Population & Social Patterns

The last estimate of population was carried out in 2007 which places the figure at approximately 6.037 million inhabitants. This included at least 500,000 foreigners. The annual growth rate is about 1.9% (Source: World Development Indicators Database, April 2007).

Expatriates, working under government contracts to meet labor shortages, are largely citizens of other Muslim countries. Many technical and professional industry, 27% in services, 23% in government and 18% in agriculture. Altogether, representatives of more than 100 nationalities live in Libya.

Medical progress has ensured the eradication of malaria and significant gains have been made against trachoma, tuberculosis, and leprosy. In 2003 infant mortality rate was 3.6 per 1000. Life expectancy for men is 71 years and for women 74 years.

In the early 1980s, estimates of total literacy were between 50% and 60%, about 70% for men and 35% for women, but the gap has narrowed significantly due to increased female school attendance. The overall average in 2006 was approximately 84%.