How Well Do You Know Your Facts?

How Well Do You Know Your Facts?

The CIA World Factbook (also sometimes referred to as the World Factbook) is a very almanac-style resource for reference. It is produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (or the CIA) and gives details of the 267 international entities of the world. This CIA world factbook is available in the form of a website. Although, now it can also be downloaded in case one wants to use it offline.

What Exactly Does CIA World Factbook Talk About?

How Well Do You Know Your Facts?

The CIA world factbook gives you details of a country’s demographics, geography, communications, government, military and economy over two to three pages. The factbook has this information for each of the 267 international entities. It even has details like literacy rates,

HIV prevalence, age structure, geopolitical data, military capabilities, country’s climate, and infrastructure. It gives comprehensive knowledge about a country if one studies this factbook thoroughly.

Why The CIA World Factbook Was Created

How Well Do You Know Your Facts?

While people all over the world now use the CIA World Factbook. Especially people working on academical research papers news articles use it a lot. The USA goverment was the only one to use it when it came into effect. The style, coverage and content of the factbook are all designed keeping in mind the use of the factbook by government officials.

Frequency Of Updates

The online website is updated each week and so you can rest assured that the information that you are getting out of it is recently updated and therefore accurate. This was not always the case though. Before 2001, the CIA world factbook was updated yearly. It was updated every two weeks between the years of 2004 and 2010.

Travel Facts

The CIA world Factbook also contains a section called “Travel Facts”. One can find a Travel Facts page for every country thereby giving a comprehensive yet concise overview. It also enables an individual to travel to different countries more intelligently.

The various kinds of travel facts of a country that can be found here are Passport/Visa requirements, location, and address of the USA Embassy, vaccinations needed before entering the country, climate, currency, major languages, religions, road driving side, and local emergency phone numbers.

A plethora of information is available on one page itself. Taking a print out of this is advisable. Whenever travelling, this print-out should be carried along.

Flags Of The World

The CIA world factbook also has a dedicated section where it showcases flags of all the countries of the world. Since one can find all flags of all countries at one location, this makes for a good reference point when learning or writing about this topic.


It is a free resource to use and the United States Law says that people are free to distribute it (either the entire factbook or parts of it) without taking the permission of the CIA. However, the CIA needs citations about the nature of its use if the factbook is used anywhere.


If a comprehensive study about a country’s facts is the motive, one should definitely consult the CIA world factbook. It can be used to garner knowledge about facts not accessible everywhere. 

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