Libya is a country rich in history and tradition, poised to become an important center of trade, democracy and opportunity in the 21st century. It has unique historical, cultural, geographical, economic and geopolitical dimensions that should move it toward being a modern democratic nation with untapped potential.
An independent nation since 1951, Libya stretches along the northeast coast of Africa between Tunisia and Algeria on the west and Egypt on the east; to the south are Sudan, Chad, and Niger. Libya’s historical capital is Tripoli (“Three Cities”), a port city of about 1.27 million people on the Mediterranean Sea.
Libya has five World Heritage sites that are protected by UNESCO. They include the archeological sites of Cyrene, Leptis Magna and Sabratha, as well as the Old Town of Ghadames and the ancient Rock Art site of Tadrart Acacus.
Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa and the 17th largest in the world. The population of Libya in 2014 was estimated to be about 6,244,174, with a growth rate of 3.08 percent. Cities along the Mediterranean coast are the main population centers.
Libya’s population mainly consists of Arabs and Berbers. Libyans are Sunni Muslims.
The Libyan dinar is the currency unit, replacing the Libyan pound in 1971. One U.S. dollar roughly equals 1.24 Libyan dinars. The name originates from an old Roman coin, the denarius.