Geography

Geography
Location: North Africa, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, southern border with Western Sahara, eastern border with Algeria.
Area: 446,550 sq. km. (172,413 sq. mi.) slightly larger than California. (The disputed territory of Western Sahara comprises another 267,028 sq. km. or 102,703 sq. mi.)
Cities: Rabat (capital), Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes, Meknes, Tangier. Terrain: Coastal plains, mountains, desert. Climate: Mediterranean to more extreme in the interior and south. Land use: Arable land, 19%; permanent crops, 2%; other, 79%

 

 

People and Economy

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Moroccan(s).
Population (July 2009 est.): 34,859,364. (The population of disputed territory Western Sahara is 385,000.)
Annual population growth rate (2009 est.): 1.479%. Birth rate (2009 est.)--20.96 births/1,000 population. Death rate (2009 est.)--5.45 deaths/1,000 population.
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), several Berber dialects; French functions as the language of business, government, and diplomacy.
Education: Years compulsory--9. Literacy (definition--age 15 and over can read and write)--total population 52.3%; male 65.7%; female 39.6% (2004 census).
Health: Infant mortality rate (2009 est.)--36.88/1,000. Life expectancy at birth (2009 est.)--71.8 yrs. total population; 69.42 yrs. male; 74.3 yrs. female.
Work force (2010 est.): 11.62 million.
Unemployment rate (July 2010 est.): 8.6%.

Economy
GDP (2009): $91.11 billion.
GDP growth rate: 4.9% (2009); 4% (2010 projection).
Per capita GDP (PPP, 2009): $4,552.
Natural resources: Phosphates, fish, manganese, lead, silver, and copper.
Agriculture: Products--barley, citrus fruits, vegetables, olives, wine, livestock, and fishing.
Industry: Types--phosphate mining, manufacturing and handicrafts, construction and public works, energy.
Sector information as percentage of GDP (2007): Agriculture 12.4%, industry 29%, services 58.5%.
Monetary unit: Moroccan dirham. Exchange rate per U.S. dollar = 8.08 (2009 average).
Trade: Exports (2009)--$13.86 billion f.o.b. Major partners (2009)--France 24.5%, Spain 21.2%, India 5.3%, Italy 4.6%, United States 3.3%, and United Kingdom 3.3%. Imports(2009)--$32.82 billion c.a.f. Major partners (2009)--France 15.7%, Spain 12.1%, China 7.8%, United States 7.1%, Italy 6.5%, and Saudi Arabia 4.4%.
Budget (2009): Revenues--$25.9 billion; expenditures--$28 billion.
Budget deficit: 2.2% of GDP (2009 est.); 3.5% of GDP (2010 proj.).
Debt, public external (2009): $19.36 billion.

Government

Government
Type: Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: March 1972, revised 1980, 1992, and 1996 (creating a bicameral legislature).
Independence: March 2, 1956.
Branches: Executive--king (head of state), prime minister (head of government). Legislative--bicameral Parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court.
Major political parties: Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM), Istiqlal (Independence) Party (PI), Party of Justice and Development (PJD), Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), National Rally of Independents (RNI), Popular Movement (MP), Constitutional Union Party (UC), Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS).
Suffrage: Universal starting at 18 years of age.
 

 

 

Morocco

A Dog Named Cactus Is Dominating a Race Through the Desert (Thu, 11 Apr 2019)
The Marathon des Sables, a 140.7-mile race across the Sahara, is for people. Tell that to Cactus, the dog that loves to run.
>> Read more

The Moroccan Exception in the Arab World (Tue, 09 Apr 2019)
King Mohammed VI is carrying out a wide-ranging effort to revive his country’s Jewish heritage.
>> Read more

Pope Francis Warns Trump About Walls After Morocco Visit (Sun, 31 Mar 2019)
Urging compassion for migrants, the pope said those who close borders “will become prisoners of the walls that they build.”
>> Read more

Pope Champions Migrants in Morocco, the Chief Departure Point for Europe (Sat, 30 Mar 2019)
Francis warned against indifference and silence on the crisis during a two-day visit to the North African nation.
>> Read more

Pope Francis’ Visit to Morocco Raises Hopes for Its Christians (Fri, 29 Mar 2019)
Even in a country widely viewed as tolerant, Moroccan Christians have to practice their faith in secret. They are hoping the pope’s visit might be a turning point.
>> Read more

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