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

T’s Travel Issue: The Survivors (Fri, 17 May 2019)
The countries we visited have seen years — centuries — of unimaginable wealth and power, and, equally, centuries of sorrow, despair, warfare and subjugation.
>> Read more

In Search of Ancient Morocco (Wed, 15 May 2019)
South of Marrakesh, the Draa Valley still exerts an indefinable pull, retaining traces of its now almost-vanished Berber kingdom.
>> Read more

Who Would Run 140 Miles Through the Sahara? (Thu, 25 Apr 2019)
I’ve followed athletes up a volcano and down into a gold mine. Then came the Marathon des Sables, and an amputee’s 6-day desert trek in Morocco.
>> Read more

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

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