Like the other Arab states in the Persian Gulf, Kuwait has undergone dramatic transformation since World War II. From being a poor fishing nation to becoming a very rich oil producer.
Kuwait got its independence in 1961 after over 60 years as a British protectorate, but was long forced to live under pressure from neighbouring Iraq, which claimed historical rights to the area.
Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, but were driven out by a US-led military force the following year.
Since then, Kuwait has close ties to the West and has also seen some kind of democratisation process, with an elected parliament.