How many people live in Montana? Where are the Yap Islands? What is manufactured in Northampton? When did Belgium come into existence? Which ethnic groups are to be found in Nigeria? This up-to-the-minute encyclopedia provides the answers to thousands of such questions, forming a comprehensive guide to the geography and history of over 12,000 places scattered throughout the world. Articles range from detailed accounts of individual countries, to snapshot views of small communities, to descriptions of rivers and mountains, and they contain a wealth of background information - political facts, economic analysis, social and cultural framework. Whether you want to find out about Bosnia's turbulent past of life expectancy in Barbados or the monsoon period in Bangladesh, this multi-faceted book is the ideal first port of call.