Qatar and neighboring states in the Persian Gulf region
Country Comparisons: chart
Economic growth rate
March 2012: Qatar's small population to the amount of oil its sells puts it at the top in per capita wealth – more than twice the per capita wealth of the United States.
Military expenditures as a percentage of GDP
Living in an urban area: 96%
Qatar gives its people free health care.
Literacy, Age 15 and Older
2004: Males 89.1%, females 88.6%.
Free education, and attended by women. Qatar University was founded in 1973. Major American universities have opened branch campuses: Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Cornell University's Weill Medical College.
Religion and Dress
2004: 77.5% Muslim, 90% of whom are Sunni, 10% Shia. For women visiting from abroad not wishing to offend, modesty in dress is advised.
Peninsula in the Persian Gulf, bordering Saudi Arabia. Approximately 128 by 64 kilometers, or 80 by 40 miles. Capital: Doha.
Chief of state: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (monarch, House of Thani), since 27 June 1995. Head of government: Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani (prime minister) since 3 April 2007(member of the royal family).
The ruling monarch's title is "Emir." He has an honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George from the United Kingdom, and he is a Grand Officier of the Légion d'honneur, from France.
Qatar has Sharia law in which, according to Answers.com, public consumption is illegal during Ramadan and the use of alcohol is restricted.
The Qatari satellite television station, Al Jazeera, is a leading broadcaster in the Arab world.
In 1995, then Crown Prince Hamad bin Khalifa deposed his father in a bloodless coup. Since then he has introduced liberal reforms.
In 1999, elections for a 29-member municipal council allowed women to vote and stand for office for the first time.
Qatar offered the U.S. millitary territory for a headquarters during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Also, it has been a large funder of Hamas.
Despite the prevalence of anti-Israel sentiment within the Arab world, the Emir met with Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipi Livni, in New York in 2007, (You Tube) marking the first real attempt by any leader in the Persian Gulf to pursue dialogue with Israel.
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