interesting facts about Libya

17 Enlightening Facts About Libya

Looking to boost your knowledge on the countries of Africa and increase your chances of winning the next pub quiz? Start by checking out these 17 fun facts about Libya!

1. Libya has plenty of neighbors in the north.

Libya is a highly cultural country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. It is bordered by Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south and Algeria and Tunisia to the west; it also has a coastline along the Mediterranean Sea to the north.

2. What are the co-ordinates for Libya?

Fancy trekking through the desert or sampling the local cuisine by the sea? Head for the coordinates of 27.0000° N, 17.0000° E for your very own Libyan adventure!

3. Much of Libya is arid and flat.

The terrain here is dominated by barren, flat to undulating plains.

Flag of Libya

Flag of Libya

4. It’s truly enormous!

The total land area of Libya is 679,358 square miles (1,759,540 square kilometers) …that’s more than 7 times the size of the UK. That makes it the 17th largest nation in the world!

5. It’s mainly desert land.

Much of Libya lies within the Sahara desert* – in fact, almost 90% of the country is desert, so the majority of people live in coastal cities such as Tripoli and Benghazi.

*The Libyan Desert forms the north-east section of the Sahara Desert. As well as Libya, it extends through to Sudan and Egypt and covers an area of approximately 424,712 square miles (1,100,000 square kilometers).

6. The population density here isn’t massive.

Libya’s population was 6.812 million in 2022… that’s around 1/10th of the population of the UK!

7. What’s the capital of Libya?

The capital is Tripoli; it covers an area of 154.4 square miles (400 square kilometers) and had a population of 2.358 million in 2018.

8. Libya even has a coast!

Libyans enjoy a mediterranean climate along the coastline, changing to a desert climate further inland.

9. Learn the lingo!

The official language of Libya is Arabic.

The Sahara Desert

10. Libya’s history is broad and varied.

Libya has a rich and varied history that dates back to the 7th Century BC when the Phoenicians settled in Tripolitania (Western Libya); before this, the area was populated by Berbers.

11. Time to change up the pennies!

Libyan Dinar is the official currency here.

12. Libya was once a Roman stronghold.

The Romans conquered Libya in 74BC and even today some of the ruins of the ancient port and city Leptis Magna, including an amphitheatre and forum, still exist, as do other ruins, including a Greektemple.

Tripoli, Libya

Tripoli, Libya

13. How long can you expect to live for in Libya?

The average life span here is 71.91 years (2021).

14. Libya has delicious food…

Libya’s national dish is couscous – typically prepared with stewed beef and vegetables in a spicy tomato sauce.

15. …but you can’t get a beer here!

Alcohol consumption is prohibited by law in Libya!

Oasis in the desert, Libya

Oasis in the desert, Libya

16. Water is hard to come by here.

Almost one third of the Libyan population does not have access to any safe drinking water, partly due to the dry landscape of the desert which can go decades without rain!

17. The Libyan industry is pretty varied.

Libya grows wheat, barley, dates and olives; they also rear cattle.

Its industry consists of petroleum, food processing, handicrafts, textiles and cement. The main exports include crude oil and refined petroleum products.

FAQs about Libya

How does Libya make money?

Much of Libya’s income comes from oil revenue - over 90%, in fact!

Is Libya one of the richest countries in Africa?

Despite its vast oil income, Libya is not in the top flight list for income on the continent.

Is Libya a dry country?

Yes, in many ways than one - this desert nation does not prohibit drinking alcohol in any shape or form.

Do you know any fun facts about Libya?  Share them in the comments below!


  • Petio Petkov says:

    Libya had the biggest chemical company for PVC ( GCCI – Abu Kammash ) in Northern Africa.
    During the civil war it was destroyed.

  • Bill Chanter says:

    Libya and it’s landmarks look amazing. I was surprised when I heard that the UK’s population is a tenth of Libya

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This page was last modified on May 7, 2024. Suggest an edit

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