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Algeria, See : Flags, Maps

Algeria (Africa)

Introduction ::Algeria

Algeria, National Anthem


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After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets, and fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence between 1992-98 resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent, was reelected to a second term in 2004, and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009 after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qai'da to form al-Qai'da in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests.

Geography ::Algeria


Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates:
28 00 N, 3 00 E

Map references:



total: 2,381,741 sq km country comparison to the world: 11 land: 2,381,741 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas

Land boundaries:

total: 6,343 km

border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km


998 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm


arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer


mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m

highest point: Tahat 3,003 m

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc

Land use:

arable land: 3.17%

permanent crops: 0.28%

other: 96.55% (2005)

Irrigated land:

5,690 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:

14.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 6.07 cu km/yr (22%/13%/65%)

per capita: 185 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards:

mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season

Environment - current issues:

soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto
Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental
Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)

People ::Algeria


34,586,184 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 35

Age structure:

0-14 years: 25.4% (male 4,436,591/female 4,259,729)

15-64 years: 69.5% (male 11,976,965/female 11,777,618)

65 years and over: 5.1% (male 798,576/female 928,709) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 27.1 years

male: 26.8 years

female: 27.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

1.177% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 106

Birth rate:

16.71 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 121

Death rate:

4.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 196

Net migration rate:

-0.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 132


urban population: 65% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female

total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 26.75 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 81 male: 29.8 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 23.53 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 74.26 years country comparison to the world: 98 male: 72.57 years

female: 76.04 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

1.76 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 162

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 112

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

21,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

fewer than 1,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 73


noun: Algerian(s)

adjective: Algerian

Ethnic groups:

Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

note: almost all Algerians are Berber in origin, not Arab; the minority who identify themselves as Berber live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools


Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%


Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 69.9%

male: 79.6%

female: 60.1% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2005)

Education expenditures:

4.3% of GDP (2008) country comparison to the world: 98

Government ::Algeria

Country name:

conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

conventional short form: Algeria

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah

local short form: Al Jaza'ir

Government type:



name: Algiers

geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain
Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida,
Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa,
El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel,
Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila,
Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi
Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret,
Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen


5 July 1962 (from France)

National holiday:

Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)


8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976; effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, 28 November 1996, 10 April 2002, and 12 November 2008

Legal system:

socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999) note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; a November 2008 constitutional amendment separated the position of head of government from that of the prime minister

head of government: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; note - a November 2008 constitutional amendment abolished presidential term limits; election last held on 9 April 2009 (next to be held in April 2014)

election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA was reelected president for a third term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 90.2%, Louisa HANOUNE 4.2%, Moussa TOUATI 2.3%, Djahid YOUNSI 1.4%, Ali Fawzi REBIANE less than 1%, Mohamed SAID less than 1%

Legislative branch:

bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of the Nation (upper house; 144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote to serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the Council to be renewed every three years) and the National People's Assembly (lower house; 389 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: Council of the Nation - last held on 29 December 2009 (next to be held in December 2012); National People's Assembly - last held on 17 May 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

election results: Council of the Nation - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 136, RND 61, MSP 52, PT 26, RCD 19, FNA 13, other 49, independents 33;

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:

Ahd 54 [Ali Fauzi REBAINE]; Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa
TOUATI]; National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National
Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]; National Liberation Front or
FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general]; National Reform
Movement or Islah [Ahmed ABDESLAM] (formerly MRN); Rally for Culture
and Democracy or RCD [Said SADI]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda
Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait
AHMED]; Society of Peace Movement or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI];
Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]

note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997

Political pressure groups and leaders:

The Algerian Human Rights League or LADDH [Hocine ZEHOUANE]; SOS
Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]

International organization participation:

WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah BAALI

chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador David D. PEARCE

embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El-Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16000 Algiers

mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers

telephone: [213] 770-08-2000
FAX: [213] 21-60-7355

Flag description:

two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness

National anthem:

name: "Kassaman" (We Pledge)

lyrics/music: Mufdi ZAKARIAH/Mohamed FAWZI

note: adopted 1962; ZAKARIAH wrote "Kassaman" as a poem while imprisoned in Algiers by French colonial forces

Economy ::Algeria

Economy - overview:

Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. Gradual liberalization since the mid-1990s has opened up more of the economy, but in recent years Algeria has imposed new restrictions on foreign involvement in its economy and largely halted the privatization of state-owned industries. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the eighth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the fourth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Thanks to strong hydrocarbon revenues, Algeria has a cushion of $150 billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 1% of GDP. Algeria has struggled to develop industires outside of hydrocarbons in part because of high costs and an inert state bureaucracy.The government's efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foregin and domestic investment outside the energy sector have done little to reduce high poverty and youth unemployment rates. In 2010, Algeria began a five-year, $286 billion development program to update the country's infrastructure and provide jobs. The costly program will boost Algeria's economy in 2011 but worsen the country's budget deficit. Long-term economic challenges include diversification from hydrocarbons, relaxing state control of the economy, and providing adequate jobs for youger Algerians.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$254.7 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 48 $244.6 billion (2009 est.)

$239.4 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$159 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 74 2.2% (2009 est.)

2.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$7,400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126 $7,200 (2009 est.)

$7,100 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 8.3%

industry: 61.5%

services: 30.2% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

9.877 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 14%

industry: 13.4%

construction and public works: 10%

trade: 14.6%

government: 32%

other: 16% (2003 est.)

Unemployment rate:

9.9% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 110 10.2% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line:

23% (2006 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

35.3 (1995) country comparison to the world: 86

Investment (gross fixed):

27.5% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29

Public debt:

25.7% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 95 20% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142 5.7% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

4% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 107 4% (31 December 2008)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

8% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 117 8% (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of narrow money:

$79.07 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 36 $68.13 billion (31 December 2009 est)

Stock of broad money:

$109.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50 $98.82 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$12.29 billion (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 89 $21.71 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

Agriculture - products:

wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle


petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing

Industrial production growth rate:

4.8% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68

Electricity - production:

34.98 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 61

Electricity - consumption:

28.34 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 62

Electricity - exports:

273 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

279 million kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

2.125 million bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Oil - consumption:

325,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 39

Oil - exports:

1.891 million bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 12

Oil - imports:

14,320 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 127

Oil - proved reserves:

13.42 billion bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 16

Natural gas - production:

86.5 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

Natural gas - consumption:

26.83 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 28

Natural gas - exports:

59.67 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 4

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 201

Natural gas - proved reserves:

4.502 trillion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 10

Current account balance:

$3.959 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 33 -$4.185 billion (2009 est.)


$52.66 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50 $43.69 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%

Exports - partners:

US 23.2%, Italy 17.23%, Spain 10.83%, France 7.97%, Canada 7.65%,
Netherlands 5.19%, Turkey 4.22% (2009)


$37.07 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52 $39.1 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods

Imports - partners:

France 19.7%, China 11.72%, Italy 10.19%, Spain 8.13%, Germany 5.77%, Turkey 5.05% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$150.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 11 $149.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$4.138 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 116 $5.413 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

$19.34 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 69 $17.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

$1.844 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 68 $1.644 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates:

Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar - 76 (2010), 72.6474 (2009), 63.25 (2008), 69.9 (2007), 72.647 (2006)

Communications ::Algeria

Telephones - main lines in use:

2.576 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 51

Telephones - mobile cellular:

32.73 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 30

Telephone system:

general assessment: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in 2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria; the license will allow Orascom to develop high-speed data and other specialized services and contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled demand for basic residential telephony; Internet broadband services began in 2003

domestic: a limited network of fixed lines with a teledensity of less than 10 telephones per 100 persons is offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; in 2009, combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 100 telephones per 100 persons

international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat, Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2009)

Broadcast media:

state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

572 (2010) country comparison to the world: 176

Internet users:

4.7 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 49

Transportation ::Algeria


143 (2010) country comparison to the world: 39

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 57

over 3,047 m: 12

2,438 to 3,047 m: 28

1,524 to 2,437 m: 11

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 86

2,438 to 3,047 m: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 19

914 to 1,523 m: 41

under 914 m: 23 (2010)


2 (2010)


condensate 1,937 km; gas 14,648 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,933 km; oil 7,579 km (2009)


total: 3,973 km country comparison to the world: 43 standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)


total: 108,302 km country comparison to the world: 39 paved: 76,028 km (includes 645 km of expressways)

unpaved: 32,274 km (2004)

Merchant marine:

total: 35 country comparison to the world: 80 by type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 9, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 3

foreign-owned: 12 (UK 12) (2010)

Ports and terminals:

Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran,

Military ::Algeria

Military branches:

People's National Army (Armee Nationale Populaire, ANP), Land Forces (Forces Terrestres, FT), Navy of the Republic of Algeria (Marine de la Republique Algerienne, MRA), Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jaza'eriya, QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2006)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 10,113,472

females age 16-49: 9,959,693 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 8,481,036

females age 16-49: 8,508,245 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 365,503

female: 352,009 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3.3% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 37

Transnational Issues ::Algeria

Disputes - international:

Algeria, and many other states, rejects Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; Algeria remains concerned about armed bandits operating throughout the Sahel who sometimes destabilize southern Algerian towns; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf)

IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Algeria is a transit country for men and women trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude; criminal networks of sub-Saharan nationals in southern Algeria facilitate transit by arranging transportation, forged documents, and promises of employment

tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Algeria is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List because it does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in January 2009, the government approved new legislation that criminalizes trafficking in persons for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation representing an important step toward complying with international standards; despite these efforts, the government did not show overall progress in punishing trafficking crimes and protecting trafficking victims and continued to lack adequate measures to protect victims and prevent trafficking (2009)


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