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After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets, and fighting escalated into an... See More



 Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

Geographic Coordinates:

 28 00 N, 3 00 E


 Total: 2,381,741 sq km
Land: 2,381,741 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 6,343 km
Border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km


 998 km (Rank: 85)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm


 Arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer


 Mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
Highest point: Tahat 3,003 m

Natural Resources:

 Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc

Land Use:

 Arable land: 3.17%
Permanent crops: 0.28%
Other: 96.55% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 5,700 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 14.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 6.07 cu km/yr (22%/13%/65%)
Per capita: 185 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season

Environment - Current Issues:

 Soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Largest country in Africa

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 Noun: Algerian(s)
Adjective: Algerian

Ethnic Groups:

 Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

Note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools


 Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects


 Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%


 34,994,937 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 24.2% (male 4,319,295/female 4,144,863)
15-64 years: 70.6% (male 12,455,378/female 12,242,604)
65 years and over: 5.2% (male 845,116/female 987,681) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 27.6 years
Male: 27.4 years
Female: 27.8 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 1.173% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 16.69 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 4.69 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 66% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 ALGIERS (capital) 2.74 million; Oran 770,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 120 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 25.81 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 28.8 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 22.67 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 74.5 years
Male: 72.78 years
Female: 76.31 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.75 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 1.207 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.7 beds/1,000 population (2004)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 85% of population
Rural: 79% of population
Total: 83% of population
Urban: 15% of population
Rural: 21% of population
Total: 17% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 98% of population
Rural: 88% of population
Total: 95% of population
Urban: 2% of population
Rural: 12% of population
Total: 5% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.1%; 0.1% note - no country specific models provided (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 18,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 3.7% (2005)

Education Expenditures:

 4.3% of GDP (2008)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 69.9%
Male: 79.6%
Female: 60.1% (2002 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 13 years (2005)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 24.3%
Male: 42.9%
Female: 46.3% (2006)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
Conventional short form: Algeria
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
Local short form: Al Jaza'ir

Government Type:



 Name: Algiers
Geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E
Time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen


 5 July 1962 (from France)

National Holiday:

 Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)


 8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976; effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, 28 November 1996, 10 April 2002, and 12 November 2008

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of French civil law and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government; a November 2008 constitutional amendment separated the position of head of government from that of the prime minister

Head of government: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)

Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president

Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); election last held on 9 April 2009 (next to be held in April 2014)

Election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for a third term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 90.2%, Louisa HANOUNE 4.2%, Moussa TOUATI 2.3%, Djahid YOUNSI 1.4%, Ali Fawzi REBIANE less than 1%, Mohamed SAID less than 1%

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral Parliament consists of the Council of the Nation (upper house; 144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote to serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the Council to be renewed every three years) and the National People's Assembly (lower house; 389 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Elections: Council of the Nation - last held on 29 December 2009 (next to be held in December 2012); National People's Assembly - last held on 17 May 2007 (next to be held in 2012)

Election results: Council of the Nation - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 136, RND 61, MSP 52, PT 26, RCD 19, FNA 13, other 49, independents 33;

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Ahd 54 [Ali Fauzi REBAINE]; Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa TOUATI]; Movement of the Society of Peace or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI]; National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]; National Liberation Front or FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general]; National Reform Movement or Islah [Ahmed ABDESLAM] (formerly MRN); Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Said SADI]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine AIT AHMED]; Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]

Note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 The Algerian Human Rights League or LADDH [Mostefa BOUCHACHI]; SOS Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Abdallah BAALI
Chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Henry S. ENSHER
Embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El-Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16000 Algiers
Mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers
Telephone: [213] 770-08-2000
FAX: [213] 21-60-7355

Flag Description:

 Two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness

National Symbols:

 Star and crescent; fennec fox

National Anthem:

 Name: "Kassaman" (We Pledge)
Lyrics/music: Mufdi ZAKARIAH/Mohamed FAWZI

Note: adopted 1962; ZAKARIAH wrote "Kassaman" as a poem while imprisoned in Algiers by French colonial forces

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Economy - Overview:

 Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. Gradual liberalization since the mid-1990s has opened up more of the economy, but in recent years Algeria has imposed new restrictions on foreign involvement in its economy and largely halted the privatization of state-owned industries. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the eighth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the fourth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Thanks to strong hydrocarbon revenues, Algeria has a cushion of $150 billion in foreign currency reserves and a large hydrocarbon stabilization fund. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 1% of GDP. Algeria has struggled to develop industries outside of hydrocarbons in part because of high costs and an inert state bureaucracy. The government's efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector have done little to reduce high poverty and youth unemployment rates. In 2010, Algeria began a five-year, $286 billion development program to update the country's infrastructure and provide jobs. The costly program will boost Algeria's economy in 2011 but worsen the country's budget deficit. Long-term economic challenges include diversification from hydrocarbons, relaxing state control of the economy, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $251.1 billion (2010 est.)
$243 billion (2009 est.)
$237.4 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $160.3 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 3.3% (2010 est.)
2.4% (2009 est.)
2.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $7,300 (2010 est.)
$7,100 (2009 est.)
$7,000 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 8.3%
Industry: 61.6%
Services: 30.1% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 10.81 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 14%
Industry: 13.4%
Construction and public works: 10%
Trade: 14.6%
Government: 32%
Other: 16% (2003 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 10% (2010 est.)
10.2% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 23% (2006 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2.8%
Highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 35.3 (1995)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf)
IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 34.4% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $58.88 billion
Expenditures: $60.67 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 36.7% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -1.1% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 6.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
8.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.9% (2010 est.)
5.7% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 4% (31 December 2010 est.)
4% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 8% (31 December 2010 est.)
8% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $60.91 billion (31 December 2008)
$55.43 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $30.36 billion (31 December 2008)
$28.59 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $75.24 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$67.98 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $108.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$98.63 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $12.18 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$12.27 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

 Wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle


 Petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 -3.6% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 40.11 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 99.7%
Hydro: 0.3%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 30.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 323 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 49 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 2.078 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 312,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 1.694 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 18,180 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 12.2 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 85.14 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 29.86 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 55.28 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 4.502 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 $12.74 billion (2010 est.)
$520 million (2009 est.)


 $57.19 billion (2010 est.)
$45.18 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%

Exports - Partners:

 US 24.9%, Italy 17.5%, Spain 10%, Canada 6.3%, France 5.1%, Netherlands 5.1%, Brazil 4.3% (2010)


 $38.38 billion (2010 est.)
$37.4 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods

Imports - Partners:

 France 18%, China 10.6%, Italy 9.9%, Spain 7%, Tajikistan 4.8%, Germany 4.4% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $162.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$149.3 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $4.344 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.345 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $1.844 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.644 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $21.03 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$17.34 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Algerian Dinar to Any Currency

Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar -
76 (2010)
72.65 (2009)
63.25 (2008)
69.9 (2007)
72.647 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 2.923 million (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 32.78 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in 2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria; the license will allow Orascom to develop high-speed data and other specialized services and contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled demand for basic residential telephony; Internet broadband services began in 2003

Domestic: a limited network of fixed lines with a teledensity of less than 10 telephones per 100 persons is offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; in 2010, combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 100 telephones per 100 persons

International: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat, Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2010)

Broadcast Media:

 State-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 572 (2010)

Internet Users:

 4.7 million (2009)

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 143 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 57
Over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 28
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 5
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 86
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 41
Under 914 m: 23 (2010)


 2 (2010)


 Condensate 2,600 km; gas 16,360 km; liquid petroleum gas 3,447 km; oil 7,611 km; refined products 144 km (2010)


 Total: 3,973 km
Standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)
Narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2008)


 Total: 111,261 km
Paved: 81,732 km (includes 645 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 29,529 km (2008)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 35
By type: bulk carrier 6, cargo 8, chemical tanker 2, liquefied gas 9, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 3
Foreign-owned: 12 (UK 12) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda

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Military Branches:

 People's National Army (Armee Nationale Populaire, ANP), Land Forces (Forces Terrestres, FT), Navy of the Republic of Algeria (Marine de la Republique Algerienne, MRA), Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Jaza'eriya, QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2009)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2006)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 10,273,129
Females age 16-49: 10,114,552 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 8,622,897
Females age 16-49: 8,626,222 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 342,895
Female: 330,098 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 3.3% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Algeria, and many other states, rejects Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination and source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; criminal networks which sometimes extend to sub-Saharan Africa and to Europe are involved in both smuggling and human trafficking

Tier rating: Tier 3 - the Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government made no discernible effort to enforce its 2009 anti-trafficking law; it also failed to identify and protect trafficking victims and continued to lack adequate measures to protect victims and prevent trafficking (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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