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Geography

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara

Geographic coordinates: 32 00 N, 5 00 W

Map references: Africa

Area:
total: 446,550 sq km
land: 446,300 sq km
water: 250 sq km

Area—comparative: slightly larger than California

Land boundaries:
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

Coastline: 1,835 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior

Terrain: northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m
highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m

Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

Land use:
arable land: 21%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 47%
forests and woodland: 20%
other: 11% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 12,580 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts

Environment—current issues: 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:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea

Geography—note: strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar

 
People

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Population: 29,114,497 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 36% (male 5,398,692; female 5,200,660)
15-64 years: 59% (male 8,525,344; female 8,682,277)
65 years and over: 5% (male 606,203; female 701,321) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.89% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 26.37 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 6.24 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.28 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 52.99 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.51 years
male: 66.49 years
female: 70.64 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.35 children born/woman (1998 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan

Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%

Religions: Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%

Languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 43.7%
male: 56.6%
female: 31% (1995 est.)

 
Government

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Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib

Data code: MO

Government type: constitutional monarchy

National capital: Rabat

Administrative divisions: 37 provinces and 2 wilayas*; Agadir, Al Hoceima, Azilal, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane, Casablanca*, Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Srarhna, 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 creating many new provinces/regions; specific details and scope of the reorganization not yet available

Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 3 March (1961) (anniversary of King HASSAN II's accession to the throne)

Constitution: 10 March 1972, revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996

Legal system: based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King HASSAN II (since 3 March 1961)
head of government: Prime Minister Abderrahmane YOUSSOUFI (since 14 March 1998)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the king
elections: none; the king is a hereditary monarch; prime minister appointed by the king

Legislative branch: 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 5 December 1997 (next to be held NA December 2000); Chamber of Representatives—last held 14 November 1997 (next to be held NA November 2002)
election results: Chamber of Counselors—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party - RNI 42, MDS 33, UC 28, MP 27, PND 21, IP 21, USFP 16, MNP 15, UT 13, FFD 12, CDT 11, UTM 8, PPS 7, PSD 4, PDI 4, UGTM 3, UNMT 2, SD 1, ADP 1, SND 1, CS 1; Chamber of Representatives—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—USFP 57, UC 50, RNI 46, MP 40, MDS 32, IP 32, MNP 19, PND 10, MPCD 9, PPS 9, FFD 9, PSD 5, OADP 4, PA 2, PDI 1

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the king

Political parties and leaders:
opposition: Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), Abderrahmane YOUSSOUFI; Istiqlal Party (IP), M'Hamed BOUCETTA; Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), Moulay Ismail al ALAOUI; Organization of Democratic and Popular Action (OADP), Mohamed Ben SAID; Democratic Socialist Party (PSD), Issa al-OUARDIGHI; Democratic Forces Front (FFD), Thami KHIARI; Popular Constitutional and Democratic Movement (MPCD), Dr. Abdelkarim al-KHATIB
pro-government: Constitutional Union (UC), Noureddine ALAMI; Popular Movement (MP), Mohamed LAENSER; National Democratic Party (PND), Mohamed Arsalane EL-JADIDI; National Popular Movement (MNP), Mahjoubi AHARDANE; Social Democratic Movement (MDS), Mahmoud ARCHANE
independents: National Rally of Independents (RNI), Ahmed OSMAN; Democracy and Istiqlal Party (PDI), Abdelwahed MACHE; Action Party (PA), Ahmed ABAKIL; Labor Party (UT), leader NA
labor unions and community organizations (indirect elections only) : Democratic Confederation of Labor (CDT), Noubir AMAOUI; General Union of Moroccan Workers (UGTM), Abderrazzak AFILAL; Moroccan Union of Workers (UTM), Mahjoub BENSEDIQ; Party of Shura and Istiqlal, Abdelwaheb MAASH; Labor Union Commissions (CS), leader NA; Democratic Trade Union (SD), leader NA; Association of Popular Trade Unions (ADP), leader NA; Democratic National Trade Union (SND), leader NA; Moroccan National Workers Union (UNMT), leader NA

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACCT (associate), AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CCC, EBRD, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed BENAISSA
chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979 through 7982
FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161
consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Edward M. GABRIEL
embassy: 2 Avenue de Marrakech, Rabat
mailing address: PSC 74, Box 003, APO AE 09718
telephone: [212] (7) 76 22 65
FAX: [212] (7) 76 56 61
consulate(s) general: Casablanca

Flag description: 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

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Economy—overview: Morocco faces the problems typical of developing countries—restraining government spending, reducing constraints on private activity and foreign trade, and keeping inflation within manageable bounds. Since the early 1980s the government has pursued an economic program toward these objectives with the support of the IMF, the World Bank, and the Paris Club of creditors. The dirham is now fully convertible for current account transactions; reforms of the financial sector have been implemented; and state enterprises are slowly being privatized. Drought conditions in 1997 depressed activity in the key agricultural sector, holding down exports and contributing to a 2.2% contraction in real GDP. Favorable rainfalls in the fall of 1997 have led to forecasts of robust, 8%-9% real GDP growth in 1998. Servicing the external debt, preparing the economy for freer trade with the European Union, improving education and living standards, and finding jobs for Morocco's youthful population remain long-term challenges.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$107 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -2.2% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$3,500 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 33%
services: 53% (1997)

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

Labor force:
total: 7.4 million
by occupation: agriculture 50%, services 26%, industry 15%, other 9% (1985)

Unemployment rate: 16% (1997 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $10.4 billion
expenditures: $10.75 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.9 billion (1996 est.)

Industries: phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: 4.5% (1996 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 3.788 million kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 10.8 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 411 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock

Exports:
total value: $6.9 billion (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: food and beverages 30%, semiprocessed goods 23%, consumer goods 21%, phosphates 17% (1995 est.)
partners: EU 63%, Japan 7.7%, India 6.6%, US 3.4%, Libya 3.4% (1996 est.)

Imports:
total value: $9.7 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: semiprocessed goods 26%, capital goods 25%, food and beverages 18%, fuel and lubricants 15%, consumer goods 12%, raw materials 4% (1995 est.)
partners: EU 57%, US 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 5.3%, Brazil 2.8% (1996 est.)

Debt—external: $23.4 billion (1996 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $297 million (1993)
note: $2.8 billion debt canceled by Saudi Arabia (1991)

Currency: 1 Moroccan dirham (DH) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams (DH) per US$1—9.822 (January 1998), 9.527 (1997), 8.716 (1996), 8.540 (1995), 9.203 (1994), 9.299 (1993)

Fiscal year: July 1-June 30

 
Communications

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Telephones: 270,100 (1987 est.)

Telephone system:
domestic: good system composed of open-wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; principal centers are Casablanca and Rabat; secondary centers are Fes, Marrakech, Oujda, Tangier, and Tetouan
international: 5 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

Radio broadcast stations: AM 20, FM 7, shortwave 0

Radios: 5.527 million (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 26 (repeaters 26)

Televisions: 1.21 million (1993 est.)

 
Transportation

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Railways:
total: 1,907 km
standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1003 km electrified; 246 km double track) (1994)

Highways:
total: 60,626 km
paved: 30,556 km (including 219 km of expressways)
unpaved: 30,070 km (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 362 km; petroleum products 491 km (abandoned); natural gas 241 km

Ports and harbors: Agadir, El Jadida, Casablanca, El Jorf Lasfar, Kenitra, Mohammedia, Nador, Rabat, Safi, Tangier; also Spanish-controlled Ceuta and Melilla

Merchant marine:
total: 40 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 205,053 GRT/259,339 DWT
ships by type: cargo 9, chemical tanker 6, container 2, oil tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 11, roll-on/roll-off cargo 8, short-sea passenger 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 70 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 26
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 44
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 21
under 914 m: 11 (1997 est.)

Heliports: 1 (1997 est.)


 

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