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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 countrys 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, 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 fathers 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 November 2005 stated the government would focus on political reforms, improving conditions for the poor, and fighting corruption.

Location - Jordan:


Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates

31 00 N, 36 00 E

Map references

Middle East


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


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 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:


6,053,193 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 33% (male 1,018,934/female 977,645)
15-64 years: 63% (male 2,037,550/female 1,777,361)
65 years and over: 4% (male 117,279/female 124,424) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 23.5 years
male: 24.1 years
female: 22.8 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

2.412% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

20.69 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

2.68 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

6.11 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.042 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.146 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.943 male(s)/female
total population: 1.102 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 16.16 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 19.33 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 12.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 78.55 years
male: 76.04 years
female: 81.22 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.55 children born/woman (2007 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.)


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.)

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 Thursday in March; ends last Friday in September

Administrative divisions

12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al Aqabah, Al Balqa, Al Karak, Al Mafraq, Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa, Irbid, Jarash, Maan, 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); Prince HUSSEIN (born 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH, is first in line to inherit the throne
head of government: Prime Minister Marouf al-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 or Majlis al-Ayan (55 seats; members appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (110 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms; note - 6 seats are reserved for women and are allocated by a special electoral panel if no women are elected)
elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held 17 June 2003 (next to be held in 2007)
election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - independents and other 84.6%, IAF 15.4%; seats by party - independents and other 88, IAF 16; note - six women were appointed to fill the womans quota seats, including one female member of the IAF

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]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Ayishah Salih HIJAZAYN]; Arab Socialist Bath Party [Taysir al-HIMSI]; Bath Arab Progressive Party [Fuad DABBUR]; Freedom Party; Future Party; Islamic Action Front or IAF [Zaki Saed BANI IRSHEID]; Islamic Center Party [Marwan al-FAURI]; Jordanian Arab Ansar Party; Jordanian Arab New Dawn Party; Jordanian Arab Party; Jordanian Citizens Rights Movement; Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH]; Jordanian Communist Workers Party; Jordanian Democratic Left Party [Musa MAAYTEH]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Said Dhiyab Ali MUSTAFA]; Jordanian Generations Party [Muhammad KHALAYLEH]; Jordanian Green Party [Muhammad BATAYNEH]; Jordanian Labor Party [Dr. Mazin Sulayman Jiryis HANNA]; Jordanian Peace Party; Jordanian Peoples Committees Movement; Jordanian Peoples Democratic Party (Hashd) [Ahmad YUSUF]; Jordanian Rafah Party; Jordanian Renaissance Party; Mission Party; Nation Party [Ahmad al-HANANDEH]; National Action Party (Haqq) [Tariq al-KAYYALI]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI]; National Popular Democratic Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI]; Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Anti-Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordan Bar Association [Hussein Mujalli, chairman]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Salem AL-FALAHAT, controller general]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador ZEID Raad Zeid al-Hussein, Prince
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 David M. HALE
embassy: Abdoun, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, APO 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

Economy - Jordan:

Economy overview

Jordan is a small Arab country with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation 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. Since Jordans graduation from its most recent IMF program in 2002, Amman has continued to follow IMF guidelines, practicing careful monetary policy, and making substantial headway with privatization. In 2006, Jordan reduced its debt to GDP ratio significantly. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordans 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, and has forced the Jordanian Government to raise retail petroleum product prices and the sales tax base. Jordans 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 attracting investment to promote job creation.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$30 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$12.52 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

6.3% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$5,100 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 30.5%
services: 65.9% (2006 est.)

Labor force

1.512 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 5%
industry: 12.5%
services: 82.5% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate

15.4% official rate; unofficial rate is approximately 30% (2006 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

6.3% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

24.8% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $4.88 billion
expenditures: $5.51 billion; including capital expenditures of $1.092 billion (2006 est.)

Public debt

72.2% of GDP (30 September 2006 est.)

Agriculture products

citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives; sheep, poultry, stone fruits, strawberries, dairy


clothing, phosphate mining, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate

4.6% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

8.431 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

8.387 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

4 million kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

550 million kWh (2004)

Oil production

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil consumption

107,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil exports

0 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil imports

106,400 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil proved reserves

1 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

310 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

1.41 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

1.1 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

6.23 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$2.834 billion (2006 est.)


$4.798 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

clothing, pharmaceuticals, potash, phosphates, fertilizers, vegetables, manufactures

Exports partners

US 25.3%, Iraq 17%, India 8.1%, Saudi Arabia 5.8%, Syria 4.7% (2006)


$10.42 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods

Imports partners

Saudi Arabia 22.9%, Germany 8.1%, China 7.9%, US 5.2% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$6.57 billion (October 2006)

Debt external

$7.3 billion (31 September 2006)

Economic aid recipient

ODA, $752 million (2005 est.)

Currency code

Jordanian dinar (JOD)

Exchange rates

Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.709 (2006), 0.709 (2005), 0.709 (2004), 0.709 (2003), 0.709 (2002)

Communications - Jordan:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

614,000 (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

4.343 million (2006)

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


Internet hosts

3,441 (2006)

Internet users

796,900 (2006)

Transportation - Jordan:


17 (2006)

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 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2006)


1 (2006)


gas 426 km; oil 49 km (2006)


total: 505 km
narrow gauge: 505 km 1.050-m gauge (2006)


total: 7,500 km
paved: 7,500 km (2004)

Merchant marine

total: 25 ships (1000 GRT or over) 346,698 GRT/501,060 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 2, cargo 9, container 2, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 4
foreign-owned: 11 (UAE 11)
registered in other countries: 15 (Bahamas 2, Panama 13) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Al Aqabah

Military - Jordan:

Military branches

Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations) (2006)

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 percent of gdp

8.6% (2006)

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

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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