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Jordan

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Jordan

Flag of Jordan

Introduction   Geography   People   Government   Economy
Communications   Transportation   Military

 

Map of Jordan

 

   Introduction    Jordan
Background:
For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, despite several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he reinstituted parliamentary elections and gradual political liberalization; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, the son of King HUSSEIN, assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and undertaken an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in 2000, and began to participate in the European Free Trade Association in 2001. After a two-year delay, parliamentary and municipal elections took place in the summer of 2003. The prime minister appointed in December 2005 said the government would focus on political reforms, improving conditions for the poor, and fighting corruption.

 

   Geography    Jordan
Location:
Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
31 00 N, 36 00 E
Area:
total: 92,300 sq km
land: 91,971 sq km
water: 329 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries:
total: 1,635 km
border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
Coastline:
26 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
Climate:
mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
Terrain:
mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Jabal Ram 1,734 m
Natural resources:
phosphates, potash, shale oil
Land use:
arable land: 3.32%
permanent crops: 1.18%
other: 95.5% (2005)
Irrigated land:
750 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank
   People    Jordan
Population:
5,906,760 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 33.8% (male 1,018,070/female 976,442)
15-64 years: 62.4% (male 1,966,794/female 1,716,255)
65 years and over: 3.9% (male 111,636/female 117,563) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 23 years
male: 23.7 years
female: 22.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.49% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
21.25 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
2.65 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
6.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 16.76 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.04 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.4 years
male: 75.9 years
female: 81.05 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.63 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Nationality:
noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups:
Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Religions:
Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)
Languages:
Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.3%
male: 95.9%
female: 86.3% (2003 est.)
   Government    Jordan
Country name:
conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form: Jordan
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
local short form: Al Urdun
former: Transjordan
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
Capital:
'Amman
Administrative divisions:
12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba
Independence:
25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
Constitution:
1 January 1952; amended 1954, 1955, 1958, 1960, 1965, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1984
Legal system:
based on Islamic law and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Prince HUSSEIN (born 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH, is first in line to inherit the throne
head of government: Prime Minister Marouf Suleiman BAKHIT (since 24 November 2005); Deputy Prime Minister Ziad FARIZ (since 24 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables (Majlis al-Ayan) (55 seats; members appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures; members serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives, also called the House of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwaab) (110 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms); note - six seats are reserved for women and are allocated by a special electoral panel if no women are elected
elections: House of Representatives - last held 17 June 2003 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - independents and other 89.6%, IAF 10.4%; seats by party - independents and other 92, IAF 18; note - one of the six quota seats was given to a female IAF candidate
note: the House of Representatives has been convened and dissolved by the monarch several times since 1974; in November 1989, the first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held; political parties were not legalized until 1992; King ABDALLAH delayed the 2001 elections until 2003
Judicial branch:
Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal)
Political parties and leaders:
al-Ahd Party; Arab Islamic Democratic Movement [Yusuf ABU BAKR, president]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Ayishah Salih HIJAZAYN, secretary general]; Arab Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysir al-HIMSI, secretary general]; Ba'th Arab Progressive Party [Fu'ad DABBUR, secretary general]; Freedom Party; Future Party; Islamic Action Front or IAF [Zaki Sa'ed BANI IRSHEID, secretary general]; Islamic Center Party [Marwan al-FAURI, secretary general]; Jordanian Arab Ansar Party; Jordanian Arab New Dawn Party; Jordanian Arab Party; Jordanian Citizens' Rights Movement; Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH, secretary general]; Jordanian Communist Workers Party; Jordanian Democratic Left Party [Musa MA'AYTEH, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id Dhiyab Ali MUSTAFA, secretary general]; Jordanian Generations Party [Muhammad KHALAYLEH, secretary general]; Jordanian Green Party [Muhammad BATAYNEH, secretary general]; Jordanian Labor Party [Dr. Mazin Sulayman Jiryis HANNA, secretary general]; Jordanian Peace Party; Jordanian People's Committees Movement; Jordanian People's Democratic Party (Hashd) [Ahmad YUSUF, secretary general]; Jordanian Rafah Party; Jordanian Renaissance Party; Mission Party; Nation Party [Ahmad al-HANANDEH, secretary general]; National Action Party (Haqq) [Tariq al-KAYYALI, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; National Popular Democratic Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI, secretary general]; Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI, secretary general]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Anti-Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordanian Bar Association [Saleh ARMOUTI, president]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Salem AL-FALAHAT, secretary general]
International organization participation:
ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OIC, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate, white, representing the Ummayyad Caliphate, and green, representing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I
   Economy    Jordan
Economy - overview:
Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil. Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental problems, but King ABDALLAH, since assuming the throne in 1999, has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. 'Amman in the past three years has worked closely with the IMF, practiced careful monetary policy, and made substantial headway with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan's membership in the WTO (2000), a free trade accord with the US (2001), and an association agreement with the EU (2001). These measures have helped improve productivity and have put Jordan on the foreign investment map. Jordan imported most of its oil from Iraq, but the US-led war in Iraq in 2003 made Jordan more dependent on oil from other Gulf nations, forcing the Jordanian Government to raise retail petroleum product prices and the sales tax base. Jordan's export market, which is heavily dependent on exports to Iraq, was also affected by the war but recovered quickly while contributing to the Iraq recovery effort. The main challenges facing Jordan are reducing dependence on foreign grants, reducing the budget deficit, and creating investment incentives to promote job creation.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$27.86 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$11.61 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5.9% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$4,800 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.5%
industry: 29.9%
services: 66.7% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
1.46 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 5%, industry 12.5%, services 82.5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
12.5% official rate; unofficial rate is approximately 30% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 29.8% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36.4 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
20.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $2.8 billion
expenditures: $4.688 billion; including capital expenditures of $1.092 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
77.7% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry
Industries:
textiles, phosphate mining, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
7.5% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
7.517 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
7.959 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
4 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
972 million kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
40 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
103,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports:
100,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
445,000 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
390 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
390 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
6.23 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
-$1.08 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
$4.226 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
clothing, phosphates, fertilizers, potash, vegetables, manufactures, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners:
US 28.9%, Iraq 17.6%, India 7.1%, Saudi Arabia 5.6% (2004)
Imports:
$8.681 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 19.8%, China 8.4%, Germany 6.8%, US 6.8% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.509 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$8.273 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $500 million (2004 est.)
Currency (code):
Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Exchange rates:
Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.709 (2005), 0.709 (2004), 0.709 (2003), 0.709 (2002), 0.709 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
   Communications    Jordan
Telephones - main lines in use:
617,300 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1,594,500 (2004)
Telephone system:
general assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment, but better access to the telephone system is needed in the rural areas and easier access to pay telephones is needed by the urban public
domestic: microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; considerable use of mobile cellular systems; Internet service is available
international: country code - 962; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals; fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; connection to international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe); participant in MEDARABTEL; international links total about 4,000
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
20 (plus 96 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
.jo
Internet hosts:
2,793 (2005)
Internet users:
600,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Jordan
Airports:
17 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Heliports:
1 (2005)
Pipelines:
gas 10 km; oil 743 km (2004)
Railways:
total: 505 km
narrow gauge: 505 km 1.050-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
total: 7,364 km
paved: 7,364 km (2003)
Merchant marine:
total: 26 ships (1000 GRT or over) 218,685 GRT/218,795 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 9, container 2, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 6
foreign-owned: 12 (UAE 12)
registered in other countries: 14 (The Bahamas 2, Panama 12) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Al 'Aqabah
   Military    Jordan
Military branches:
Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force, and Special Operations Command (SOCOM); note - Public Security Directorate normally falls under Ministry of Interior but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations
Military service age and obligation:
17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription at age 18 was suspended in 1999, although all males under age 37 are required to register; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in non-combat military positions (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 17-49: 1,573,995
females age 17-49: 1,346,642 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 17-49: 1,348,076
females age 17-49: 1,158,011 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 60,625
females age 17-49: 58,218 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$1.4 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
11.4% (2005 est.)
 

 

 

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