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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Algeria

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Algeria
Definition Field Listing
After a century of rule by France, Algeria became independent in 1962. The surprising first round success of the fundamentalist FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) party in the December 1991 balloting caused the army to intervene, crack down on the FIS, and postpone the subsequent elections. The FIS response has resulted in a continuous low-grade civil conflict with the secular state apparatus, which nonetheless has allowed elections featuring pro-government and moderate religious-based parties. FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded itself in January 2000 and many armed militants surrendered under an amnesty program designed to promote national reconciliation. Nevertheless, residual fighting continues. Other concerns include Berber unrest, large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, and the need to diversify the petroleum-based economy.
   Geography    Algeria
Definition Field Listing
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
28 00 N, 3 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,381,740 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 2,381,740 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
998 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 3.21%
permanent crops: 0.21%
other: 96.58% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
5,600 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)
   People    Algeria
Definition Field Listing
32,277,942 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 33.5% (male 5,512,369; female 5,311,914)
15-64 years: 62.4% (male 10,175,135; female 9,950,315)
65 years and over: 4.1% (male 610,643; female 717,566) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.68% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
22.34 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.15 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.42 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
39.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 70.24 years
female: 71.67 years (2002 est.)
male: 68.87 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.63 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.07% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
noun: Algerian(s)
adjective: Algerian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
Definition Field Listing
Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.6%
male: 73.9%
female: 49% (1995 est.)
   Government    Algeria
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
conventional short form: Algeria
local short form: Al Jaza'ir
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
48 provinces (wilayas, 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
Definition Field Listing
5 July 1962 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)
Definition Field Listing
19 November 1976, effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, and 28 November 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Ali BENFLIS (since 26 August 2000)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 15 April 1999 (next to be held NA April 2004); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA elected president; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA over 70%; note - his six opposing candidates withdrew on the eve of the election citing electoral fraud
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consists of the National People's Assembly or Al-Majlis Ech-Chaabi Al-Watani (389 seats - changed from 380 seats in the 2002 elections; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Council of Nations (144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote; members serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the council to be renewed every three years)
elections: National People's Assembly - last held 30 May 2002 (next to be held NA 2007); Council of Nations - last held 30 December 2000 (next to be held NA 2003)
election results: National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - FLN 199, RND 48, MRN 43, MSP 38, PT 21, FNA 8, Nahda 1, PRA 1, MEN 1, independents 29; Council of Nations - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RND 79, FLN 12, FFS 4, MSP 1 (remaining 48 seats appointed by the president, party breakdown NA)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa TOUATI]; Democratic National Rally or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA, chairman]; Islamic Salvation Front or FIS (outlawed April 1992) [Ali BELHADJ and Dr. Abassi MADANI (imprisoned), Rabeh KEBIR (self-exile in Germany)]; Movement of a Peaceful Society or MSP [Mahfoud NAHNAH, chairman]; National Entente Movement or MEN [Ali BOUKHAZNA]; National Liberation Front or FLN [Boualem BENHAMOUDA, secretary general]; National Reform Movement or MRN [Abdellah DJABALLAH]; National Renewal Party or PRA [leader NA]; Progressive Republican Party [Khadir DRISS]; Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Said SAADI, secretary general]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda Movement [Lahbib ADAMI]; Social Liberal Party or PSL [Ahmed KHELIL]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait AHMED, secretary general (self-exile in Switzerland)]; Union for Democracy and Liberty [Mouley BOUKHALAFA]; Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUN]
note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Idriss JAZAIRY
chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Janet A. SANDERSON
embassy: 4 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, Algiers
mailing address: B. P. Box 549, Alger-Gare, 16000 Algiers
telephone: [213] (21) 691-425/255/186
FAX: [213] (21) 69-39-79
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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 crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam (the state religion)
   Economy    Algeria
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the fifth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second largest gas exporter; it ranks 14th in oil reserves. Algeria's financial and economic indicators improved during the mid-1990s, in part because of policy reforms supported by the IMF and debt rescheduling from the Paris Club. Algeria's finances in 2000 and 2001 benefited from the temporary spike in oil prices and the government's tight fiscal policy, leading to a large increase in the trade surplus, record highs in foreign exchange reserves, and reduction in foreign debt. The government's continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector has had little success in reducing high unemployment and improving living standards. In 2001, the government signed an Association Treaty with the European Union that will eventually lower tariffs and increase trade.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $177 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.8% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $5,600 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 17%
industry: 33%
services: 50% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
23% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 25% (1995) (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
35 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
9.4 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
government 29%, agriculture 25%, construction and public works 15%, industry 11%, other 20% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
34% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $20.3 billion
expenditures: $18.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.8 billion (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
6% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
23.556 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
21.847 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
210 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
150 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle
Definition Field Listing
$19.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Italy 23%, Spain 13%, US 13%, France 11%, Brazil 7%, (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$10.6 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital goods, food and beverages, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 29%, US 9%, Italy 8%, Germany 6%, Spain 5% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$24.7 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$100 million (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Algerian dinar (DZD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Algerian dinars per US dollar - 77.889 (January 2002), 77.215 (2001), 75.260 (2000), 66.574 (1999), 58.739 (1998), 57.707 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Algeria
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
2.3 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
33,500 (1999)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: telephone density in Algeria is very low, not exceeding five telephones per 100 persons; the number of fixed main lines increased in the last few years to a little more than 2,000,000, but only about two-thirds of these have subscribers; much of the infrastructure is outdated and inefficient
domestic: good service in north but sparse in south; domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations (20 additional domestic earth stations are planned)
international: 5 submarine cables; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik, and 1 Arabsat (1998)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)
Definition Field Listing
7.1 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)
Definition Field Listing
3.1 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
2 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
180,000 (2001)
   Transportation    Algeria
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,820 km
standard gauge: 3,664 km 1.435-m gauge (301 km electrified; 215 km double-track)
narrow gauge: 1,156 km 1.055-m gauge (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
total: 104,000 km
paved: 71,656 km (including 640 km of expressways)
unpaved: 32,344 km (1996 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 6,612 km; petroleum products 298 km; natural gas 2,948 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Beni Saf, Dellys, Djendjene, Ghazaouet, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda, Tenes
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 73 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 903,944 GRT/1,051,433 DWT
ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 25, chemical tanker 7, liquefied gas 10, petroleum tanker 5, roll on/roll off 12, short-sea passenger 4, specialized tanker 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: United Arab Emirates 2 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
136 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 54
over 3,047 m: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 82
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
under 914 m: 19 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 38
Definition Field Listing
1 (2002)
   Military    Algeria
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Peoples National Army (ANP), Algerian National Navy (ANN), Air Force, Territorial Air Defense, National Gendarmerie
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
19 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 9,016,048 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 5,513,317 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 388,939 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$1.87 billion (FY99)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
4.1% (FY99)
   Transnational Issues    Algeria
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
part of southeastern region claimed by Libya; Algeria supports exiled West Saharan Polisario Front and rejects Moroccan administration of Western Sahara

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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