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Introduction Jordan
For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan previously ruled by King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, through several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he resumed parliamentary elections and gradually permitted political liberalization; in 1994 a formal peace treaty previously signed with Israel. King ABDALLAH II - eldest son of King HUSSEIN and Princess MUNA - assumed throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and established his domestic priorities, includes an aggressive economic reform program. Jordan acceded to World Trade Organization in January 2000, and signed free trade agreements with United States in 2000, and with European Free Trade Association in 2001.
Geography Jordan
Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
31 00 N, 36 00 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 92,300 sq km
water: 329 sq km
land: 91,971 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Indiana
Land boundaries:
total: 1,635 km
border countries: Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 744 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km
26 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 NM
mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)
mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of Jordan River
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
highest point: Jabal Ram 1,734 m
Natural resources:
phosphates, potash, shale oil
Land use:
arable land: 2.87%
permanent crops: 1.52%
other: 95.61% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
750 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
droughts; periodic earthquakes
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of selected agreements
Geography - note:
strategic location at head of Gulf of Aqaba and as Arab country that shares longest border with Israel and occupied West Bank
People Jordan
Total Population:
5,460,265 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 35.9% (male 1,001,174; female 959,157)
15-64 years: 60.5% (male 1,764,061; female 1,541,453)
65 years and over: 3.6% (male 95,566; female 98,854) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 21.8 years
male: 22.4 years
female: 21.1 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
2.78% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
23.68 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
2.62 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
6.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
Population: 1.1 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 18.86 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 14.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 22.51 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 77.88 years
male: 75.42 years
female: 80.5 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
3 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
less than 1,000
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups:
Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several limited Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)
Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 91.3%
male: 95.9%
female: 86.3% (2003 est.)
Government Jordan
Country name:
conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
conventional short form: Jordan
local short form: Al Urdun
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
former: Transjordan
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
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
25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
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
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HAMZAH (half brother of monarch, born 29 March 1980)
head of government: Prime Minister Faisal al-FAYEZ (since 25 October 2003)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by prime minister in consultation with monarch
elections: none; monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by monarch
Legislative branch:
bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of Senate, also called House of Notables (Majlis al-Ayan) (40 seats; members appointed by monarch from designated categories of public figures; members serve four-year terms) and House of Representatives, also called House of Deputies (Majlis al-Nuwaab) (110 seats; members elected by popular vote on basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms; note - six seats are reserved for women and are allocated by a special electoral panel if no women are elected)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 17 June 2003, next to be held NA 2007
note: House of Representatives has been convened and dissolved by monarch several times since 1974; in November 1989, first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held; political parties were not legalized until 1992; King Abdallah delayed 2001 elections until 2003
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - independents and others 89.6%, Islamic Action Front 10.4%; seats by party - independents and others 92, Islamic Action Front 18 (note - one of six quota seats previously given to a female IAF candidate)
Judicial branch:
Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (court of final appeal)
Political parties and leaders:
Al-Umma (Nation) Party [Ahmad al-HANANDEH, secretary general]; Arab Land Party [Dr. Muhammad al-'ORAN, secretary general]; Communist Party [Munir HAMARINAH, secretary general]; Constitutional Front [Mahdi al-TALL, secretary general]; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DHIYAB, secretary general]; Jordanian Progressive Party [Fawwaz al-ZUBI, secretary general]; Jordanian People's Democratic (Hashd) Party [Salim al-NAHHAS, secretary general]; Islamic Action Front [Hazma MANSOUR, secretary general]; National Action (Haqq) Party [Muhammad al-ZUBI, secretary general]; National Constitutional Party [Abdul Hadi MAJALI, secretary general]; (Arab) Socialist Ba'th Party [Taysif al-HIMSI, secretary general]; Pan-Arab (Democratic) Movement [Mahmud al-NUWAYHI, secretary general]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Anti-Normalization Committee [Ali Abu SUKKAR, president vice chairman]; Jordanian Bar Association [Saleh ARMOUTI, president]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; Muslim Brotherhood [Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, secretary general]
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Karim Tawfiq KAWAR
chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Edward William GNEHM, Jr.
embassy: Abdoun, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, APO AE 09892-0200
telephone: [962] (6) 5920101
FAX: [962] (6) 5920121
Flag description:
three equal horizontal bands of black (top, Abbassid Caliphate of Islam), white (the Ummayyad Caliphate of Islam), and green (the Fatimid Caliphate of Islam) with a red isosceles triangle (representing Great Arab Revolt of 1916) based on hoist side bearing a limited white seven-pointed star symbolizing seven verses of opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of Holy Koran; seven points on star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations
Economy Jordan
Economy - overview:
Jordan is a limited Arab country with inadequate supplies of water and other natural resources such as oil. Debt, poverty, and unemployment are fundamental problems, but King ABDALLAH since assuming throne in 1999 has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. Amman in past three years has worked closely with IMF, practiced careful monetary policy, and made significant headway with privatization. government also has liberalized trade regime sufficiently to secure Jordan's membership in WTrO (2000), a free trade accord with US (2000), and an association agreement with EU (2001). These measures have helped improve productivity and have put Jordan on foreign investment map. US-led war in Iraq in 2003 dealt an economic blow to Jordan, which previously dependent on Iraq for discounted oil. It remains unclear how Jordan will finance energy imports in absence of such a deal. Other ongoing challenges include fiscal adjustment to reduce budget deficit and broader investment incentives to promote job-creating ventures.
buying power parity - $22.63 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.9% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying power parity - $4,300 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3.7%
industry: 26%
services: 70.3% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
30% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.3%
highest 10%: 29.8% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
36.4 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.3% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
1.36 million (2002)
Labor force - by occupation:
services 82.5%, industry 12.5%, agriculture 5% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
16% official rate; actual rate is 25%-30% (2001 est.)
revenues: $2.7 billion
expenditures: $3 billion, includes capital expenditures of $614 million (2002 est.)
phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, tourism
Industrial production growth rate:
1% (2002 est.)
Electricity - production:
7.091 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 99.4%
hydro: 0.6%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
6.86 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
2 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
267 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
40 bbl/day NA bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
103,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
445,000 bbl (37257)
Natural gas - production:
290 million cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
290 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:
3.256 billion cu m (37257)
Agriculture - products:
wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry
$2.5 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures, pharmaceuticals
Exports - partners:
Iraq 20.1%, US 14.5%, India 8.1%, Saudi Arabia 5.4%, Israel 4.4% (2002)
$4.4 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, food, live animals, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Iraq 13.4%, Germany 8.8%, US 8%, China 6%, France 4.2%, UK 4.1%, Italy 4.1% (2002)
Debt - external:
$8.2 billion (2002 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
ODA, $553 million (2000 est.)
Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Jordanian dinars per US dollar - 0.71 (2002), 0.71 (2001), 0.71 (2000), 0.71 (1999), 0.71 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Jordan
Telephones - main lines in use:
403,000 (1997)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
11,500 (1995)
Telephone system:
general assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment, but better access to telephone system is needed in rural areas and easier access to pay telephones is needed by urban public
domestic: microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; considerable use of mobile cellular systems; Internet service is available
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals; fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; connection to international submarine cable FLAG (Fiber-Optic Link Around Globe); participant in MEDARABTEL; international links total about 4,000
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (1999)
1.66 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
20 (plus 96 repeaters) (1995)
500,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2000)
Internet users:
212,000 (2002)
Transportation Jordan
total: 505 km
narrow gauge: 505 km 1.050-m gauge (2002)
total: 7,245 km
paved: 7,245 km
unpaved: 0 km (2000)
gas 10 km; oil 743 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Al 'Aqabah
Merchant marine:
total: 9 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 63,522 GRT/79,776 DWT
ships by type: cargo 3, container 1, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 3, short-sea passenger 1
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Greece 6 (2002 est.)
17 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 15
over 3,047 m: 7
2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 2
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
2 (2002)
Military Jordan
Military branches:
Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) (Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Naval Force, Royal Jordanian Air Force, and Special Operations Command or SOCOM); note - Public Security Directorate normally falls under Ministry of Interior but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations
Military manpower - military age:
18 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,577,136 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 1,113,787 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 58,840 (2003 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$757.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
8.6% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Jordan
Disputes - international: