The name Kuwait comes from the Arab term of fortress by water, because it borders the Persian Gulf (In addition to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.) The Persian Gulf is part of the Indian Ocean, and during the Iraq-Iran war it became a battleground as each side sabotaged the others’ oil tankers.
On this day June 19th, in 1961, Kuwait gains its independence from the United Kingdom. Kuwait was colonized in 400 BC by the Greeks; however, permanent settlers of Kuwait did not come around until the 17th century when Kuwait was founded. Kuwait is now a constitutional monarchy where a head of state acts as a monarch but is bound by the guidelines of a constitution, often with a parliament.
Kuwait is said to have 10% of the world’s oil reserves, and it makes up 75% of the country’s GDP. The government controls all of the oil revenue, and for this reason the government is in control of the economy. Kuwait is one of the smallest countries with a total land area of 6,880 square miles, yet is dense in natural resources. Kuwait has a population of 3.5 million (estimate). Kuwait also has one of the highest GDPs per capita with $46,969 (GDP divided by number of citizens.)