Libya is located in North Africa and borders on the Mediterranean Sea.
With an area of 679,358 square miles, it’s the fifteenth largest
country on earth. But Libya is also one of the most barren countries in the world. More than 90 percent of Libya is desert, and there’s not a single permanent river in the entire nation!
This huge country, more than four times the size of California, has a smaller population than a number of cities in California! Only about 2.7 million people lived in Libya in the 1980s, just four for every square miles of land. That made Libya one of the five most sparsely settled countries on earth. And more than 400,000 people in Libya were actually foreigners who had gone to work there!
Most of these foreigners came to work in Libya’s oil fields. Libya was the world’s ninth largest producer of oil, and almost all the money Libya earns by selling its products to other countries comes from the sale of oil.
Libya’s name comes from a word the ancient Greeks used for all of’ North Africa west of Egypt. This land has been conquered many times through the ages and has been ruled by the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Turks.
In 1912, Italy took control of Libya after defeating Turkey in a war. But Italy lost its colonies in World War II, and Libya became an independent nation in 1951.