion 

GDP per capita: US$ 12,062

GDP Growth: 10.63 percent.

GDP by sector: agriculture: agriculture: 4.2% industry: 61.7% services: 35.1%

Budget: revenues: $35.08 billion expenditures: $35.9 billion

Public debt: 6.5% of GDP

Unemployment rate: 20% - 30% (broad estimates)