November 03, 2011 - The field "Unemployment, youth ages 15-24" has been moved from the Economy section into the People and Society section.
October 27, 2011 - The United Nations estimates the world population will reach 7 billion on 31 October 2011. The US Census Bureau, which supplies the population numbers in The World Factbook, estimates the planet's population will pass 7 billion in March 2012. While the true world total population is impossible to know, the Census Bureau and the UN independently estimate the world population through similar means. Estimate differences between the two organizations are due in part to differences in the frequency and timing of demographic updates for each country. Nonetheless, the world population estimates of the Census Bureau and the UN show that we are rapidly approaching the 7 billion mark.
October 20, 2011 - Many people know that Canada's national symbol is the maple leaf, but did you realize that Ukraine's is the trident or that India's is the Bengal tiger? Most countries' major national representation(s) may now be be found in the new "National symbol(s)" field in the Government category.
October 13, 2011 - In the Economy category, information for "Exports - partners" and "Imports - partners" has been updated to show data for 2010.
October 06, 2011 - Have you ever wanted to explore Machu Picchu, the lost city of the Incas? Check out the new photos in the Peru entry (Nos. 8-28) to get a virtual tour!
September 28, 2011 - The World Factbook is expanding! The People category is now People and Society and includes eight new fields: Health expenditures (as percent of GDP), Physicians density (per 10,000 people), Hospital bed density (per 1,000 people), Maternal mortality rate (deaths per 100,000 live births), Drinking water source, Sanitation facility access, Children under the age of five underweight (%), and Obesity - adult prevalence rate. Additionally, there is a new field in the Economy category, Unemployment, youth ages 15-24. The new datasets focus on the health and welfare of a country's population, and provide information relevant to a country's internal stability.
September 21, 2011 - In the Economy category, the energy fields have been updated with the most recent data available.
September 14, 2011 - How many furlongs make up a mile? Check out the Weights and Measures appendix for the answer!
September 01, 2011 - Canada recently renamed the three major components of its armed forces. These and other changes for Botswana, Cape Verde, the Gambia, Venezuela, and Yemen may be found under the "Military branches" entry.
August 25, 2011 - Two new fields have been added in the Economy section, "Taxes and other revenues" and "Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)".
August 18, 2011 - Data for many of the Economy fields have been revised to reflect the latest estimates.
August 11, 2011 - What time is it in the world's newest country, South Sudan? Take a look at the updated Time Zone map in the Regional maps section under the References tab.
August 03, 2011 - What country has the highest "GDP - real growth rate"? Find out using the GDP data that has recently been revised to reflect the most recent estimates for 2008-2010.
July 20, 2011 - Did you know that almost one-third of the world's countries are assigned annually to either a 'Tier 2 Watch List' or a 'Tier Three' status by the US State Department for their failure to adequately deal with their trafficking in persons problems? These countries are listed in the Transnational Issues category under the 'World' entry; detailed "Trafficking in persons" summaries - updated for 2011 - may be found under each of these countries' listings.
July 12, 2011 - South Sudan became the world's 195th country following separation from Sudan on 9 July 2011. The new country entry may be accessed through the Africa regional flash map on the World map of the home page, or via the country listing under the drop down arrow.
July 07, 2011 - On 9 July 2011, South Sudan is scheduled to become the world's newest country. The World Factbook plans to include this new entity in its next update. In the Transportation category, the "Railways" field has been updated. New photos entered for Austria, Germany, and the United States.
June 23, 2011 - New space-based images of volcanoes and current volcanic eruptions may be viewed in the photos pages of Chile, Eritrea, Iceland, Italy, and Russia.
June 16, 2011 - During Soviet times, Kazakhs made up less than 50% of the population in Kazakhstan. What is the current ethnic breakdown in that country? Find out by visiting the "Ethnic groups" field under People. A number of the entries in the People category - religions, ethnicity, languages, and literacy - have recently been updated for many countries.
June 09, 2011 - The piracy plague continues unabated. The "Transportation note" entry addressing piracy has been updated for various countries bordering the Indian Ocean, as well as for Nigeria and Brazil.
June 02, 2011 - A new entry "International law organization participation," has been added to the Government category; it addresses jurisdiction of the International Court of justice (ICJ) and of the International Criminal Court (ICCt). Note that the information on ICJ jurisdiction, formerly included in the "Legal system" description, has been moved to this new entry. GDP data have been revised to reflect the most recent estimates for 2008-2010.
May 19, 2011 - Under the Government category, in the "Capital" field, 'daylight saving time' has been updated for 2011.
May 12, 2011 - How many grams in a scruple? Check out the Weights and Measures appendix for the answer!
Ongoing - Revision of some individual country maps, first introduced in the 2001 edition, continues. Several regional maps have been updated to reflect boundary changes and place name spelling changes.