[Country map of Jordan]


(also see separate West Bank entry)


Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia

Map references: Middle East

total area: 89,213 sq km
land area: 88,884 sq km
comparative area: slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries: total 1,619 km, Iraq 181 km, Israel 238 km, Saudi Arabia 728 km, Syria 375 km, West Bank 97 km

Coastline: 26 km

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 3 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: mostly arid desert; rainy season in west (November to April)

Terrain: mostly desert plateau in east, highland area in west; Great Rift Valley separates East and West Banks of the Jordan River

Natural resources: phosphates, potash, shale oil

Land use:
arable land: 4%
permanent crops: 0.5%
meadows and pastures: 1%
forest and woodland: 0.5%
other: 94%

Irrigated land: 570 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands


Population: 4,100,709 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 44% (female 884,462; male 930,266)
15-64 years: 53% (female 1,058,060; male 1,119,347)
65 years and over: 3% (female 53,709; male 54,865) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.69% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 37.32 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 4.02 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -6.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 32.3 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.27 years
male: 70.43 years
female: 74.21 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.25 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian

Ethnic divisions: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%

Religions: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 8%

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

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1991)
total population: 83%
male: 91%
female: 75%

Labor force: 600,000 (1992)
by occupation: industry 11.4%, commerce, restaurants, and hotels 10.5%, construction 10.0%, transport and communications 8.7%, agriculture 7.4%, other services 52.0% (1992)


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

Digraph: JO

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Amman

Administrative divisions: 8 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Ma'an

Independence: 25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May (1946)

Constitution: 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

Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King HUSSEIN Bin Talal Al Hashimi (since 11 August 1952)
head of government: Prime Minister Zayd BIN SHAKIR (since 8 January 1995)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch: bicameral National Assembly (Majlis al-'Umma)
House of Notables (Majlis al-A'ayan): consists of a 40-member body appointed by the king from designated categories of public figures
House of Representatives: elections last held 8 November 1993 (next to be held NA November 1997); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (80 total) Muslim Brotherhood (fundamentalist) 16, Independent Islamic bloc (generally traditionalist) 6, Radical leftist 3, pro-government 55
note: the House of Representatives has been convened and dissolved by the King several times since 1974 and in November 1989 the first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation

Political parties and leaders: Al-'Ahd (Pledge) Party, Sec. Gen. 'Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI; Al-Ahrar (Liberals) Party, Sec. Gen. Ahmad al-ZU'BI; Al-Hurriyah (Freedom) Party, Sec. Gen. Fawwaz al-ZUBI; Al-Watan (Homeland) Party, leader 'Akif al-FAYIZ; Al-Yaqazah (Awakening) Party, Sec. Gen. 'Abd al-Ra'uf al-RAWABIDAH; Constitutional Jordanian Arab Front Party, leader Milhim al-TALL; Democratic Arab Islamic Movement Party-Du'a', Sec. Gen. Yusuf Abu BAKR; Democratic Arab Unionist Party-Wad, Sec. Gen. Anis al-MU'ASHIR; Islamic Action Front (IAF), Sec. Gen. Ishaq al-FARHAN; Jordanian Arab Democratic Party, Sec. Gen. Mu'nis al-RAZZAZ; Jordanian Arab Masses Party, Sec. Gen. 'Abd al-Khaliq SHATAT; Jordanian Arab Socialist Ba'th Party, Command First Secretary Taysir al-HIMSI; Jordanian Communist Party (JCP), Sec. Gen. Ya'qub ZAYADIN; Jordanian Democratic Popular Unity Party, Sec. Gen. 'Azmi al-KHAWAJA; Jordanian Democratic Progressive Party, Sec. Gen. 'Ali 'AMIR; Jordanian National Alliance Party, Sec. Gen. Mijhim al-KHURAYSHAH; Jordanian People's Democratic Party-Hashd, Sec. Gen. Taysir al-ZIBRI; Jordanian Socialist Democratic Party, Sec. Gen. 'Isa MADANAT; Pan-Arab Action Front Party, Sec. Gen. Muhammad al-ZU'BI; Popular Unity Party-the Unionists, Sec. Gen. Talal al-RAMAHI; Progress and Justice Party, Sec. Gen. 'Ali al-SA'D; Progressive Arab Ba'th Party, Command Secretary Mahmud al-MA'AYITAH; Al-Mustaqbal (Future) Party, Sec. Gen. Sulayman 'ARAR


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Fayiz A. TARAWNEH
chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Wesley E. EGAN, Jr.
embassy: Jabel Amman, Amman
mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; APO AE 09892-0200
telephone: [962] (6) 820101
FAX: [962] (6) 820159

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of black (top), white, and green with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side bearing a small white seven-pointed star; the seven points on the star represent the seven fundamental laws of the Koran


Overview: Jordan benefited from increased Arab aid during the oil boom of the late 1970s and early 1980s, when its annual real GNP growth averaged more than 10%. In the remainder of the 1980s, however, reductions in both Arab aid and worker remittances slowed real economic growth to an average of roughly 2% per year. Imports - mainly oil, capital goods, consumer durables, and food - outstripped exports, with the difference covered by aid, remittances, and borrowing. In mid-1989, the Jordanian Government began debt-rescheduling negotiations and agreed to implement an IMF-supported program designed to gradually reduce the budget deficit and implement badly needed structural reforms. The Persian Gulf crisis that began in August 1990, however, aggravated Jordan's already serious economic problems, forcing the government to shelve the IMF program, stop most debt payments, and suspend rescheduling negotiations. Aid from Gulf Arab states, worker remittances, and trade contracted; and refugees flooded the country, producing serious balance-of-payments problems, stunting GDP growth, and straining government resources. The economy rebounded in 1992, largely due to the influx of capital repatriated by workers returning from the Gulf, but the recovery was uneven throughout 1994. The government is implementing the reform program adopted in 1992 and continues to secure rescheduling and write-offs of its heavy foreign debt. Debt, poverty, and unemployment remain Jordan's biggest on-going problems.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $17 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $4,280 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 16% (1994 est.)

revenues: $2 billion
expenditures: $2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $630 million (1995 est.)

Exports: $1.4 billion (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities: phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures
partners: India, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, EU, Indonesia, UAE

Imports: $3.5 billion (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities: crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, food, live animals, manufactured goods
partners: EU, US, Iraq, Japan, Turkey

External debt: $6 billion (March 1995 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 3% (1993 est.); accounts for 20% of GDP

capacity: 1,050,000 kW
production: 4.2 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,072 kWh (1993)

Industries: phosphate mining, petroleum refining, cement, potash, light manufacturing

Agriculture: accounts for about 8% of GDP; wheat, barley, citrus fruit, tomatoes, melons, olives; sheep, goats, poultry; large net importer of food

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $1.7 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.5 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $9.5 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $44 million

Currency: 1 Jordanian dinar (JD) = 1,000 fils

Exchange rates: Jordanian dinars (JD) per US$1 - 0.6994 (January 1995), 0.5987 (1994), 0.6928 (1993), 0.6797 (1992), 0.6808 (1991), 0.6636 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 789 km
narrow gauge: 789 km 1.050-m gauge

total: 7,500 km
paved: asphalt 5,500 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone 2,000 km

Pipelines: crude oil 209 km

Ports: Al'Aqabah

Merchant marine:
total: 2 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 61,678 GRT/113,080 DWT
ships by type: bulk 1, oil tanker 1

total: 17
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 9
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 2
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1


Telephone system: 81,500 telephones; adequate telephone system
local: NA microwave, cable, and radio links
intercity: NA
international: 2 INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 ARABSAT earth station; coaxial cable and microwave to Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria; microwave link to Lebanon is inactive; participant in MEDARABTEL, a microwave radio relay network linking Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco

broadcast stations: AM 5, FM 7, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 8 and 1 TV receive-only satellite link
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF; includes Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Naval Force, and Royal Jordanian Air Force); Ministry of the Interior's Public Security Force (falls under JAF only in wartime or crisis situations)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 981,004; males fit for military service 699,891; males reach military age (18) annually 45,494 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $564.2 million, 9.1% of GDP (1995 est.)