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Morocco[Country flag of Morocco]
[Country map of Morocco]

Introduction Morocco
Background:
In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily eroded; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were 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. Parliamentary elections were held for the second time in September 2002 and municipal elections were held in September 2003.
Geography Morocco
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:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
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: 19.61%
permanent crops: 2.17%
other: 78.22% (2001)
Irrigated land:
12,910 sq km (1998 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, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar
People Morocco
Population:
32,725,847 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.1% (male 5,349,247/female 5,150,497)
15-64 years: 63% (male 10,259,808/female 10,346,608)
65 years and over: 4.9% (male 708,921/female 910,766) (2005 est.)
Median age:
total: 23.61 years
male: 23.11 years
female: 24.13 years (2005 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.57% (2005 est.)
Birth rate:
22.29 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate:
5.64 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.92 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Sex ratio:
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: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 41.62 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 45.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 37.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 70.66 years
male: 68.35 years
female: 73.07 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.73 children born/woman (2005 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
15,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, and hepatitis A
vectorborne diseases: may be a significant risk in some locations during the transmission season (typically April through November) (2004)
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: 51.7%
male: 64.1%
female: 39.4% (2003 est.)
Government Morocco
Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Rabat
Administrative divisions:
14 regions: Grand Casablanca, Chaouia-Ouardigha, Doukkala-Abda, Fes-Boulemane, Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, Guelmim-Es Smara, Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Meknes-Tafilalet, Oriental, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Souss-Massa-Draa, Tadla-Azilal, Tanger-Tetouan, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate
note: Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the United States Government; one additional region, Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, falls entirely within Western Sahara; another region, Laayoune-Boujdour-Sahia El Hamra, falls mostly within Western Sahara; a small portion of this region, in the southwestern part of the country, falls within Moroccan-administered territory as recognized by the United States; the province of Guelmim-Es Smara lies in both entities
Independence:
2 March 1956 (from France)
National holiday:
Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999)
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:
18 years of age; universal (as of January 2003)
Executive branch:
chief of state: King MOHAMED VI (since 30 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:
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; 295 by multi-seat constituencies and 30 from national lists of women; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: Chamber of Counselors - last held 6 October 2003 (next to be held NA 2006); 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 - RNI 42, MDS 33, UC 28, MP 27, PND 21, PI 21, USFP 16, MNP 15, PA 13, FFD 12, other 42; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - USFP 50, PI 48, PJD 42, RNI 41, MP 27, MNP 18, UC 16, PND 12, PPS 11, UD 10, other 50
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders:
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 PI [Abbas El FASSI]; Justice and Development Party or PJD [Saad Eddine OTHMANI]; 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 Renewal 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 [Mohammed El-YAZGHI]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Democratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir AMAOUI]; General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Abderrazzak AFILAL]; Moroccan Employers Association or CGEM [Hassan CHAMI]; National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Abdelslam MAATI]; Union of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Mahjoub BENSEDDIK]
International organization participation:
ABEDA, ACCT, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, EBRD, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNOCI, UPU, WCL, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Aziz MEKOUAR
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 Thomas T. RILEY
embassy: 2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat
mailing address: PSC 74, Box 021, APO AE 09718
telephone: [212] (37) 76 22 65
FAX: [212] (37) 76 56 61
consulate(s) general: Casablanca
Flag description:
red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Sulayman's (Solomon's) seal in the center of the flag; red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags, although the use of red is more commonly associated with the Arab states of the Persian gulf; design dates to 1912
Economy Morocco
Economy - overview:
Morocco faces problems typical for developing countries: restraining government spending, reducing constraints on private activity and foreign trade, and achieving sustainable growth. Despite structural adjustment programs supported by the IMF, the World Bank, and the Paris Club, the dirham is only fully convertible for current account transactions. In 2004 Moroccan authorities instituted measures to boost foreign direct investment and trade by signing a free trade agreement with the US and selling government shares in the state telecommunications company and in the largest state-owned bank. Favorable rainfall over the past two years has boosted agricultural output and GDP growth passed 4% in 2004. In 2005 the budget deficit is expected to rise sharply - from 1.9% of GDP in 2004 - because of substantial increases in wages and oil subsidies. Long-term challenges include preparing the economy for freer trade with the US and European Union, improving education and job prospects for Morocco's youth, and raising living standards.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$134.6 billion (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.4% (2004 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $4,200 (2004 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 21.2%
industry: 35.8%
services: 43% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
11.02 million (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 40%, industry 15%, services 45% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
12.1% (2004 est.)
Population below poverty line:
19% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 30.9% (1998-99)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
39.5 (1998-99)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.1% (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
22.4% of GDP (2004 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $12.86 billion
expenditures: $15.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.19 billion (2004 est.)
Public debt:
70.2% of GDP (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products:
barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock
Industries:
phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
NA
Electricity - production:
13.91 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 95.4%
hydro: 4.6%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
14.24 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:
1.3 billion kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
1,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - consumption:
167,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA
Oil - imports:
NA
Oil - proved reserves:
300 million bbl (2004 est.)
Natural gas - production:
50 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
50 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
665.4 million cu m (2004)
Current account balance:
$765.4 million (2004 est.)
Exports:
$9.754 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities:
clothing, fish, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, fruits, vegetables
Exports - partners:
France 33.6%, Spain 17.4%, UK 7.7%, Italy 4.7%, US 4.1% (2004)
Imports:
$15.63 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics
Imports - partners:
France 18.2%, Spain 12.1%, Italy 6.6%, Germany 6%, Russia 5.7%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, China 4.2%, US 4.1% (2004)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$15.14 billion (2004 est.)
Debt - external:
$17.07 billion (2004 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA $218 million (2002)
Currency (code):
Moroccan dirham (MAD)
Currency code:
MAD
Exchange rates:
Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 8.868 (2004), 9.574 (2003), 11.021 (2002), 11.303 (2001), 10.626 (2000)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Morocco
Telephones - main lines in use:
1,219,200 (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
7,332,800 (2003)
Telephone system:
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: country code - 212; 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:
AM 27, FM 25, shortwave 6 (1998)
Radios:
6.64 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
35 (plus 66 repeaters) (1995)
Televisions:
3.1 million (1997)
Internet country code:
.ma
Internet hosts:
3,627 (2004)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
8 (2000)
Internet users:
800,000 (2003)
Transportation Morocco
Railways:
total: 1,907 km
standard gauge: 1,907 km 1.435-m gauge (1,003 km electrified) (2004)
Highways:
total: 57,694 km
paved: 32,551 km (including 481 km of expressways)
unpaved: 25,143 km (2002)
Pipelines:
gas 695 km; oil 285 km (2004)
Ports and harbors:
Agadir, Casablanca, Mohammedia, Nador, Safi, Tangier
Merchant marine:
total: 41 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 236,131 GRT/252,367 DWT
by type: cargo 6, chemical tanker 6, container 8, passenger/cargo 13, petroleum tanker 1, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 6 (France 1, Germany 2, Switzerland 2, United Kingdom 1) (2005)
Airports:
63 (2004 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 11
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 38
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 15
under 914 m: 11 (2004 est.)
Heliports:
1 (2004 est.)
Military Morocco
Military branches:
Royal Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force (Force Aerienne Royale Marocaine)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 7,908,864 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 6,484,787 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males: 353,377 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$2,305.6 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5% (2004)
Transnational Issues Morocco
Disputes - international:
claims and administers Western Sahara whose sovereignty remains unresolved - UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties thus far have rejected all brokered proposals; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; discussions have not progressed on a comprehensive maritime delimitation setting limits on exploration and refugee interdiction since Morocco's 2002 rejection of Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands; Morocco serves as one of the primary launching areas of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa
Illicit drugs:
illicit producer of hashish; 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 1 November, 2005


 

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