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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 Jordan

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Jordan
Definition Field Listing
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, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty was signed 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 established his domestic priorities, including an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in January 2000, and signed free trade agreements with the United States in 2000, and with the European Free Trade Association in 2001.
   Geography    Jordan
Definition Field Listing
Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
31 00 N, 36 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Middle East
Definition Field Listing
total: 92,300 sq km
water: 329 sq km
land: 91,971 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,635 km
border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
Definition Field Listing
26 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 3 NM
Definition Field Listing
mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
Definition Field Listing
mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Jabal Ram 1,734 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
phosphates, potash, shale oil
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 2.87%
permanent crops: 1.52%
other: 95.61% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
750 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
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
Definition Field Listing
5,307,470 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 36.6% (male 991,370; female 949,247)
15-64 years: 60% (male 1,698,568; female 1,485,261)
65 years and over: 3.4% (male 90,186; female 92,838) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.89% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
24.58 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.62 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
19.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 77.71 years
female: 80.3 years (2002 est.)
male: 75.26 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.15 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.02% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Definition Field Listing
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.)
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.6%
male: 93.4%
female: 79.4% (1995 est.)
   Government    Jordan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form: Jordan
local short form: Al Urdun
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
former: Transjordan
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional monarchy
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba
Definition Field Listing
25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
Definition Field Listing
8 January 1952
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Islamic law and French codes; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HAMZAH (half brother of the monarch, born 29 March 1980)
head of government: Prime Minister Ali Abul RAGHEB (since 19 June 2000)
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:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables (Majlis al-Aayan), a 40-member body 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), an 80-member body elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms
elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 1997 (November 2001 election postponed, next scheduled to be held in June 2003)
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
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - National Constitutional Party 2, Arab Land Party 1, independents 75, other 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Al-Umma (Nation) Party [Ahmad al-HANANDEH, secretary general]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Muhammad al-'ORAN, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DHIYAB, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Abd al latif al-ARABIYAT, secretary general]; National Action (Haqq) Party [Muhammad al-ZUBI, secretary general]; (Arab) Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysif al-HIMSI, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic (Hashd) Party [Salim al-NAHHAS, secretary general]; Pan-Arab (Democratic) Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI, secretary general]; Constitutional Front [Mahdi al-TALL, secretary general]; Jordanian Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI, secretary general]; Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH, secretary general]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]; Anti-Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordanian Bar Association [Saleh ARMOUTI, president]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Karim Tawfiq KAWAR
chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Edward William GNEHM, Jr.
embassy: Abdoun, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, APO AE 09892-0200
telephone: [962] (6) 5920101
FAX: [962] (6) 5920121
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of black (top, the Abbassid Caliphate of Islam), white (the Ummayyad Caliphate of Islam), and green (the Fatimid Caliphate of Islam) with a red isosceles triangle (representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916) based on the hoist side 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
   Economy    Jordan
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
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 significant headway with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan's membership in the WTrO (2000), an association agreement with the EU (2000), and a free trade accord with US (2000). These measures have helped improve productivity and have put Jordan on the foreign investment map. The substantial trade deficit is covered by tourism receipts, worker remittances, and foreign assistance. Ongoing challenges include fiscal adjustment to reduce the budget deficit and broader investment incentives to promote job-creating ventures.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $22.8 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
3.5% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $4,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 4%
industry: 26%
services: 70% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 30% (1997) (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
36 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
3.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
1.26 million
note: in addition, at least 300,000 workers are employed abroad (2001)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
services 83%, industry 13%, agriculture 5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
16% official rate; actual rate is 25%-30% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.9 billion
expenditures: $3.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.1% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
6.932 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 99%
hydro: 1%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
7.092 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
5 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
650 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry
Definition Field Listing
$2.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
India 11.4%, US 9.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.6%, Israel 3.7% (2001)
Definition Field Listing
$4.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, food, live animals, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Germany 8.8%, US 7.8%, Italy 5.6%, France 5.5% (2001)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$8.2 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $600 million (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.7090 (1996-present )
note: since May 1989, the Jordanian dinar has been pegged to a group of currencies
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Jordan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
403,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
11,500 (1995)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: service has improved recently with the 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: 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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1999)
Definition Field Listing
1.66 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
20 (plus 96 repeaters) (1995)
Definition Field Listing
500,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
5 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
212,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Jordan
Definition Field Listing
total: 677 km
narrow gauge: 677 km 1.050-m gauge (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 8,000 km
paved: 8,000 km
unpaved: 0 km (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 209 km; note - may not be in use
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Al 'Aqabah
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 41,206 GRT/53,401 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, cargo 3, container 1, roll on/roll off 2
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Greece 6 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
18 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
2 (2002)
   Military    Jordan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Naval Force, Royal Jordanian Air Force, and Special Operations Command or Socom); note - Public Security Directorate normally falls under Ministry of Interior but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,517,751 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,073,991 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 57,131 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$757.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
8.6% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Jordan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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