|Form of government
||UTC + 2h
|Telephone area code
The Lebanese Republic is located in the Middle East
and, with an area of 10,450 km², is about half the
size of the German state of Hesse. The country borders
the Mediterranean to the west, Syria to the north and
east, and Israel to the south.
The Mediterranean coast is about 220 km long, the
plain behind is a maximum of 10 km wide. To the east of
this is the Lebanon Mountains, which reach heights of
over 3,000 m (highest elevation in the country, Qurnat
as Sawda, at 3,083 m). The mountain range runs almost
parallel to the coast and flattens slightly towards the
south. Further to the east, the Antilibanon runs
parallel to the Lebanon Mountains, where heights of up
to 2,500 m are reached. The main ridge of Antilibanon
forms the border with neighboring Syria. Between the two
mountain ranges, the bike valley, which is between eight
and 15 km wide, lies at a height of 800 to 1200 m, which
represents the continuation of the Jordan ditch.
Lebanon's longest river, the Litani, flows through
the bikasink, which rises at the west foot of
Antilibanon and, after a length of around 145 km, flows
into the Mediterranean near Sur. The capital Beirut is
located on the Mediterranean coast.
The climate in Lebanon is predominantly
Mediterranean: summers are hot and dry, the average July
values in Beirut on the coast are around 28 ¡ã C. The
winters are mild and humid, in January the average
temperature is around 14 ¡ã C. In the coastal plain and
on the western slopes of the Lebanon Mountains, more
than 1,500 mm of precipitation is measured annually;
above 2,800 m, this turns into snow. The bike sink and
the Antilibanon receive significantly less rain, here a
maximum of 700 mm is measured. It rains the most in the
winter months from November to March. In the interior,
the climate is more continental: summer temperatures are
higher (on average 32 ¡ã C in the north), winters are
significantly cooler (January average 8 ¡ã C).
Flora and fauna
Only about 8% of the total area of the country is
forested. The originally large forests were cleared, now
macchia dominates. The most common tree species are
pine, cedar, oak and cypress.
Due to the limitation of the natural habitat, many
animal species have been drastically decimated or are no
longer found in the country. Wild donkeys and gazelles
are rarely found, as are wild cats. Jackals are common.
Numerous species of birds of prey such as eagles,
buzzards and falcons live in the mountains. In the
coastal area there are flamingos, pelicans and
Around 3.83 million people live in Lebanon, almost
90% of them in cities. By far the largest city is the
capital Beirut with over 2 million residents. In
addition to the Beirut metropolitan area, the coastal
plain and the bike sink are the most densely populated
regions in Lebanon (average population density: 367
residents per square kilometer).
ccording to COUNTRYAAH, 80% of the population are Lebanese, 16% are
Palestinians. 60% of the population are followers of
Islam, around half of whom are Sunnis, and there are
also Shiites and Druze. Around 38% are Christians, of
whom the Maronites are by far the largest group,
followed by the Greek Orthodox and the Greek Catholics.
There are a total of 18 recognized religious communities
in the country.
The official language in Lebanon is Arabic, and
English, French, Armenian and Kurdish are also spoken.
Population growth has dropped to around 1.25% and the
average life expectancy is 73 years. Although there is
no compulsory schooling, the literacy rate in the
country is around 88%.
Lebanon is a parliamentary republic. It is based on
the revised constitution of 1926 and the Taif Agreement
of 1989, which ended the civil war and contains general
constitutional principles and provisions on the
political system (distribution of political power taking
into account denominations). The president must be
Maronit, the prime minister Sunnit and the parliament
president a Shiite.
The head of state and the holder of the executive is
the President (since May 2008 Michel Sulaiman), who is
elected by Parliament for a term of six years. The
President appoints the Prime Minister (since February
2014 Tammam Salam) and the members of the Cabinet on the
proposal of the Parliament.
The legislature lies with the assembly of deputies
(Madschlis an-Nuwaab), whose 128 deputies are elected by
the people for a term of four years. Here, according to
the constitution and the Taif Agreement, the seats are
allocated equally to Christians and Muslims. The Taif
Agreement already provides for the abolition of
Lebanon is divided into six administrative districts.
The civil war in Lebanon has severely damaged the
country's economy. Foreign funding and reforms saw an
upswing in the 1990s with stable growth rates. The war
with Israel in 2006 hit the Lebanese economy again. With
the help of international funds, the largely destroyed
infrastructure was rebuilt. Immense public debt remains
a major problem.
Around 30% of the state can be used for agriculture.
6% of gross domestic product (GDP) is generated in this
sector. Agriculture is mainly carried out in the coastal
plain and in the southern section of the bike sink,
cereals, fruit and vegetables are grown. Livestock
breeding (sheep, goats, cattle) is concentrated in the
northern part of the bike sink and in the mountains. The
population's own needs cannot be met; food is also
Many industrial plants were destroyed by the civil
war. The industrial sector's share of GDP is one fifth,
with a focus on the processing of food, wood and oil,
and the manufacture of textiles and paper. Lebanon has
smaller amounts of crude oil in terms of raw materials;
other raw materials are salt, iron ore, limestone,
copper, manganese and phosphate. The country has high
hopes for the natural gas and oil reserves suspected off
the coast. The energy requirement is covered by imported
petroleum, some by hydropower plants.
Banks and trading houses traditionally have economic
importance in Lebanon. After the end of the civil war,
their importance increased again, particularly in the
capital Beirut, and wholesalers and banks settled again.
The tourism sector is also showing a positive trend. The
money orders from Lebanese living abroad also play an
South Africa, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, the United
Arab Emirates and Syria are the most important trading
partners for the export (preliminary products of the
jewelry industry, paper, food and beverages, textiles).
Above all, oil, machinery, electrical appliances, metals
and metal products from the USA, Italy, China, France
and Germany are imported.
There is an international airport in Beirut. Besides
Beirut, Tripoli is an important port.
The currency is the Lebanese pound.