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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 Morocco

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Morocco
Definition Field Listing
Morocco's long struggle for independence from France ended in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier was turned over to the new country that same year. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature in 1997.
   Geography    Morocco
Definition Field Listing
Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
32 00 N, 5 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 446,550 sq km
land: 446,300 sq km
water: 250 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than California
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2,017.9 km
border countries: Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km
Definition Field Listing
1,835 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
contiguous zone: 24 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Definition Field Listing
Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
Definition Field Listing
northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
highest point: Jbel Toubkal 4,165 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 20.12%
permanent crops: 2.05%
other: 77.83% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
12,910 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar
   People    Morocco
Definition Field Listing
31,167,783 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 33.8% (male 5,364,948; female 5,166,666)
15-64 years: 61.5% (male 9,518,503; female 9,640,292)
65 years and over: 4.7% (male 661,054; female 816,320) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.68% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
23.69 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.86 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-1.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
46.49 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 69.73 years
female: 72.08 years (2002 est.)
male: 67.49 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.97 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.03% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
noun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%
Definition Field Listing
Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43.7%
male: 56.6%
female: 31% (1995 est.)
   Government    Morocco
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local short form: Al Maghrib
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional monarchy
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
37 provinces and 2 wilayas*; Agadir, Al Hoceima, Azilal, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane, Casablanca*, Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Er Rachidia, Essaouira, Fes, Figuig, Guelmim, Ifrane, Kenitra, Khemisset, Khenifra, Khouribga, Laayoune, Larache, Marrakech, Meknes, Nador, Ouarzazate, Oujda, Rabat-Sale*, Safi, Settat, Sidi Kacem, Tanger, Tan-Tan, Taounate, Taroudannt, Tata, Taza, Tetouan, Tiznit
note: three additional provinces of Ad Dakhla (Oued Eddahab), Boujdour, and Es Smara as well as parts of Tan-Tan and Laayoune fall within Moroccan-claimed Western Sahara; decentralization/regionalization law passed by the legislature in March 1997 created many new provinces/regions; specific details and scope of the reorganization not yet available
Definition Field Listing
2 March 1956 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999)
Definition Field Listing
10 March 1972, revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court
Definition Field Listing
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: King MOHAMED VI (since 23 July 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Driss JETTOU (since 9 October 2002)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consists of an upper house or Chamber of Counselors (270 seats; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates for nine-year terms; one-third of the members are renewed every three years) and a lower house or Chamber of Representatives (325 seats; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Counselors - last held 15 September 2000 (next to be held NA 2003); Chamber of Representatives - last held 27 September 2002 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: Chamber of Counselors - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - USFP 50, IP 48, PJD 42, RNI 41, MP 27, MNP 18, UC 16, FFD 12, PND 12, PPS 11, UD 10, MDS 7, PSD 6, Al Ahd 5, ADL 4, GSU 3, PML 3, PRD 3, FC 2, PDI 2, PED 2, CNI 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court (judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Action Party or PA [Muhammad EL IDRISSI]; Alliance of Liberties or ADL [Ali BELHAJ]; Annahj Addimocrati or Annahj [Abdellah EL HARIF]; Avant Garde Social Democratic Party or PADS [Ahmed BENJELLOUN]; Citizen Forces or FC [Abderrahman LAHJOUJI]; Citizen's Initiatives for Development [Mohamed BENHAMOU]; Constitutional Union or UC [Mohamed ABIED (interim)]; Democratic and Independence Party or PDI [Abdelwahed MAACH]; Democratic and Social Movement or MDS [Mahmoud ARCHANE]; Democratic Socialist Party or PSD [Aissa OUARDIGHI]; Democratic Union or UD [Bouazza IKKEN]; Environment and Development Party or PED [Ahmed EL ALAMI]; Front of Democratic Forces or FFD [Thami EL KHYARI]; Istiqlal Party (Independence Party) or IP [Abbas El FASSI]; Justice and Development Party (note - formerly the Party of Justice and Development) or PJD [Abdelkrim EL KHATIB]; Moroccan Liberal Party or PML [Mohamed ZIANE]; National Democratic Party or PND [Abdallah KADIRI]; National Ittihadi Congress Party or CNI [Abdelmajid BOUZOUBAA]; National Popular Movement or MNP [Mahjoubi AHERDANE]; National Rally of Independents or RNI [Ahmed OSMAN]; National Union of Popular Forces or UNFP [Abdellah IBRAHIM]; Parti Al Ahd or Al Ahd [Najib EL OUAZZANI, chairman]; Party of Progress and Socialism or PPS [Ismail ALAOUI]; Party of Renewent and Equity or PRE [Chakir ACHABAR]; Party of the Unified Socialist Left or GSU [Mohamed Ben Said AIT IDDER]; Popular Movement or MP [Mohamed LAENSER]; Reform and Development Party or PRD [Abderrahmane EL KOUHEN]; Social Center Party or PSC [Lahcen MADIH]; Socialist Union of Popular Forces or USFP [Abderrahman EL-YOUSSOUFI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir AMAOUI]; General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Abderrazzak AFILAL]; Moroccan Employers Association or CGEM [leader NA]; National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Abdelslam MAATI]; Union of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Mahjoub BENSEDDIK]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Aziz MEKOUAR
consulate(s) general: New York
FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979 through 7982
chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ms. Margaret TUTWILER
embassy: 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat
mailing address: PSC 74, Box 021, APO AE 90718
telephone: [212] (37) 76 22 65
FAX: [212] (37) 76 56 61
consulate(s) general: Casablanca
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Solomon's seal in the center of the flag; green is the traditional color of Islam
   Economy    Morocco
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Morocco faces the problems typical of developing countries - restraining government spending, reducing constraints on private activity and foreign trade, and achieving sustainable economic growth. Following structural adjustment programs supported by the IMF, World Bank, and the Paris Club, the dirham is now fully convertible for current account transactions, and reforms of the financial sector have been implemented. Droughts depressed activity in the key agricultural sector and contributed to a stagnant economy in 1999 and 2000. During that time, however, Morocco reported large foreign exchange inflows from the sale of a mobile telephone license and partial privatization of the state-owned telecommunications company. Favorable rainfall in 2001 led to a growth of 5%. Formidable long-term challenges include: servicing the external debt; preparing the economy for freer trade with the EU; and improving education and attracting foreign investment to boost living standards and job prospects for Morocco's youth.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $112 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $3,700 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 15%
industry: 33%
services: 52% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
19% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 31% (1998-99)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
40 (1998-99 )
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
1% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
11 million (1999) (1999)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 50%, services 35%, industry 15% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
23% (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $13.8 billion
expenditures: $14.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.1 billion (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.5% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
14.243 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 91%
hydro: 9%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
14.346 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
1.1 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock
Definition Field Listing
$8.2 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
phosphates and fertilizers, food and beverages, minerals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 26%, Spain 10%, UK 8%, Italy 6%, Germany 5%, India 5%, US 5% (2000)
Definition Field Listing
$12.4 billion f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
semiprocessed goods, machinery and equipment, food and beverages, consumer goods, fuel
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 25%, Spain 11%, Germany 6%, Italy 6%, UK 5%, US 5% (2000)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$19 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$565.6 million (1995) (1995)
Definition Field Listing
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 11.584 (January 2002), 11.303 (2001), 10.626 (2000), 9.804 (1999), 9.604 (1998), 9.527 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Morocco
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
1.391 million (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
116,645 (1998)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern system with all important capabilities; however density is low with only 4.6 main lines available for each 100 persons
domestic: good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; Internet available but expensive; principal switching centers are Casablanca and Rabat; national network nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links; improved rural service employs microwave radio relay
international: 7 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria; participant in Medarabtel; fiber-optic cable link from Agadir to Algeria and Tunisia (1998)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 27, FM 25, shortwave 6 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
6.64 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
35 (plus 66 repeaters) (1995)
Definition Field Listing
3.1 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
8 (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
400,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Morocco
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,907 km
standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1,003 km electrified; 540 km double-tracked) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 57,847 km
paved: 30,254 km (including 327 km of expressways)
unpaved: 27,593 km (1998)
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 362 km; petroleum products 491 km (abandoned); natural gas 241 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Agadir, El Jadida, Casablanca, El Jorf Lasfar, Kenitra, Mohammedia, Nador, Rabat, Safi, Tangier; also Spanish-controlled Ceuta and Melilla
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 227,364 GRT/277,306 DWT
ships by type: cargo 10, chemical tanker 6, container 6, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 8, short-sea passenger 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Germany 1, Hong Kong 1, Netherlands 2, Norway 2 (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
67 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 26
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 37
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
under 914 m: 11 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 14
Definition Field Listing
1 (2002)
   Military    Morocco
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Royal Armed Forces (includes Army, Navy, Air Force), Gendarmerie, Auxiliary Forces
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 8,393,772 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 5,289,283 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 348,380 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$1.4 billion (FY99/00)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
4% (FY99/00)
   Transnational Issues    Morocco
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty remains unresolved; UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties reject other proposals; Spain controls three small possessions off the coast of Morocco - the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas and two autonomous communities on the coast of Morrocco - Ceuta and Mellila; Morocco rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands in 2002 to explore undersea resources and to interdict illegal refugees from Africa
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
illicit producer of hashish; trafficking increasing for both domestic and international drug markets; shipments of hashish mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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