The CIA World Factbook 2012 (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/10/12
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From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, The CIA World Factbook 2012 offers complete and up-to-date information on the worlds nations. This comprehensive guide is packed with detailed information on the politics, populations, military expenditures, and economics of 2012.
For each country, The CIA World Factbook 2012 includes:
Detailed maps with new geopolitical data
Statistics on the population of each country, with details on literacy rates, HIV prevalence, and age structure
New data on military expenditures and capabilities
Information on each countrys climate and natural hazards
Details on prominent political parties, and contact information for diplomatic consultation
Facts on transportation and communication infrastructure
And much more!
Also included are appendixes with useful abbreviations, international environmental agreements, international organizations and groups, weight and measure conversions, and more. Originally intended for use by government officials, this is a must-have resource for students, travelers, journalists, and business people with a desire to know more about their world.
First off we have the formatting. It's very poor, with whole paragraphs of text right adjusted and taking up only half the screen with the rest of it being a huge white space.
Second, and for a reference book this is a biggie, it doesn't have a working table of contents. Instead it just has a list of countries, but those countries aren't links but just plain text. What should happen is that each country should be clickable, so I can easily get to the appropriate page, but instead I just have a near useless list of countries covered in the book. It's as if someone started making the table of contents but forgot to add linking.
So yeah, the content is there and if I'm willing to put up with the poor formatting I am able to find the information I'm looking for, but it certainly could be much more user friendly. Crossing my fingers that this will all be fixed in an update at some point.
North Korea is much in the news lately. What can we learn about this society from the Factbook? The entry (starting on page 351) begins with a very brief introduction to the country. Categories with data for each include: geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues. Its area is 120,538 square kilometers (South Korea comes in at about 99,720 square kilometers); population is 22,757,275 (compared with South Korea's 48,636,068); death rate is 10.6 deaths per 1,000 population (against South Korea's 6.15 deaths per 1,000--a telling difference); life expectancy at birth is 64.13 years (as opposed to the South's 78.81 years); and so on. The comparisons of one country with another can be fascinating, as exemplified with the brief examination of North versus South Korea.
The country data run from A (starting with Afghanistan) to Z (ending with Zimbabwe). There are reference maps to close out this hefty volume (running 837 pages).
This volume is jam packed with information. It is a useful resource for those who want to get a better sense of a country in brief format. The resource also allows for fascinating comparisons as per the above example.