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By Referrals > Visit Detail > Country Facts for Jordan
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Map of Jordan
IntroductionTop
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 formal peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II - the eldest son of King HUSSEIN and Princess MUNA - 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 and government appointed in April 2005 declared they would build upon the previous government's achievements to respect political and human rights and improve living standards.
GeographyTop
Location:Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:31 00 N, 36 00 E
Map references:Middle East
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: 2.67%
permanent crops: 1.83%
other: 95.5% (2001)

Irrigated land:750 sq km (1998 est.)
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
PeopleTop
Population:5,759,732 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 34.5% (male 1,015,084/female 973,220)
15-64 years: 61.7% (male 1,897,643/female 1,656,570)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 106,168/female 111,047) (2005 est.)

Median age:total: 22.62 years
male: 23.25 years
female: 21.94 years (2005 est.)

Population growth rate:2.56% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:21.76 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:2.63 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:6.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 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: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)

Infant mortality rate:total: 17.35 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 20.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:total population: 78.24 years
male: 75.75 years
female: 80.88 years (2005 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.71 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:less than 500 (2003 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.)

GovernmentTop
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 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), son of King ABDALLAH, is first in line to inherit the throne
head of government: Prime Minister Adnan BADRAN (since 7 April 2005); Deputy Prime Ministers Marwan al-MUASHER and Hisham al-TEL (since 3 July 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 NA 2007)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - independents and others 89.6%, Islamic Action Front (IAF) 10.4%; seats by party - independents and others 92, Islamic Action Front 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-Ajyal [Muhammad KHALAYLEH, secretary general]; Al-Umma (Nation) Party [Ahmad al-HANANDEH, secretary general]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Ayishah Salih HIJAZAYN, secretary general]; Ba'th Arab Progressive Party [Fu'ad DABBUR, secretary general]; Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH, secretary general]; Constitutional National Party [Ahmad al-SHUNNAQ, secretary general; Democratic Arab Islamic Movement [Yusuf ABU BAKR, president]; Green Party [Muhammad BATAYNEH, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Hazma MANSOUR, secretary general]; Islamic al-Walsat Party [Marwan al-FAURI], secretary general; Jordanian Democratic Left Party [Musa MA'AYTEH, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id Dhiyab Ali MUSTAFA, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic (Hashd) Party [Ahmad YUSUF, secretary general]; Jordanian Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI, secretary general]; Labor Party [Dr. Mazin Sulayman Jiryis HANNA, secretary general]; Muslim Centrist Party [leader NA]; National Action (Haqq) Party [Tariq al-KAYYALI, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; National Movement for Direct Democracy [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI, secretary general]; Pan-Arab (Democratic) Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI, secretary general]; (Arab) Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysir al-HIMSI, 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 [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, 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, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OIC, ONUB, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIK, UNMIL, UNMISET, 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
EconomyTop
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 - $25.5 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:5.1% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $4,500 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:agriculture: 2.4%
industry: 26%
services: 71.5% (2004 est.)

Labor force:1.41 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:agriculture 5%, industry 12.5%, services 82.5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:15% 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):3.2% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):11.6% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:revenues: $3.483 billion
expenditures: $3.616 billion, including capital expenditures of $782 million (2004 est.)

Public debt:85.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry
Industries:phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:5% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:7.307 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:fossil fuel: 99.4%
hydro: 0.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:7.094 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:2 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:300 million kWh (2002)
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:290 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:290 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:3.256 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:$203.2 million (2004 est.)
Exports:$3.2 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:clothing, phosphates, fertilizers, potash, vegetables, manufactures, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners:US 25.8%, Iraq 18.4%, India 6.4%, Saudi Arabia 5.2% (2004)
Imports:$7.6 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:Saudi Arabia 19.9%, China 8.4%, Germany 6.8%, US 6.7% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$5.457 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:$7.32 billion (2004 est.)
Currency (code):Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code:JOD
Exchange rates:Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.709 (2004), 0.709 (2003), 0.709 (2002), 0.709 (2001), 0.709 (2000)
Fiscal year:calendar year
CommunicationsTop
Telephones - main lines in use:622,600 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:1,325,300 (2003)
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)
Radios:1.66 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:20 (plus 96 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:500,000 (1997)
Internet country code:.jo
Internet hosts:3,160 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):5 (2000)
Internet users:457,000 (2003)
TransportationTop
Railways:total: 505 km
narrow gauge: 505 km 1.050-m gauge (2004)

Highways:total: 7,301 km
paved: 7,301 km
unpaved: 0 km (2002)

Pipelines:gas 10 km; oil 743 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:Al 'Aqabah
Merchant marine:total: 20 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 78,814 GRT/92,695 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 7, container 2, passenger/cargo 5, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 12 (Greece 3, UAE 9)
registered in other countries: 14 (2005)

Airports:17 (2004 est.)
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 (2004 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)

Heliports:1 (2004 est.)
MilitaryTop
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 manpower - military 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 (2004)
Military manpower - availability:males age 17-49: 1,573,995 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:males age 17-49: 1,348,076 (2005 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:males: 60,625 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:$1.46 billion (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:14.6% (2004)
Transnational IssuesTop
Disputes - international:2004 Agreement settles border dispute with Syria pending demarcation
Refugees and internally displaced persons::refugees (country of origin): 1,740,170 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
IDPs: 800,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2004)



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