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Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country's long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 war and defeated Palestinian rebels who attempted to overthrow the monarchy in 1970. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank. In 1989, he reinstituted parliamentary elections and initiated... See More



 Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel (to the west) and Iraq

Geographic Coordinates:

 31 00 N, 36 00 E


 Total: 89,342 sq km
Land: 88,802 sq km
Water: 540 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 (Rank: 194)

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 the Jordan River

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
Highest point: Jabal Umm ad Dami 1,854 m

Natural Resources:

 Phosphates, potash, shale oil

Land Use:

 Arable land: 3.32%
Permanent crops: 1.18%
Other: 95.5% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 820 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 0.9 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 1.01 cu km/yr (21%/4%/75%)
Per capita: 177 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Droughts; periodic earthquakes

Environment - Current Issues:

 Limited natural freshwater 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 the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Strategic location at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba and as the Arab country that shares the longest border with Israel and the occupied West Bank

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 Noun: Jordanian(s)
Adjective: Jordanian

Ethnic Groups:

 Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%


 Arabic (official), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes)


 Sunni Muslim 92% (official), Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shia Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)


 6,508,271 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 35.3% (male 1,180,595/female 1,114,533)
15-64 years: 59.9% (male 1,977,075/female 1,921,504)
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 153,918/female 160,646) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 22.1 years
Male: 21.8 years
Female: 22.4 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 0.984% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

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

Death Rate:

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

Net Migration Rate:

 -14.26 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 79% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 1.6% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 AMMAN (capital) 1.088 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 59 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 16.42 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 16.98 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 15.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 80.05 years
Male: 78.73 years
Female: 81.45 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 3.39 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 4.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 2.45 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.8 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 98% of population
Rural: 91% of population
Total: 96% of population
Urban: 2% of population
Rural: 9% of population
Total: 4% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 98% of population
Rural: 97% of population
Total: 98% of population
Urban: 2% of population
Rural: 3% of population
Total: 2% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 Less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 600 (2007 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 500 (2003 est.)

Obesity - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 19.5% (2004)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 89.9%
Male: 95.1%
Female: 84.7% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 13 years (2008)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 27%
Male: 22.6%
Female: 45.9% (2009)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Conventional short form: Jordan
Local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
Local short form: Al Urdun
Former: Transjordan

Government Type:

 Constitutional monarchy


 Name: Amman
Geographic coordinates: 31 57 N, 35 56 E
Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Friday in April; ends last Friday in October

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)


 1 January 1952; amended many times

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic religious law; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HUSSEIN (born 28 June 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH II

Head of government: Prime Minister Awn Shawkat al-KHASAWNAH (since 24 October 2011)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch

Elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch

Legislative Branch:

 Bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables or Majlis al-Ayan (60 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (120 seats; members elected using a single, non-transferable vote system in multi-member districts to serve four-year terms); note - the new electoral law enacted in May 2010 allocated an additional 10 seats (6 seats added to the number reserved for women, bringing the total to 12; 2 additional seats for Amman; and 1 seat each for the cities of Zarqa and Irbid; unchanged are 9 seats reserved for Christian candidates, 9 for Bedouin candidates, and 3 for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent

Elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held on 9 November 2010 (next scheduled in 2012); note - the King dissolved the previous Chamber of Deputies in November 2009, midway through the parliamentary term

Election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - independents and other 120 (includes 12 seats filled by women's quota and 1 woman was directly elected); note - the IAF boycotted the election

Judicial Branch:

 Court of Cassation (Supreme Court)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party [Akram al-HIMSI]; Ba'ath Arab Progressive Party [Fuad DABBOUR]; Call Party [Muhammed ABU BAKR]; Democratic People's Party [Ablah ABU ULBAH]; Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DIAB]; Islamic Action Front or IAF [Hamzah MANSOUR]; Islamic Center Party [Marwan al-FA'URI]; Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARNAH]; Jordanian National Party [Muna ABU BAKR]; Jordanian United Front [Amjad al-MAJALI]; Life Party [Zahier AMR]; Message Party [Hazem QASHOU]; National Constitution Party [Ahmad al-SHUNAQ]; National Current Party [Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI]; National Movement for Direct Democracy [Muhammad al-QAQ]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 15 April Movement [Mohammad SUNEID, chairman]; 1952 Constitution Movement; 24 March Movement [Mu'az al-KHAWALIDAH, Mu'adh al-KHAWALIDAH, Abdel Rahman HASANEIN, spokespersons]; Anti-Normalization Committee [Hamzah MANSOUR, chairman]; Economic and Social Association of Retired Servicemen and Veterans or ESARSV [Abdulsalam al-HASSANAT, chairman]; Group of 36; Higher Coordination Committee of Opposition Parties [Said DIAB]; Higher National Committee for Military Retirees or HNCMR [Ali al-HABASHNEH, chairman]; Jordan Bar Association [Saleh al-ARMUTI, chairman]; Jordanian Campaign for Change or Jayin; Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood [Dr. Hamam SAID, controller general]; Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]; National Front for Reform or NFR [Ahmad OBEIDAT, chairman]; Popular Gathering for Reform; Professional Associations Council [Abd al-Hadi al-FALAHAT, chariman]; Sons of Jordan

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Alia Hatough BOURAN
Chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Stuart E. JONES
Embassy: Abdoun, Amman
Mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, DPO AE 09892-0200
Telephone: [962] (6) 590-6000
FAX: [962] (6) 592-0121

Flag Description:

 Three equal horizontal bands of black (top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate, white, representing the Ummayyad Caliphate, and green, representing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I

National Symbols:


National Anthem:

 Name: "As-salam al-malaki al-urdoni" (Long Live the King of Jordan)
Lyrics/music: Abdul-Mone'm al-RIFAI'/Abdul-Qader al-TANEER

Note: adopted 1946; the shortened version of the anthem is used most commonly, while the full version is reserved for special occasions

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Economy - Overview:

 Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources, underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and a large budget deficit. Since assuming the throne in 1999, King ABDALLAH has implemented significant economic reforms, such as opening the trade regime, privatizing state-owned companies, and eliminating most fuel subsidies, which in the past few years have spurred economic growth by attracting foreign investment and creating some jobs. The global economic slowdown, however, has depressed Jordan's GDP growth. Export-oriented sectors such as manufacturing, mining, and the transport of re-exports have been hit the hardest. The Government approved two supplementary budgets in 2010, but sweeping tax cuts planned for 2010 did not materialize because of Amman's need for additional revenue to cover excess spending. The budget deficit is likely to remain high, at 5-6% of GDP, and Amman likely will continue to depend heavily on foreign assistance to finance the deficit in 2011. Jordan's financial sector has been relatively isolated from the international financial crisis because of its limited exposure to overseas capital markets. Jordan is currently exploring nuclear power generation to forestall energy shortfalls.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $34.53 billion (2010 est.)
$33.49 billion (2009 est.)
$32.73 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $27.53 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 3.1% (2010 est.)
2.3% (2009 est.)
7.6% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $5,400 (2010 est.)
$5,300 (2009 est.)
$5,300 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 4.4%
Industry: 30.3%
Services: 65.3% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 1.719 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 2.7%
Industry: 20%
Services: 77.4% (2007 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 12.5% (2010 est.)
12.9% (2009 est.)

Note: official rate; unofficial rate is approximately 30%

Population Below Poverty Line:

 14.2% (2002)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 3%
Highest 10%: 30.7% (2006)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 39.7 (2007)
36.4 (1997)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 1,835,704 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)); 500,000 (Iraq)
IDPs: 160,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 26.2% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $6.008 billion
Expenditures: $8.051 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 21.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -7.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 61.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
59.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 5% (2010 est.)
-0.7% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 0.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
4.75% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 8.9% (31 December 2010 est.)
9.25% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $7.781 billion (31 December 2008)
$6.765 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $19.04 billion (31 December 2008)
$15.38 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $9.238 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$8.518 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $35.53 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$33.38 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $26.72 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$25.14 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $30.86 billion (31 December 2010)
$31.86 billion (31 December 2009)
$35.85 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, strawberries, stone fruits; sheep, poultry, dairy


 Clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 -3.1% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 13.01 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 99.4%
Hydro: 0.6%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 11.3 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 323 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 224 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 88 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 98,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 111,700 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 1 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 250 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 3.1 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 2.85 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 6.031 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$974.5 million (2010 est.)
-$1.27 billion (2009 est.)


 $7.333 billion (2010 est.)
$6.366 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals

Exports - Partners:

 US 15.6%, Iraq 15.4%, India 13.2%, Saudi Arabia 10.6%, UAE 4.3%, Syria 4% (2010)


 $12.97 billion (2010 est.)
$12.5 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals

Imports - Partners:

 Saudi Arabia 19.8%, China 10.8%, Germany 6.1%, US 5.6%, Egypt 4.5%, South Korea 4.2% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $13.65 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$12.14 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $17.46 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
$7.301 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $20.67 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$18.89 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert Jordanian Dinar to Any Currency

Jordanian dinars (JOD) per US dollar -
0.709 (2010)
0.709 (2009)
0.709 (2008)
0.709 (2007)
0.709 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 485,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 6.62 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment; microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; growing mobile-cellular usage in both urban and rural areas is reducing use of fixed-line services; Internet penetration remains modest and slow-growing

Domestic: 1995 telecommunications law opened all non-fixed-line services to private competition; in 2005, monopoly over fixed-line services terminated and the entire telecommunications sector was opened to competition; currently multiple mobile-cellular providers with subscribership rapidly approaching 100 per 100 persons

International: country code - 962; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) FEA and FLAG Falcon submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 33 (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; participant in Medarabtel (2010)

Broadcast Media:

 Radio and TV dominated by the government-owned Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTV) that operates a main network, a sports network, a film network, and a satellite channel; first independent TV broadcaster aired in 2007; international satellite TV and Israeli and Syrian TV broadcasts are available; roughly 30 radio stations operational with JRTV operating the main government-owned station; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 1, FM 28 (2010)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 4 (2009)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 42,412 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1.642 million (2009)

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 18 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 16
Over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 1 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 2
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)


 1 (2010)


 Gas 439 km; oil 49 km (2010)


 Total: 507 km
Narrow gauge: 507 km 1.050-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 7,891 km
Paved: 7,891 km (2009)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 13
By type: cargo 5, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned: 7 (UAE 7)
Registered in other countries: 20 (Bahamas 2, Egypt 2, Panama 13, Syria 2, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Al 'Aqabah

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Military Branches:

 Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force (RJLF), Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya, RJAF), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis) (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 17 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription for males at age 18 was suspended in 1999, but reinstated in July 2007 in order to provide youth training necessary for job market needs; all males under age 37 are required to register; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in non-combat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,674,260
Females age 16-49: 1,611,315 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,439,192
Females age 16-49: 1,384,500 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 73,574
Female: 69,420 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 8.6% of GDP (2006)

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Disputes - International:

 Approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq, with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan; 2004 Agreement settles border dispute with Syria pending demarcation

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Last Updated: December 2011

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