Talk:The World Factbook

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Former good article The World Factbook was one of the Geography and places good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
February 20, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
September 27, 2008 Good article reassessment Kept
June 16, 2013 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article

increase in number[edit]

This week the CIA added entries for Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin. I have updated the figures in the article by two. The CIA itself hasn't noted this yet, so there is no source (outside the profiles themselves). I hope this is well.- Thanks, Hoshie 02:48, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

It's been two weeks since the addition and there is no progress on the entries and no note on the front page. For the purposes of WP:V, I have rolled backed the numbers to where they were in January; that number has a source. - Thanks, Hoshie 06:56, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
There is a note now for Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin but also a few other changes Iles Eparses has been dropped and East Timor is now Timor-Leste-- (Shocktm | Talk | contribs.) 21:00, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
These have now been added, except for St.-Martin and St.-Barth, mainly due to the fact that their edition to the Factbook seems to be obvious. - Thanks, Hoshie 07:12, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
More info. I just checked the World entry and it gives the number I was expecting. I've used this to update the article.- Thanks, Hoshie 11:26, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

HTTPS only access?[edit]

Since when is the Factbook https-only? Anyone know?

Even the Google cache info on it reflects HTTPS. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mccabem (talkcontribs) 21:01, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

== this website stinks you sall be able to find facts on a pecific place!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 18 October 2007 (UTC)


Many Internet sites, including Wikipedia, use information and images from the CIA World Factbook.

This is a self reference, and as such, should be removed. This would, however, detract from the article; so instead I believe the reference to Wikipedia should be replaced with a reference to another website. --Muna (talk) 04:42, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

This has been removed. - Thanks, Hoshie 19:33, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I want Buy it[edit]

I m citizen of Estonia and i m in USA now. I leave in august 13. I want buy CIA World factbook. Can you help me(Say to me where i can buy it)? My email is Sorry if i interupt discussion. I stay in North Carolina(in Garner-5 miles to Raleigh) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

From the article:


  1. ^ Directorate of Intelligence. "The World Factbook - Purchasing Information". Retrieved 2006-09-23. Other users may obtain sales information about printed copies from the following: Superintendent of Documents...National Technical Information Service 
(The reference is here) Oxygen (believe) 02:18, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Taiwan description[edit]

The following appears in the article:

"The name "Republic of China" is not listed as Taiwan's "official name" under the "Government" section,[27] due to U.S. acknowledgement of Beijing's One-China policy according to which there is one China - the People's Republic of China - and Taiwan is a part of it."

The cite doesn't seem to support this statement, nor does US policy (which is to accept the "one China" policy without saying that the PRC is the legitimate gov't of all of China. Am I missing something?LedRush (talk) 23:41, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

world food shortage[edit]

Is the world population growing ata faster pace than food or grain yeilds can keep up with? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't think this is the correct forum for that question, unless it was a claim either made or refuted by the fact book.LedRush (talk) 19:26, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Saudi Shia[edit]

The factbook doesn't acknowledge the existence of Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia. Just awesome. -- (talk) 22:01, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

WFB gives the population of Saudi Arabia as "100% Muslim". Your silly little complaint is bogus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:32, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Doesn't that mean they don't accept the existence of sunni's in Saudi Arabia either? --Riotrocket8676 You gotta problem with that? 03:07, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Shias and Sunnis are both Muslims either way, so the "100% Muslim" conclusion is correct. Spartan198 (talk) 04:27, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

No wonder W didn't know there were different kinds of Muslims. He was using the CIA Factbook! :) Rifter0x0000 (talk) 23:43, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Kidding aside, the original poster does have a point. Other countries (for instance Iraq) do have breakdowns in the number of Sunni vs Shia. And it's not strictly true that everyone in Saudi Arabia is Muslim. The factbook does say it is using an official figure, and it's obvious why the Saudi government would want to project that, but yes this does seem like another example of politics trumping facts. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 00:07, 2 December 2012 (UTC)

It January 2009 and the factbook has not been updated as of yet.[edit]

for those who visit the factbook,you know that it updated twice a month.Usually around the 5-10 of a month,and then towards the end of the month,usually 18-22 of a particular month.So far it has not been updated since Dec 18,2008(my 22nd birthday).We're almost Januray 9,2009 and the factbook has not been updated.It is time for the 2009 world factbook.Any comments? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

swear word in heading[edit]

The third heading in this article has a swear word in it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Say what?[edit]

"which continues to regard Kosovo as its own territory, and other countries." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

recent edit: print, "at cost", iphone[edit]

Hello all,

I've recently edited this article to update the year of the cover image. I have also cleared up the status. Instead of being "no longer available in a print edition", it appears that last year the CIA stopped printing the Factbook and handed it over the printing to the Gov't Printing Office (in fact, the both the GPO and NTIS have it in stock; see [1] and [2]). Because of this, I've changed a few pronouns. I have also removed the words "at cost" since we don't really know how the price is set. There was an iPhone link in the EL's. This has been removed as there are at last count, four different vendors offering the Factbook in the App Store. If we list one, we would have to list them all. Hope this helps. - Thanks, Hoshie 03:19, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

uik,hn —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Factual => Weasel Words and bad argument[edit]

Re: " can be argued the country has never been independent since there is an arguable legitimate succession of states, systems and entities from the Norman Conquest, 1066." It is arguable??? Either it is or it isn't! If foreign invasion constitutes a loss of independance then Britain has been occupied since Roman times albeit by successive invading groups and their legacy cultures. Simarly America remains non-independant because while the colonists revolted against their motherland the colonists decendants still remain in power. (talk)

dead site ??[edit]


I just did a db check on a page and it is telling me that the CAI factbook , and the CIA site, are returning server not found messages

I cannot access the site locally either

Anyone know anything about this ?

thanks Chaosdruid (talk) 15:40, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

Try this link.Glenn L (talk) 05:14, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Cases not includes on "Disputes international"[edit]

Should there not be a section on that issue? As an example, the Netherlands do officially not have have a such problem. Never the less, President Hugo Chavez has questioned the Netherlands' authority over the ABC islands. Bit strange how the CIA has picked up the existance of a pulpmill in Fray Bentos, Uruguay. The CIA have even mentioned that the former Prince Hans Adam of FL, felt that he was to own what is 2 pc the size of the Czeck Republic. But if Hugo says something on certain islands, the Dutch still have disputes equivalent to "none". BTW Did'nt Britain have an obligation to say sorry for transporting nukes down to the South Atlantic? -- (talk) 12:03, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Picture refresh problem ?[edit]

Brassys-WFB-cover.jpg shows a 2008 cover while the "current" cover in Wiki Commons is the 2010 one... could not find the reason why the new cover is not appearing (file link is OK). Can a wiki admin help ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:08, 13 September 2010 (UTC)


There are some inconsistencies with the facts as presented in the CIA Factbook and other reliable sources of information. Three quite striking examples are:

  • Geoscience Australia gives the area of Australia as 7 692 024 square km [3] whereas the CIA Factbook gives 7,682,300 sq km. The difference is greater than the area of Cyprus!
  • The French Government gives the area of France as 543,965 sq km [4] whereas the CIA gives France 7,535 sq km more (551,500 sq km [5]). That's an extra area that is close to the size of Corsica!
  • New Zealand Travel gives the area of New Zealand as 266,200 sq km [6] whereas the CIA Factbook gives 267,710 sq km [7]. That's a difference of more than 1,500 sq km.
Country CIA Area Local source web address of local source difference
Australia 7,682,300 sq km 7 692 024 sq km 9,724 sq km
Metropolitan France 551,500 sq km 543,965 sq km 7,535 sq km
New Zealand 267,710 sq km 266,200 sq km 1,510 sq km

Other inconsistencies are less significant, but curious:

  • The Fiji Government gives the total land area as 18,333 sq km [8] whereas the CIA Factbook gives the land area as 18,274 sq km [9].
  • The Irish Republic gives the area as 70,282 sq km [10] whereas the CIA Factbook gives its area as 70,273 sq km [11]
  • The Swiss Government gives the area of Switzerland as 41,285 sq km [12] while the CIA figure is 41,277 sq km [13].
  • The Netherlands Government gives the area of the Netherlands as 41,526 sq km; [14] the CIA gives them 41,543 sq km, [15] 17 sq km more.

In tabular form:

Country CIA Area Local source web address of local source difference
Fiji 18,274 sq km 18,333 sq km 59 sq km
Irish Republic 70,273 sq km 70,282 sq km 9 sq km
Switzerland 41,277 sq km 41,285 sq km 8 sq km
Netherlands 41,543 sq km 41,526 sq km 17 sq km

These relatively small differences suggest that the CIA information may not be the most up-to-date. Michael Glass (talk) 01:34, 31 October 2010 (UTC) However, in other cases, for instance, Canada, Denmark, Belgium and South Africa, the figures are the same. Michael Glass (talk) 07:13, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

7,692,024/7,682,300 = 0.12% difference. That's pretty good. The only thing that citing Cyprus points out is how big the relative difference between the two countries is, that a miniscule error in the calculation of Australia's size is larger than it. 543,965/551,500 = 1.38%. Quite a bit larger, but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Again, the only thing that citing a small piece of land does is emphasize the relative difference in size. 267,710/266,200 = 0.56% - not quite as good as Australia's, but quite close nonetheless.
I really don't see what your point here is. It's impossible to get a 100% correct estimation of the size of a country. For one thing, estimating the area of a country involves estimating the size and position of its borders. Borders based on coastlines and any natural features like rivers have fractal properties, and are thus are subject to the coastline paradox. This means the final total length changes depending on what feature size you choose to measure with. A smaller one will produce a longer length, a larger feature size a shorter one. There is no right or wrong feature size, you have to pick one and stick with it. And once you arrive at these different, equally valid outlines, the measured area that they can be said to enclose will also be different, and equally valid. The difference is small enough that its safe to assume that they are the result of legitimate variances in equally valid but different methods of measurement, like this, and not simply gross mismanagement on the side of one party (assumed to be the CIA by you). (talk) 10:26, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
I see no reason to assume those other sources are more accurate. In truth, differences are common in general, and you'll find disagreements among sources from any one country. Saros136 (talk) 07:27, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

Not when the information is drawn from government websites. I would expect that the French Government would know the size of their country. I would also reckon that Geoscience Australia would know their job. Michael Glass (talk) 09:00, 15 November 2010 (UTC) NB I have added information and rearranged the material above after Saros136 made his comment. Michael Glass (talk) 09:01, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

Why would you assume that? (talk) 10:31, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
I can't find the part of the FAQ I had read specifically on area, but it said the Factbook uses many sources, and use the one judged to be the most reliable. They shouldn't be criticized just because they don't always think the governments give the best figures. Saros136 (talk) 15:14, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
In some cases, there could be differences over what lands or territories count. Saros136 (talk) 16:09, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

This doesn't apply to any of the examples that I have supplied above. There are no border disputes that would have an impact on the size of France, Australia or New Zealand or of any of the other countries that I have noted. Could you suggest any reason that would make us give more credence to the CIA Factbook than to Geoscience, Australia on the area of Australia? Could you suggest any reason that would make the French Government underestimate the size of their country by an area almost as large as the island of Corsica? If there are inconsistencies in some figures but not in others from the CIA Factbook, can you suggest any reason that might explain this? Michael Glass (talk) 21:54, 16 November 2010 (UTC)


This section needs to be discussed, it quotes two incidents of irregularities of figures given in CIA Fact book. One is a difference of settlers in Israel and the other a history lesson on the founding of the UK. These seem to be POV and really don't need to be listed. Please post your thoughts, as I am prepared to discuss this before removal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jacob805 (talkcontribs) 08:54, 19 November 2010 (UTC) Jacob805 (talk) 08:56, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I think the section on the British Government could be rewritten to make it more neutral and factual in tone. The section on the number of settlers in Israel is more important. The stinging criticism of Chuck Holmes, foreign director of the US National Public Radio is worth recording. However, I think the article would benefit from another independent and authoritative estimate of the numbers. For example, the number given by the State Department is 250,000 Jews in the West Bank and an additional 180,000 in East Jerusalem [16]. At the moment the CIA Factbook says that the population figures for the West Bank are being reviewed, [17].
In all, I believe that the wording could be examined and revised, but I don't think that there is anything wrong in principle, about criticising the accuracy of the CIA Factbook. Michael Glass (talk) 13:31, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I am in favor of trimming down or deleting any POV/OR stuff about the UK, Fiji, and Australia and keeping the bit about the number of Jews in the occupied territories since it caused NPR to issue a retraction. - Thanks, Hoshie 08:09, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I do not have any OR/POV problem with the UK or the Fiji and Australia areas part. But I object to the area criticism, because disagreements between sources are common. Different parts of the same governments even give different numbers at times. In fact, the Fiji page itself gives two different numbers. Of course in some cases the Factbook will make clear-cut mistakes, but so does every non-fiction book. Saros136 (talk) 03:11, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

Territorial issues and controversies[edit]

I noticed the Factbook name change in name from East Timor to Timor-Leste is under "Territorial Issues and Controversies". I suspect the entry should be deleted from the "controversies" section as there appears to be no issue about the country name. The full country name is "Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste", commonly translated into English as East Timor. Was/is, there any issue or controversy? Aussiejohn (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:04, 24 July 2011 (UTC).

Timor-Lests paragraph removed in the absence of any reason why it should be kept. Aussiejohn (talk) 02:49, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

The real old versions[edit]

Dies anyone know if it the version publihed before about 1980 are available online, perhaps even the then secret Version published during the sixties?--Antemister (talk) 21:12, 13 August 2011 (UTC) Here[18]--Antemister (talk) 14:36, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

The size of the United States[edit]

The size of the United States is stated as:

9372610km² (1989-1996) 9629091km² (1997-2003) 9631418km² (2004-2006) 9826630km² (2007-2011) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)


This discussion is transcluded from Talk:The World Factbook/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

This article contains dead links and unaddressed citation needed tags, thus failing criteria 2b. The article also relies heavily on lists when prose might be more appropriate, especially the "Territorial issues and controversies" section.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 21:29, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Result: Delist - It's been a week. There doesn't appear to be much interest in improving the article.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 13:55, 16 June 2013 (UTC) (talk) 18:13, 1 November 2014 (UTC)hi how are you >

Update frequency[edit]

The article says WFB is updated weekly, but it doesn't seem to have been updated since June 2014. — Kpalion(talk) 17:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)


"riek machar teny president 13/06/2015." at the Infobox, seems like spam for me. please delete. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:16, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Done. --Xakos (talk) 17:23, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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