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Jordan



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Introduction

Background: For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King HUSSEIN (1953-1999). 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.

Geography

Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates: 31 00 N, 36 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area
  total: 89,213 sq km
  land: 88,884 sq km
  water: 329 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries
  total: 1,619 km
  border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 728 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km

Coastline: 26 km

Maritime claims
  territorial sea: 3 nm

Climate: mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)

Terrain: 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: 4%
  permanent crops: 1%
  permanent pastures: 9%
  forests and woodland: 1%
  other: 85% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 630 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: NA

Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements
  party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, 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

People

Population: 4,998,564 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure
  0-14 years: 38% (male 968,579; female 925,987)
  15-64 years: 59% (male 1,568,615; female 1,374,303)
  65 years and over: 3% (male 79,748; female 81,332) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.1% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 26.24 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 2.63 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 7.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
  total population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 21.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 77.36 years
  male: 74.94 years
  female: 79.93 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.44 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality
  noun: Jordanian(s)
  adjective: Jordanian

Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%

Religions: Sunni Muslim 96%, Christian 4% (1997 est.)

Languages: Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes

Literacy
  definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 86.6%
  male: 93.4%
  female: 79.4% (1995 est.)

Government

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

Data code: JO

Government type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Amman

Administrative divisions: 12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba

Independence: 25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May (1946)

Constitution: 8 January 1952

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

Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: King ABDALLAH bin al Hussein (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HAMZAH bin al Hussein (half brother of the King, born 29 March 1980)
  head of government: Prime Minister Abdur-Rauf RAWABDEH (since 4 March 1999)
  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 (a 40-member body appointed by the monarch from designated categories of public figures; members serve four-year terms) and the House of Representatives (80 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
  elections: House of Representatives - last held 4 November 1997 (next to be held NA November 2001)
  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 (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)

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal)

Political parties and leaders: Al-Ahrar (Freedom) Party [Dr. Ahmad ZO'BI, secretary general]; Arab Ba'th Progressive Party [Mahmoud al-MA'AYTAH, secretary general]; Arab Islamic Democratic Party (Doa'a) [Yousif ABU BAKR, secretary general]; Arab Jordanian Ansar Party [Muhammad MAJALI, secretary general]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Muhammad al-'ORAN, secretary general]; Democratic Party of the Left [Musa MA'AITAH, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Abd-al-Latif ARABIYAT, secretary general]; Jordanian Arab Constitutional Front Party [Milhem TELL, secretary general]; Jordanian Arab New Dawn Party [leader NA]; Jordanian Ba'th Arab Socialist Party [Tayseer al-HOMSI, secretary general]; Jordanian Communist Party [Ya'acoub ZAYADIN, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'eed MUSTAPHA, secretary general]; Jordanian Labor Party [Muhammad KHATAYIBAH, secretary general]; Jordanian Peace Party [Dr. Shaher KHREIS, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic Party or HASHD [Salem NAHHAS, secretary general]; Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Party [Suleiman 'ARAR, secretary general]; National Action Party or Haqq [Muhammad ZO'BI, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; National Democratic Public Movement Party [Muhammad al-'AMER, secretary general]; Progressive Party [Na'el BARAKAT, secretary general]; Al-Umma (Nation) Party [Ahmad HNEIDI, secretary general]; The Generations [Hamad al-KHALAYLA, chairman]

Political pressure groups and leaders: Council of Professional Association Presidents [Ahmad al-QADIRI, chairman]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Marwan Jamil MUASHER
  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 William BURNS
  embassy: Abdoum, Amman
  mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; APO AE 09892-0200
  telephone: [962] (6) 5920101
  FAX: [962] (6) 5927712

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), white, and green with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a small white seven-pointed star; the seven points on the star represent the seven fundamental laws of the Koran

Economy

Economy - overview: Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil. The Persian Gulf crisis, which began in August 1990, aggravated Jordan's already serious economic problems, forcing the government to shelve the IMF program, stop most debt payments, and suspend rescheduling negotiations. Aid from Gulf Arab states, worker remittances, and trade contracted; and refugees flooded the country, producing serious balance-of-payments problems, stunting GDP growth, and straining government resources. The economy rebounded in 1992, largely due to the influx of capital repatriated by workers returning from the Gulf. After averaging 9% in 1992-95, GDP growth averaged only 2% during 1996-99. In an attempt to spur growth, King ABDALLAH has undertaken limited economic reform, including partial privatization of some state owned enterprises and Jordan's entry in January 2000 into the World Trade Organization (WTrO). Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental ongoing economic problems.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $16 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 3%
  industry: 25%
  services: 72% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: 30% (1998 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: 2.4%
  highest 10%: 34.7% (1991)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 1.15 million (Note: in addition, at least 300,000 workers are employed abroad (1997 est.))

Labor force - by occupation: industry 11.4%, commerce, restaurants, and hotels 10.5%, construction 10%, transport and communications 8.7%, agriculture 7.4%, other services 52% (1992)

Unemployment rate: 15% official rate; actual rate is 25%-30% (1999 est.)

Budget
  revenues: $2.8 billion
  expenditures: $3.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries: phosphate mining, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: -3.4% (1996)

Electricity - production: 6.08 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 99.51%
  hydro: 0.49%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 6.102 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 2 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 450 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry

Exports: $1.8 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures

Exports - partners: Iraq, India, Saudi Arabia, EU, Indonesia, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Ethiopia

Imports: $3.3 billion (c.i.f., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, food, live animals, manufactured goods

Imports - partners: Germany, Iraq, US, Japan, UK, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia, Syria, China

Debt - external: $8.4 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $850 million (1996 est.)

Currency: 1 Jordanian dinar (JD) = 1,000 fils

Exchange rates: Jordanian dinars (JD) per US$1 - 0.7090 (January 2000-1996), 0.7005 (1995) (Note: since May 1989, the dinar has been pegged to a group of currencies)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 402,600 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular: 75,000 (1999)

Telephone system: 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 is made 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: AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1999)

Radios: 1.66 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 8 (plus approximately 42 repeaters and 1 TV receive-only satellite link) (1999)

Televisions: 500,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 8 (1999)

Transportation

Railways
  total: 677 km
  narrow gauge: 677 km 1.050-m gauge (2000)

Highways
  total: 8,000 km
  paved: 8,000 km
  unpaved: 0 km (2000 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 209 km; note - may not be in use

Ports and harbors: Al 'Aqabah

Merchant marine
  total: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 42,746 GRT/59,100 DWT
  ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 2, container 1, livestock carrier 1, roll-on/roll-off 1 (1999 est.)

Airports: 20 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 16
  over 3,047 m: 9
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
  under 914 m: 3 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 4
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
  914 to 1,523 m: 1
  under 914 m: 2 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF; includes Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Naval Force, and Royal Jordanian Air Force); Badiya (irregular) Border Guards; Ministry of the Interior's Public Security Force (falls under JAF only in wartime or crisis situations)

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 1,399,138 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 993,730 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually
  males: 55,742 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $608.9 million (FY98)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 7.8% (FY98)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

 

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