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The World Factbook
- Country information has been updated as of 18 December 2008.
In the People category, two new fields provide information on education in terms of opportunity and resources. “School Life Expectancy” is an estimate of the total number of years of schooling (primary to tertiary) that a child can expect to receive, assuming that the probability of his or her being enrolled in school at any particular future age is equal to the current enrollment ratio at that age. “Education expenditures” provides an estimate of the public expenditure on education as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
- In order to help policymakers understand the nature and global dimensions of the current financial crisis, The World Factbook has added five new fields to the Economy category. "Central bank discount rate" provides the annualized interest rate a country's central bank charges commercial, depository banks for loans to meet temporary shortages of funds. "Commercial bank prime lending rate" provides a simple average of annualized interest rates commercial banks charge on new loans, denominated in the national currency, to their most credit-worthy customers. "Stock of money" also known as "M1," comprises the total quantity of currency in circulation (notes and coins) plus demand deposits denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank financial institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. "Stock of quasi money" comprises the total quantity of time and savings deposits denominated in the national currency, held by nonbank financial institutions, state and local governments, nonfinancial public enterprises, and the private sector of the economy. When added together with "M1" the total money supply is known as "M2." "Stock of domestic credit" is the total quantity of credit, denominated in the domestic currency, provided by banks to nonbanking institutions.
- In the Geography category, two new fields focus on the increasingly vital resource of water: “Total renewable water resources” and “Freshwater withdrawal.”
- Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001 edition, is continued in this edition. Several regional maps have also been updated to reflect boundary changes and place name spelling changes.
The online Factbook is updated bi-weekly.
For additional and more current information on
leadership in selected foreign countries, see