Republic of Lebanon
Political Status: Independent parliamentary republic proclaimed November 26, 1941, with acquisition of de facto autonomy completed upon withdrawal of French troops in December 1946.
Area: 4,036 sq. mi. (10,452 sq. km.).
Population: 3,556,000 (2006E). Estimates vary widely; the most recent official figure (2,126,325 in 1970), which excluded Palestinian refugees, was based on a population sample and was much lower than UN estimates of the period. In recent years the UN appears to have accepted the 1970 figure, discarding most of its previous estimates for the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Major Urban Centers (2005E): BEIRUT (1,300,000), Tarabulus (Tripoli, 215,000), Saida (Sidon, 151,000), Tyre (120,000).
Official Language: Arabic (French is widely used).
Monetary Unit: Lebanese Pound (market rate July 1, 2006: 1,502 pounds = $1US).
President: Gen. (Ret.) Emile ...