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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January, 2004
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2004.

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004

Map of Jordan

Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   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, despite several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he reinstituted parliamentary elections and gradually political liberalization; in 1994 he signed a formal peace treaty 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 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 and government appointed in October 2003 declared their commitment to accelerated economic and political reforms and the new cabinet includes an unprecedented three women as ministers.
   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 Rank Order
total: 92,300 sq km
land: 91,971 sq km
water: 329 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: 2.67%
permanent crops: 1.83%
other: 95.5% (2001)
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, 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 Rank Order
5,611,202 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 35.2% (male 1,009,604; female 967,645)
15-64 years: 61.1% (male 1,829,984; female 1,598,141)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 100,896; female 104,932) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 22.2 years
male: 22.8 years
female: 21.5 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.67% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.73 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.62 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
6.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female
total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 18.11 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.63 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.37 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 78.06 years
male: 75.59 years
female: 80.69 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.86 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 1,000
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
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: 91.3%
male: 95.9%
female: 86.3% (2003 est.)
   Government    Jordan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
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:
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
18 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 Faisal al-FAYEZ (since 25 October 2003)
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-Ayan) (55 seats; members 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) (110 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms; note - six seats are reserved for women and are allocated by a special electoral panel if no women are elected)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 17 June 2003 (next to be held NA 2007)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - independents and others 89.6%, Islamic Action Front 10.4%; seats by party - independents and others 92, Islamic Action Front 18; note - one of the six quota seats was given to a female IAF candidate
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; political parties were not legalized until 1992; King ABDALLAH delayed the 2001 elections until 2003
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]; Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH, secretary general]; Constitutional Front [Mahdi al-TALL, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DHIYAB, secretary general]; Jordanian Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic (Hashd) Party [Salim al-NAHHAS, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Hazma MANSOUR, secretary general]; National Action (Haqq) Party [Muhammad al-ZUBI, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; (Arab) Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysif al-HIMSI, secretary general]; Pan-Arab (Democratic) Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI, secretary general]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Anti-Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordanian Bar Association [Saleh ARMOUTI, president]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]
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
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires 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) 592-0101
FAX: [962] (6) 592-4102
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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:
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 substantial headway with privatization. The government also has liberalized the trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan's membership in the WTrO (2000), a free trade accord with the US (2000), and an association agreement with the EU (2001). These measures have helped improve productivity and have put Jordan on the foreign investment map. The US-led war in Iraq in 2003 dealt an economic blow to Jordan, which was dependent on Iraq for discounted oil (worth $300-$600 million a year). Several Gulf nations have provided temporary aid to compensate for the loss of this oil; when this foreign aid expires, the Jordanian government has pledged to raise retail petroleum product prices and the sales tax base. Other ongoing challenges include fiscal adjustment to reduce the budget deficit, broader investment incentives to promote job-creating ventures, and the encouragement of tourism.
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $23.64 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.1% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $4,300 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 3.6%
industry: 29%
services: 67.4% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
18.8% of GDP (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 29.8% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
36.4 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.4% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.36 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 5%, industry 12.5%, services 82.5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16% official rate; actual rate is 25%-30% (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.397 billion
expenditures: $3.587 billion, including capital expenditures of $582 million (2004 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
92.7% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry
Definition Field Listing
phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.5% (2004 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.091 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.86 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
2 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
267 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
40 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
103,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
445,000 bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
290 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
290 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.256 billion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$903 million (2004 est.)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.908 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
clothing, phosphates, fertilizers, potash, vegetables, manufactures, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 21.5%, Iraq 17.6%, Switzerland 6.5%, India 6.5%, Saudi Arabia 5.3% (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$4.946 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transport equipment, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Saudi Arabia 11.3%, China 7.9%, Germany 7.9%, US 6.8%, Iraq 6.5% (2003)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.364 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.683 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $553 million (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.709 (2003), 0.709 (2002), 0.709 (2001), 0.709 (2000), 0.709 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Jordan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
622,600 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,325,300 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
20 (plus 96 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,160 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
457,000 (2003)
   Transportation    Jordan
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 505 km
narrow gauge: 505 km 1.050-m gauge (2003)
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 7,245 km
paved: 7,245 km
unpaved: 0 km (2000)
Definition Field Listing
gas 10 km; oil 743 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Al 'Aqabah
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 78,814 GRT/92,695 DWT
by type: cargo 2, container 1, roll on/roll off 5, short-sea/passenger 1
foreign-owned: Greece 6
registered in other countries: 11 (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
17 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Definition Field Listing
1 (2003 est.)
   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
17 years of age (conscription at age 18 was suspended in 1999, although all males under age 37 are required to register; recruits are accepted from age 17) (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,636,537 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,153,385 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 59,471 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2,043.2 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.2% (2003)
   Transnational Issues    Jordan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
refugees: 1,740,170 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
IDPs: 800,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2004)

This page was last updated on 30 November, 2004

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