A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 following years of resistance to British rule. Tensions between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority communities came to a head in December 1963, when violence broke out in the capital of Nicosia. Despite the deployment of UN peacekeepers in 1964, sporadic intercommunal violence continued, forcing most Turkish Cypriots into enclaves throughout the island. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to overthrow the elected president of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled more than a third of the island. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot administered area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"), but it is recognized only by Turkey. An UN-mediated agreement, the Annan Plan, failed to win approval by both communities in 2004. In February 2014, after a hiatus of nearly two years, the leaders of the two communities resumed formal discussions under UN auspices aimed at reuniting the divided island. The most recent round of negotiations to reunify the island were suspended in July 2017 after failure to achieve a breakthrough. The entire island entered the EU on 1 May 2004, although the EU acquis - the body of common rights and obligations - applies only to the areas under the internationally recognized government, and is suspended in the "TRNC." However, individual Turkish Cypriots able to document their eligibility for Republic of Cyprus citizenship legally enjoy the same rights accorded to other citizens of EU states.



35.0° N, 33. 0° E
Middle East, island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey; note - Cyprus views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both


9,251 sq km
9,241 sq km
10 sq km

land boundaries

156 km


648 km


temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters


central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast


91 m
lowest point
Mediterranean Sea
0 m
highest point
Mount Olympus
1,951 m

natural resources

  • copper
  • pyrites
  • asbestos
  • gypsum
  • timber
  • salt
  • marble
  • clay earth pigment

land use

arable land
9.8 %
permanent crops
3.2 %
permanent pasture
0.4 %
18.8 %
67.8 %

population distribution

population concentrated in central Nicosia and in the major cities of the south: Paphos, Limassol, and Larnaca



  • 1,266,676
  • 157
    global rank


  • Cypriot(s)
  • Cypriot

ethnic groups

98.8 %
1 %
0.2 %


  • Greek
  • Turkish
  • English
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Bulgarian
  • Arabic
  • Filipino
  • other
  • unspecified


Orthodox Christian
89.1 %
Roman Catholic
2.9 %
2 %
1.8 %
1 %
1.4 %
1.1 %
0.6 %

birth rate

  • 10.9
    per 1,000 population
  • 180
    global rank

death rate

  • 7
    per 1,000 population
  • 125
    global rank

urban population

66.8 %

major urban areas

  • Nicosia
    pop. 269,000

life expectancy

  • 79.3
    total population
  • 55
    global rank

adult obesity rate

  • 21.8%
    percent of adults
  • 84
    global rank


country name


  • Republic of Cyprus
    long form
  • Cyprus
    short form


  • Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti
    long form
  • Kypros/Kibris
    short form

government type

Republic of Cyprus - presidential republic; "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (self-declared) - parliamentary republic with enhanced presidency note: a separation of the two main ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified when a Greek military-junta-supported coup attempt prompted the Turkish military intervention in July 1974 that gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government on the island; on 15 November 1983, then Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTAS declared independence and the formation of the "TRNC,” which is recognized only by Turkey


Nicosia (Lefkosia/Lefkosa)
35.10 N, 33.22 E


national holidays

  • Independence Day
    1 October

legal system

mixed legal system of English common law and civil law with European law supremacy

age of suffrage


flag description

centered on a white field is a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the island has long been famous for its copper deposits) above two olive-green-colored, crossed olive branches; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities

national colors

  • blue
  • white

national anthem

"Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)



The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by a services sector that accounts for more than four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, finance, shipping, and real estate have traditionally been the most important services. Cyprus has been a member of the EU since May 2004 and adopted the euro as its national currency in January 2008. During the first five years of EU membership, the Cyprus economy grew at an average rate of about 4%, with unemployment between 2004 and 2008 averaging about 4%. However, the economy tipped into recession in 2009 as the ongoing global financial crisis and resulting low demand hit the tourism and construction sectors. An overextended banking sector with excessive exposure to Greek debt added to the contraction. Cyprus’ biggest two banks were among the largest holders of Greek bonds in Europe and had a substantial presence in Greece through bank branches and subsidiaries. Following numerous downgrades of its credit rating, Cyprus lost access to international capital markets in May 2011. In July 2012, Cyprus became the fifth euro-zone government to request an economic bailout program from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - known collectively as the "Troika." Shortly after the election of President Nikos ANASTASIADES in February 2013, Cyprus reached an agreement with the Troika on a $13 billion bailout that triggered a two-week bank closure and the imposition of capital controls that remained partially in place until April 2015. Cyprus' two largest banks merged and the combined entity was recapitalized through conversion of some large bank deposits to shares and imposition of losses on bank bondholders. As with other EU countries, the Troika conditioned the bailout on passing financial and structural reforms and privatizing state-owned enterprises. Despite downsizing and restructuring, the Cypriot financial sector remains burdened by the largest stock of non-performing loans in the euro zone, equal to nearly half of all loans. Since the bailout, Cyprus has received positive appraisals by the Troika and outperformed fiscal targets but has struggled to overcome political opposition to bailout-mandated legislation, particularly regarding privatizations. The rate of non-performing loans (NPLs) is still very high at around 49%, and growth would accelerate if Cypriot banks could increase the pace of resolution of the NPLs. In October 2013, a US-Israeli consortium completed preliminary appraisals of hydrocarbon deposits in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which estimated gross mean reserves of about 130 billion cubic meters. Though exploration continues in Cyprus’ EEZ, no additional commercially exploitable reserves have been identified. Developing offshore hydrocarbon resources remains a critical component of the government’s economic recovery efforts, but development has been delayed as a result of regional developments and disagreements about exploitation methods.


31,780,000,000 USD

agriculture products

  • citrus
  • vegetables
  • barley
  • grapes
  • olives
  • vegetables
  • poultry
  • pork
  • lamb
  • dairy
  • cheese


  • 8,663,000,000
    revenue (USD)
  • 8,275,000,000
    expenditures (USD)



    fixed lines

  • 311,559
    total subscriptions
  • 112
    global rank

    mobile cellular

  • 1,200,378
    total subscriptions
  • 158
    global rank

broadcast media

mixture of state and privately run TV and radio services; the public broadcaster operates 2 TV channels and 4 radio stations; 6 private TV broadcasters, satellite and cable TV services including telecasts from Greece and Turkey, and a number of private radio stations are available; in areas administered by Turkish Cypriots, there are 2 public TV stations, 4 public radio stations, and 7 privately owned TV and 21 radio broadcast stations plus 6 radio and 4 TV channels of local universities, plus 1 radio station of military, security forces and 1 radio station of civil defense cooperation, as well as relay stations from Turkey (2019)


country code


  • 1,044,473
  • 84.43
    % of population
  • 139
    global rank


electricity access



air transport

    national system

  • 2
    registered air carriers
  • 23,404
    annual passenger traffic


  • 15
  • 13


19,901 km
total length



expenditures here