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Jordan, See : Flags, Maps

Jordan (Middle East)
Introduction ::Jordan
Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war and barely managed to defeat Palestinian rebels who attempted to overthrow the monarchy in 1970. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank. In 1989, he reinstituted parliamentary elections and initiated a gradual political liberalization; political parties were legalized in 1992. 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. In 2003, Jordan staunchly supported the Coalition ouster of Saddam in Iraq and following the outbreak of insurgent violence in Iraq, absorbed thousands of displaced Iraqis. Municipal elections were held in July 2007 under a system in which 20% of seats in all municipal councils were reserved by quota for women. Parliamentary elections were held in November 2010 and saw independent pro-government candidates win the vast majority of seats.
Geography ::Jordan
Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
31 00 N, 36 00 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 89,342 sq km country comparison to the world: 111 land: 88,802 sq km
water: 540 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
26 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm
mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
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 Umm ad Dami 1,854 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)
Total renewable water resources:
0.9 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 1.01 cu km/yr (21%/4%/75%)
per capita: 177 cu m/yr (2000)
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
6,407,085 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 102
Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (male 1,161,484/female 1,096,441)
15-64 years: 59.4% (male 1,892,472/female 1,829,112)
65 years and over: 4.6% (male 143,058/female 146,718) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 21.8 years
male: 21.6 years
female: 22.1 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.159% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 41
Birth rate:
27.06 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 52
Death rate:
2.66 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 222
Net migration rate:
-2.81 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 182
urban population: 78% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 3.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 17.03 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 109 male: 17.55 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 16.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.92 years country comparison to the world: 27 male: 78.64 years
female: 81.28 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3.42 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 49
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.) country comparison to the world: 149
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
600 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 146
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 500 (2003 est.) country comparison to the world: 86
noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups:
Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
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 Shia Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)
Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 89.9%
male: 95.1%
female: 84.7% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2008)
Education expenditures:
4.9% of GDP (1999) country comparison to the world: 72
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
name: Amman
geographic coordinates: 31 57 N, 35 56 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends last Friday in October
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
25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
1 January 1952; amended many times
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
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HUSSEIN (born 28 June 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH II
head of government: Prime Minister Samir al-RIFAI (since 9 December 2009); Deputy Prime Ministers Ayman al-SAFADI, Khalid al-KARAKI, Sa'ad Hayel SROUR
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) elections: the monarchy 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 or Majlis al-Ayan (60 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (120 seats; members elected using a single, non-transferable vote system in multi-member districts to serve four-year terms); note - the new electoral law enacted in May 2010 allocated an additional 10 seats (6 seats added to the number reserved for women, bringing the total to 12; 2 additional seats for Amman; and 1 seat each for the cities of Zarqa and Irbid; unchanged are 9 seats reserved for Christian candidates, 9 for Bedouin candidates, and 3 for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent
elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held on 9 November 2010 (next scheduled in 2014); note - the King dissolved the previous Chamber of Deputies in November 2009, midway through the parliamentary term
election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents and other 120 (includes 12 seats filled by women's quota and 1 woman was directly elected); note - the IAF boycotted the election
Judicial branch:
Court of Cassation (Supreme Court)
Political parties and leaders:
Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party [Fuad DABBOUR]; Ba'ath Arab Progressive
Party [Tayseer al-HAMSI]; Call Party [Mohammed Abu BAKR]; Democratic
People's Party [Ablah al-ULBAH]; Democratic Popular Unity Party
[Sa'ed DIAB]; Islamic Action Front or IAF [Hamzeh MANSOUR]; Islamic
Center Party [Marwan al-FA'OURI; Jordanian Communist Party [Munir
HAMARNEH]; Jordanian National Party [Mona Abu BAKR]; Jordanian
United Front [Amjad al-MAJALI]; Life Party [Thaher 'AMROU]; Message
Party [Hazem QASHOU]; National Constitution Party [Ahmed al-SHUNAQ];
National Current Party [Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI]; National Movement
for Direct Democracy [Mohammed al-QAQ]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Anti-Normalization Committee [Hamzeh MANSOUR, chairman]; Higher
Coordination Committee of Opposition Parties [Hamzeh MANZOUR];
Jordan Bar Association [Saleh al-ARMUTI, chairman]; Jordanian Press
Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Jordanian Muslim
Brotherhood [Dr. Hamam SAID, controller general]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Alia Hatough BOURAN
chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert S. BEECROFT
embassy: Abdoun, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, DPO AE 09892-0200
telephone: [962] (6) 590-6000
FAX: [962] (6) 592-0121
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
National anthem:
name: "As-salam al-malaki al-urdoni" (Long Live the King of Jordan)
lyrics/music: Abdul-Mone'm al-RIFAI'/Abdul-Qader al-TANEER
note: adopted 1946; the shortened version of the anthem is used most commonly, while the full version is reserved for special occasions
Economy ::Jordan
Economy - overview:
Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources, underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and a large budget deficit. Since assuming the throne in 1999, King ABDALLAH has implemented significant economic reforms, such as opening the trade regime, privatizing state-owned companies, and eliminating most fuel subsidies, which in the past few years have spurred economic growth by attracting foreign investment and creating some jobs. The global economic slowdown, however, has depressed Jordan's GDP growth. Export-oriented sectors such as manufacturing, mining, and the transport of re-exports have been hit the hardest. The Government approved two supplementary budgets in 2010, but sweeping tax cuts planned for 2010 did not materialize because of Amman's need for additional revenue to cover excess spending. The budget deficit is likely to remain high, at 5-6% of GDP, and Amman likely will continue to depend heavily on foreign assistance to finance the deficit in 2011. Jordan's financial sector has been relatively isolated from the international financial crisis because of its limited exposure to overseas capital markets. Jordan is currently exploring nuclear power generation to forestall energy shortfalls.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$33.79 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 103 $32.74 billion (2009 est.)
$31.98 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$27.13 billion (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3.2% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 111 2.4% (2009 est.)
5.8% (2008 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$5,300 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 141 $5,200 (2009 est.)
$5,200 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.4%
industry: 30.3%
services: 66.2% (2010 est.)
Labor force:
1.719 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 126
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 2.7%
industry: 20%
services: 77.4% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate:
13.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 139 12.9% (2009 est.)
note: official rate; unofficial rate is approximately 30%
Population below poverty line:
14.2% (2002)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 30.7% (2006)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39.7 (2007) country comparison to the world: 63 36.4 (1997)
Investment (gross fixed):
30.1% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 18
Public debt:
61.4% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 29 64.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 128 -0.7% (2009 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.75% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 73 6.25% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
9.25% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 104 9.03% (31 December 2008 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$9.386 billion (31 December 2010 est) country comparison to the world: 72 $8.437 billion (31 December 2009 est)
Stock of broad money:
$35.53 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 72 $33.38 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$26.85 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 72 $25.14 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$31.86 billion (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 53 $35.85 billion (31 December 2008)
$41.22 billion (31 December 2007)
Agriculture - products:
citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, strawberries, stone fruits; sheep, poultry, dairy
clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
2.7% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 116
Electricity - production:
12.21 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 85
Electricity - consumption:
10.4 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 85
Electricity - exports:
176 million kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
200 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 169
Oil - consumption:
108,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 74
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 190
Oil - imports:
108,200 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 62
Oil - proved reserves:
1 million bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 97
Natural gas - production:
250 million cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 72
Natural gas - consumption:
2.97 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 73
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 83
Natural gas - imports:
2.72 billion cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 42
Natural gas - proved reserves:
6.031 billion cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 87
Current account balance:
-$975 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 135 -$1.27 billion (2009 est.)
$7.333 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 98 $6.366 billion (2009 est.)
Exports - commodities:
clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners:
US 17.13%, Iraq 17%, India 13.59%, Saudi Arabia 10.56%, Syria 4.18%,
UAE 4.09% (2009)
$12.97 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 82 $12.5 billion (2009 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals
Imports - partners:
Saudi Arabia 17.3%, China 10.95%, US 6.94%, Germany 6.29%, Egypt 6.1% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$12.64 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 50 $12.14 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt - external:
$5.522 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 101 $6.766 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$22.19 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 66 $19.76 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Exchange rates:
Jordanian dinars (JOD) per US dollar - 0.709 (2010), 0.709 (2009), 0.709 (2008), 0.709 (2007), 0.709 (2006)
Communications ::Jordan
Telephones - main lines in use:
501,200 (2009) country comparison to the world: 96
Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.014 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 85
Telephone system:
general assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment; microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; growing mobile-cellular usage in both urban and rural areas is reducing use of fixed-line services; Internet penetration remains modest and slow-growing
domestic: 1995 telecommunications law opened all non-fixed-line services to private competition; in 2005, monopoly over fixed-line services terminated and the entire telecommunications sector was opened to competition; currently multiple mobile-cellular providers with subscribership rapidly approaching 100 per 100 persons
international: country code - 962; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) FEA and FLAG Falcon submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 33 (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; participant in Medarabtel (2010)
Broadcast media:
radio and TV dominated by the government-owned Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTV) that operates a main network, a sports network, a film network, and a satellite channel; first independent TV broadcaster aired in 2007; international satellite TV and Israeli and Syrian TV broadcasts are available; roughly 30 radio stations operational with JRTV operating the main government-owned station; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
42,412 (2010) country comparison to the world: 92
Internet users:
1.642 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 78
Transportation ::Jordan
18 (2010) country comparison to the world: 138
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 16
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2010)
1 (2010)
gas 439 km; oil 49 km (2009)
total: 507 km country comparison to the world: 114 narrow gauge: 507 km 1.050-m gauge (2008)
total: 7,891 km country comparison to the world: 143 paved: 7,891 km (2009)
Merchant marine:
total: 13 country comparison to the world: 108 by type: cargo 5, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
foreign-owned: 7 (UAE 7)
registered in other countries: 20 (Bahamas 2, Egypt 2, Panama 13, Syria 2, unknown 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
Al 'Aqabah
Military ::Jordan
Military branches:
Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force (RJLF), Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya, RJAF), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis) (2008)
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 in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps; conscription for males only resurrected in July 2007 in order to provide youth training necessary for job market needs (2010)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,646,215
females age 16-49: 1,579,268 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,416,681
females age 16-49: 1,358,608 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 73,554
female: 69,359 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
8.6% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 5
Transnational Issues ::Jordan
Disputes - international:
approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq, with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan; 2004 Agreement settles border dispute with Syria pending demarcation
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 1,835,704 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)); 500,000 (Iraq)
IDPs: 160,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2007)


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