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JORDAN
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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 1,754 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

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Population: 4,434,978 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 985,211; female 935,982)
15-64 years: 54% (male 1,224,595; female 1,160,915)
65 years and over: 3% (male 64,406; female 63,869) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.54% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 35.18 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 3.91 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -5.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 33.29 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.84 years
male: 70.96 years
female: 74.84 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.79 children born/woman (1998 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

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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

National 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 HUSSEIN bin Talal Al-Hashimi (since 2 May 1953)
head of government: Prime Minister Abd al-Salam al-MAJALI (since 19 March 1997)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the king
elections: none; the king is a constitutional monarch; prime minister appointed by the king

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate (a 40-member body appointed by the king 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 king several times since 1974; in November 1989 the first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation

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; Islamic Action Front, Dr. Ishaq al-FARHAN, secretary general; Jordanian Arab Constitutional Front Party, Milhem TELL, secretary general; 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 (HASHD), Salem NAHHAS, secretary general; Jordanian Unitary Democratic Party, Mousa al-MA'AYTAH, secretary general; Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Party, Suleiman 'ARAR, secretary general; National Action Party (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

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

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marwan Jamil MUASHIR
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 Wesley W. EGAN, Jr.
embassy: Jabel Amman, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; APO AE 09892-0200
telephone: [962] (6) 820101
FAX: [962] (6) 820159

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

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Economy—overview: Jordan is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil and coal. Jordan benefited from increased Arab aid during the oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when its annual real GNP growth averaged more than 10%. In the remainder of the 1980s, however, reductions in both Arab aid and worker remittances slowed real economic growth to an average of roughly 2% per year. Imports—mainly oil, capital goods, consumer durables, and food—outstripped exports, with the difference covered by aid, remittances, and borrowing. In mid-1989, the Jordanian Government began debt-rescheduling negotiations and agreed to implement an IMF-supported program designed to gradually reduce the budget deficit and implement badly needed structural reforms. The Persian Gulf crisis that began in August 1990, however, 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, but recovery was uneven in 1994-97. The government is implementing the reform program adopted in 1992 and continues to secure rescheduling and write-offs of its heavy foreign debt. Debt, poverty, and unemployment remain Jordan's biggest on-going problems.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$20.7 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 5.3% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$4,800 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry: 30%
services: 64% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 1.15 million plus 300,000 foreign workers (1997 est.)
by occupation: industry 11.4%, commerce, restaurants, and hotels 10.5%, construction 10.0%, transport and communications 8.7%, agriculture 7.4%, other services 52.0% (1992)

Unemployment rate: 15% official rate; note—actual rate is 20%-25% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $2.7 billion
expenditures: $2.8 billion, including capital expenditures of $630 million (1997 est.)

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

Industrial production growth rate: -3.4% (1996)

Electricity—capacity: 1.066 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 5.02 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 1,259 kWh (1995)

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

Exports:
total value: $1.53 billion (f.o.b., 1997)
commodities: phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures
partners: Iraq, India, Saudi Arabia, EU, Indonesia, UAE

Imports:
total value: $3.7 billion (c.i.f., 1997)
commodities: crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, food, live animals, manufactured goods
partners: EU, Iraq, US, Japan, Turkey

Debt—external: $7.3 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $424 million (1996)

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

Exchange rates: Jordanian dinars (JD) per US$1—0.7090 (January 1998-1996), 0.7005 (1995), 0.6987 (1994), 0.6928 (1993)
note: since May 1989, the dinar has been pegged to a basket of currencies

Fiscal year: calendar year

 
Communications

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Telephones: 81,500 (1987 est.)

Telephone system: adequate telephone system
domestic: microwave radio relay, cable, and radiotelephone links
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria; microwave radio relay to Lebanon is inactive; participant in Medarabtel

Radio broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 7, shortwave 0

Radios: 1.1 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 8 and 1 TV receive-only satellite link

Televisions: 350,000 (1992 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 676 km
narrow gauge: 676 km 1.050-m gauge; note—an additional 110 km stretch of the old Hejaz railroad is out of use

Highways:
total: 6,640 km
paved: 6,640 km
unpaved: 0 km (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 209 km

Ports and harbors: Al 'Aqabah

Merchant marine:
total: 4 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 43,759 GRT/69,795 DWT
ships by type: bulk 3, cargo 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 17 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 14
over 3,047 m: 9
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (1997 est.)

 

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