Kuwait/kuːˈweɪt/ (Arabic: دولة الكويت Dawlat al-Kuwait), officially the State of Kuwait, is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of 2014, Kuwait has a population of 4.1 million people; 1.2 million are Kuwaitis and 2.8 million are expatriates.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Kuwait was a prosperous trade port. Starting in the early 20th century, its regional economic importance declined, and by 1934 Kuwait had lost its prominence in long-distance trade. Kuwait's economy was devastated by several trade blockades, starting with the British Empire's blockade during World War I. Following the Kuwait-Najd War of 1919–20, Saudi Arabia imposed a trade blockade against the country from 1923 until 1937.
Oil reserves were discovered in 1938. From 1946 to 1982, the country underwent large-scale modernization. In the 1980s, Kuwait experienced a period of geopolitical instability and an economic crisis following the stock market crash. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. The Iraqi occupation came to an end in 1991 after military intervention by United States-led forces. At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.
Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a high income economy backed by the world's sixth largest oil reserves. The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest valued currency in the world. The country ranks highly in regional comparisons of protection of civil liberties, press freedom and constitutionalism. In recent years, political instability has hindered the country's economic diversification.