Libya has, thanks to the oil, had a high
standard of living compared to the rest of Africa, with
a well-developed welfare structure and guest workers who
did the heaviest jobs. The fighting since 2011 has
seriously worsened the situation.
Libya is a conservative country, also compared to
many other states in the Arab world. Religion has a
strong position and traditional values characterize
society. Most genera were only a few generations ago
from full or half-nomads, who lived in poverty, but the
country underwent a very rapid modernization during the
20th century. Today, almost eight out of ten Libyans
live in the cities.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Libya, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
New living patterns have changed society, while
traditional communities continue to influence everyday
life. For example, customer affiliation is still an
important part of many Libyans' identities, more than in
most countries in North Africa (see Population and
The success years thanks to the oil industry led to a
dramatic increase in educational levels and literacy.
Libya has long had Africa's highest standard of living,
despite financial difficulties under international
sanctions against the Gaddafi regime in 1992–1999. From
the 1970s, the state provided citizens with housing,
free education and healthcare, work in the public sector
and price support for a large selection of basic goods
and services. The state created a compensation system
for work injuries and illness, as well as disability,
even though guest workers performed many of the heaviest
jobs. Parental leave and pension were set up and almost
all children were vaccinated against tuberculosis and
There were major shortcomings, but the situation was
on the whole better than the one that prevailed during
the last ten-year period. The civil war in 2011 caused
many foreign doctors and nurses to leave the country,
which has posed major problems for the healthcare
system. Living conditions have generally deteriorated
since 2011. The UN estimated in 2015 that nearly 450,000
Libyans were forced to flee their homes because of the
fighting. In 2017, 217,000 Libyans were still living as
internal refugees and 1.3 million were reported to
suffer from food shortages. The World Health
Organization (WHO) reported the same year that there was
a crying lack of important medicines and medical
equipment, several hospitals and many health centers had
The prolonged conflicts, since the spring of 2019
with war events increasingly closer to the capital
Tripoli, have created new internal refugees and led to
stressful experiences even for people who could remain
in their homes. The possibilities of assisting them with
psychiatric help are limited.
The situation is most difficult for the many migrants
who are trapped in Libya in the hope of being able to
reach a future in Europe, they lack most of the basic
social services and legal security. Between 2017 and
2019, more than 40,000 migrants / refugees were
registered with the UN organization UNHCR. In connection
with the offensive against Tripoli that forces under
General Haftar, based in eastern Libya, started in 2019,
the conditions became even more difficult for them.
Some, mainly people from sub-Saharan Africa, have been
transported out of Libya through international
organizations to reach their home countries.
The security situation still allows few aid
organizations to operate in the country.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
10 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
0.2 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
96.8 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
100.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
5.0 percent (2011)
Public expenditure on health care per person
US $ 313 (2011)
Proportion of women in parliament
16 percent (2018)
Military leaders are attacked
Tripoli's lawlessness continues to create problems,
even for the country's new elite. One of the new
regime's heaviest military leaders, General Khalifa
Haftar, is attacked by armed men from the Zintan Brigade
as he arrives at Tripoli International Airport.
New head of government
Engineer Abderrahim al-Keib is elected new Prime
Minister for the Transitional Government.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi grips
Gaddafi's son and supposed successors are taken
prisoner in southwestern Libya, by the Zintan brigades
who do not obey the National Transitional Council.
al-Saadi Gaddafi receives asylum in Niger
Niger's president says al-Saadi Gaddafi may stay in
the country for humanitarian reasons.
Struggles between rival militia groups near the city
of al-Zawiya cause at least ten people to be killed. The
transitional government has far from supported all over
the country. In many places there are armed groups that
refuse to submit to the new regime. This is especially
true in Tripoli and western Libya, which was mainly
conquered by the militia from Misrata and al-Zintan (Nafus
Mountains), rather than by troops from the areas
controlled by the National Transitional Council in the
Nato insert is canceled
The decision is made by the UN Security Council.
The Prime Minister resigns
Mahmud Jibril resigns according to a promise to leave
the post as soon as the Gaddafi regime has fallen.
National Transitional Council leader Mustafa
Abdeljalil announces in a speech in Benghazi that Libya
is liberated. He says that the state that is now to be
built closest from the ground up should be based on
Islamic law, Sharia, but does not provide any details.
Finally, Gaddafi's own hometown of Sirte also falls
and Gaddafi himself is killed. Parts of Sirte are
destroyed, many die and thousands flee. Human rights
organizations report suspected massacres on Gaddafi
Bani Walid falls
Hard fighting has raged in the city in the northwest,
which is the home of the great Warfall tribe. Warfalla
has contributed many members to Gaddafi's security
The UN forms Libyan intervention
The UN sets up a support effort for Libya, Unsmil. It
is not a military operation but is commissioned to
support the transitional government.
The AU recognizes the Transitional Council
The recognition of the African Union gives the
National Transitional Council greater legitimacy.
Fighting continues. This is especially true in areas
where the regime has traditional support and where it
has concentrated its last forces under the leadership of
Gaddafi and his relatives.
Gaddafi family in Algeria
Gaddafi's wife and three children (Mohammed, Aisha
and Hannibal) were received in the neighboring country
for humanitarian reasons.
Tripoli is taken, Gaddafi underground
The rebels reach the capital after they, with the
support of NATO bombings, managed to conquer important
cities nearby. Tripoli also has foreign special forces
on the side of the rebels. Soon the rebels occupy
Gaddafi's headquarters and Gaddafi himself goes
Temporary basis is adopted
The National Transitional Council adopts a
constitution which stipulates, among other things, that
elections to a provisional parliament must be held
within eight months of the country's liberation.
Warning about rebel abuse
Human Rights Watch claims that the rebels in the
West, where the fiercest fighting is going on, are
guilty of civilian abuse. The recurring reports of
attacks on black Africans are also beginning to become
troublesome for the National Transitional Council, but
the focus of the world is mainly on the government's
French arms delivery
France confirms that weapons had been delivered to
rebels in the Nafus Mountains south of Tripoli.
According to the French government, this was a way of
protecting the civilian population, which the UN
Resolution 1973 ("all necessary means") allows, despite
the arms embargo established in Resolution 1970.
International arrest warrant against Gaddafi
Prosecutors at the ICC also issue arrest warrants
against the leader's son Saif al-Islam and spy chief
Abdullah al-Senussi, for crimes against humanity.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is leaving
Moussa Koussa, who is Gaddafi's closest adviser on
foreign policy issues, is leaving London. Koussa has
also been head of intelligence for many years.
Temporary government is formed
The National Transitional Council sets up an
"Executive Council" with US-based economist Mahmud
Jibril as interim head of government.
Flight operations begin
The United States, France and the United Kingdom
launch military attacks against the Libyan government
forces' positions from the air and from ships. The
command of the air strikes will soon be taken over by
UN Resolution on Aviation Ban Zone
The Security Council decides to establish a no-fly
zone over Libya. Member States have the right to take
"all necessary measures" to protect the Libyan civilian
population, it says. A few days earlier, the Arab League
unexpectedly announced support for the ban on flights.
The resolution is adopted with 10 votes in favor and 5
abstained, including Russia and China.
The regime regains ground
Several oil ports are being recaptured and soon
Gaddafi's forces are penetrating Benghazi's suburbs. The
National Transitional Council asks the outside world for
Guest workers flee
The fighting triggers a mass escape of foreign
workers. Tunisians and Egyptians can quickly return to
their home countries, but many guest workers and
migrants from sub-Saharan Africa - not infrequently
paperless illegal immigrants - are trapped in camps at
Criticism in the outside world
The Gaddafi regime is criticized for indiscriminate
attacks on rebel-controlled cities, which are infested
with rockets and grenades.
Provisional government is formed
The National Transitional Council is formed in
Benghazi. Gaddafi's former Minister of Justice, Mustafa
Abdeljalil, from al-Bayda is appointed as chairman of
The UN acts against the regime
The Security Council issues a resolution condemning
violence against civilians and imposing sanctions on
leading members of the government as well as an arms
embargo on the entire country. The issue of war crimes
is referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Gaddafi gives a confused and threatening speech on
TV, where he says the uprising should be crushed.
Over 200 die in a few days of clashes, especially in
Benghazi. Soon, regime opponents have taken control of
the city, supported by soldiers who desert.
"Day of Wrath"
Libya rallies to protest in several parts of the
country, following calls from exile dissidents and
network activists. The day will be considered the start
of the uprising in Libya. About 20 people are killed.
Unrest in Benghazi
The so-called Arab Spring reaches Libya. Dozens of
people are injured in clashes between security forces
and protesters protesting the arrest of a known lawyer.
The following day, four people are reported killed in
unrest in al-Bayda.