Tripoli is the capital of Libya. In addition to serving as the capital city, it is also the largest city in the country by population. According to data from the CIA World Factbook, the city has a population of over 1.1 million as of 2015. The city, which is known as Tripoli of the West to set it apart from its sister city sharing the same name in Lebanon, has a long and interesting history and plays an important role to the economy of Libya.
City Size and Population Density
The city has a total population of 1,126,000 people. The total surface area of Tripoli comes to 400 km2 (200 sq mi). When considering the size of the country, this means that the total population density is 12,000 people per square mile.
Most people in Tripoli and Libya as a whole are Muslim. There are also small Christian communities to be found throughout the city, primarily for the benefit of foreigners. Most people that live in Tripoli are of the Berber origin. There are also Arabs and Arab-Berbers, Tauregs, and others throughout the area. The foreign population includes residents from all over the world, including Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Pakistan and India. Most immigrants are migrant workers from Egypt and Tunisia.
The history of Tripoli began back when it was founded during the 7th century by the Phoenicians. The city exchanged hands many times throughout its history, including being ruled by the dynasty of Cairo, Egypt. The city has also been under rule of the Berber Almohad empire, Hafsids kingdom, and was part of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th through 19th centuries. After the death of the Ottoman governor in 1711, the city was established as semi-independent during the Karamanli dynasty. The Ottoman Empire again regained control in the 1800s.
When the 19th century arrived, the regency of Tripoli became embattled in a war with the US. The pasha of Tripoli demanded pay from the US government for protecting their commerce from pirates. Thomas Jefferson refused to pay and the naval force was used to blockade the city. During the First Barbary War, the Philadelphia frigate was taken, its crew were taken as prisoners, and the captain surrendered. The next year, a naval lieutenant led a successful mission to set the captured warship on fire.
In 1805, the pasha of Tripoli received money as a ransom for those who were taken from the Philadelphia. Later, in 1815, the US captains returned to make demands of the pasha in what was known as the Second Barbary War.
In the early 1900s, Italy declared war against the Ottomans and planned to annex Tripoli. The Italians were successful, and in the years to follow, the population increased significantly and the city began to expand, including the addition of a hospital and sewage system. The Italians also put a focus on boosting the economy by founding the Tripoli International Fair, a railway station, and the Tripoli Grand Prix. The Italians continued to rule the city until the 1940s. The city was captured by Allied forces and went under British rule until it was declared independent in 1951.
Tripoli Population Growth
Tripoli is a hub for banking, communication and finance. It is also a leader in commercial businesses and manufacturing. It has also become a tourist hotspot, attracting visitors from all over the world. Because of the increase in tourism, the city will be constructing new towers, hotels, parking and restaurants. The city, however, has faced hard times, and its economy has suffered significantly due to rising inflation and the effects of the Libyan Civil War, among other political and social issues. However, despite these issues, the population of Tripoli is expected to continue to grow as it attracts more immigrants and continues its expansion.