Main Crops: wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts; beef, eggs

Natural Resources: petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Major Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

The government use to dominates Libya's socialist-oriented economy through complete control of the country's oil resources, which account for approximately 95% of export earnings, 75% of government receipts, and 30% of the gross domestic product. Oil revenues constitute the principal source of foreign exchange. Much of the countryÕs income has been lost to waste, corruption, conventional armaments purchases, and attempts to develop weapons of mass destruction, as well as to large donations made to developing countries in attempts to increase QadhafiÕs influence in Africa and elsewhere. Although oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, the government's mismanagement of the economy led to high inflation and increased import prices, resulting in a decline in the standard of living.

Despite efforts to diversify the economy and encourage private sector participation, extensive controls of prices, credit, trade, and foreign exchange constrain growth. Import restrictions and inefficient resource allocations have caused periodic shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs.

Although agriculture is the second-largest sector in the economy, Libya imports most foods. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit output, while higher incomes and a growing population have caused food consumption to rise. Domestic food production meets about 25% of demand.

On September 20, 2004, President George W. Bush signed an Executive Order ending economic sanctions imposed under the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). U.S. persons are no longer prohibited from working in Libya, and many American companies are actively seeking investment opportunities in Libya. The government has announced ambitious plans to increase foreign investment in the oil and gas sectors to significantly boost production capacity. The government is also pursuing a number of infrastructure projects such as highways, railways, telecommunications backbones, and irrigation


Libya's economy, almost entirely dependent on oil and gas exports, has struggled since 2014 given security and political instability, disruptions in oil production, and decline in global oil prices. The Libyan dinar has lost much of its value since 2014 and the resulting gap between official and black market exchange rates has spurred the growth of a shadow economy and contributed to inflation. The country suffers from widespread power outages, caused by shortages of fuel for power generation. Living conditions, including access to clean drinking water, medical services, and safe housing have all declined since 2011. Oil production in 2017 reached a five-year high, driving GDP growth, with daily average production rising to 879,000 barrels per day. However, oil production levels remain below the average pre-Revolution highs of 1.6 million barrels per day.

The Central Bank of Libya continued to pay government salaries to a majority of the Libyan workforce and to fund subsidies for fuel and food, resulting in an estimated budget deficit of about 17% of GDP in 2017. Low consumer confidence in the banking sector and the economy as a whole has driven a severe liquidity shortage.


1990 2000 2010 2020
GNI, Atlas method (current US$) (billions) .. 28.6 75.79 53.18
GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) .. 5,170 12,230 7,740
GNI, PPP (current international $) (billions) .. 111.92 198.35 119.33
GNI per capita, PPP (current international $) .. 20,240 32,000 17,370
GDP (current US$) (billions) 28.9 38.27 75.38 52.32
GDP growth (annual %) .. 3.7 5 -23.9
Inflation, GDP deflator (annual %) .. 13.3 19.3 -5.1
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP) .. 5 2 4
Industry (including construction), value added (% of GDP) .. 66 76 48
Exports of goods and services (% of GDP) 40 32 66 43
Imports of goods and services (% of GDP) 31 14 32 35
Gross capital formation (% of GDP) 19 12 20 14
Revenue, excluding grants (% of GDP) .. .. .. ..
Net lending (+) / net borrowing (-) (% of GDP) .. .. .. ..
States and markets
Time required to start a business (days) .. .. 35 35
Domestic credit provided by financial sector (% of GDP) .. .. .. ..
Tax revenue (% of GDP) .. .. .. ..
Military expenditure (% of GDP) .. 3.1 3.7 ..
Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) 0 0.7 175.9 42.5
Individuals using the Internet (% of population) 0 0.2 14 ..
High-technology exports (% of manufactured exports) .. .. .. ..
Statistical Capacity Score (Overall Average) (scale 0 - 100) .. .. 41 26
Global links
Merchandise trade (% of GDP) 64 41 88 35
Net barter terms of trade index (2000 = 100) .. 100 193 92
External debt stocks, total (DOD, current US$) (millions) .. .. .. ..
Total debt service (% of exports of goods, services and primary income) .. .. .. ..
Net migration (thousands) 4 -21 -300 -10
Personal remittances, received (current US$) (millions) .. 9 0 0
Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current US$) (millions) 159 141 1,784 1
Net official development assistance received (current US$) (millions) 8.3 4.7 7.6 296