[Country map of Morocco]



Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara

Map references: Africa

total area: 446,550 sq km
land area: 446,300 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than California

Land boundaries: total 2,002 km, Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km

Coastline: 1,835 km

Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty is unresolved; the UN is attempting to hold a referendum; the UN-administered cease-fire has been currently in effect since September 1991; Spain controls five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberania) on and off the coast of Morocco - the coastal enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla which Morocco contests as well as the islands of Penon de Alhucemas, Penon de Velez de la Gomera, and Islas Chafarinas

Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior

Terrain: northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains

Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

Land use:
arable land: 18%
permanent crops: 1%
meadows and pastures: 28%
forest and woodland: 12%
other: 41%

Irrigated land: 12,650 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water supplies contaminated by raw sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters
natural hazards: northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

Note: strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar


Population: 29,168,848 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 38% (female 5,486,176; male 5,659,410)
15-64 years: 58% (female 8,456,525; male 8,327,560)
65 years and over: 4% (female 641,236; male 597,941) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.09% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 27.93 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 5.97 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: -1.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 45.8 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 68.98 years
male: 67.03 years
female: 71.02 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.69 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan

Ethnic divisions: Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%

Religions: Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%

Languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990)
total population: 50%
male: 61%
female: 38%

Labor force: 7.4 million
by occupation: agriculture 50%, services 26%, industry 15%, other 9% (1985)


conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib

Digraph: MO

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Rabat

Administrative divisions: 36 provinces and 5 wilayas*; Agadir, Al Hoceima, Assa-Zag, Azilal, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane, Casablanca*, Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Sraghna, Er Rachidia, Essaouira, Es Smara, Fes*, Figuig, Guelmim, Ifrane, Kenitra, Khemisset, Khenifra, Khouribga, Laayoune, Larache, Marrakech*, Meknes*, Nador, Ouarzazate, Oujda, Rabat-Sale*, Safi, Settat, Sidi Kacem, Tanger, Tan-Tan, Taounate, Taroudannt, Tata, Taza, Tetouan, Tiznit

Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday: National Day, 3 March (1961) (anniversary of King Hassan II's accession to the throne)

Constitution: 10 March 1972, revised 4 September 1992

Legal system: based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court

Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: King HASSAN II (since 3 March 1961)
head of government: Prime Minister Abdellatif FILALI (since 29 May 1994)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by the King

Legislative branch: unicameral
Chamber of Representatives (Majlis Nawab): two-thirds elected by direct, universal suffrage and one-third by an electoral college of government, professional, and labor representatives; direct, popular elections last held 15 June 1993 (next to be held NA 1999); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats (333 total, 222 directly elected) USFP 48, IP 43, MP 33, RNI 28, UC 27, PND 14, MNP 14, PPS 6, PDI 3, SAP 2, PA 2, OADP 2; indirect, special interest elections last held 17 September 1993 (next to be held NA 1999); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (333 total, 111 indirectly elected) UC 27, MP 18, RNI 13, MNP 11, PND 10, IP 7, Party of Shura and Istiqlal 6, USFP 4, PPS 4, CDT 4, UTM 3, UGTM 2, SAP 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders:
opposition: Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), Mohammad al-YAZGHI; Istiqlal Party (IP), M'Hamed BOUCETTA; Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS), Ali YATA; Organization of Democratic and Popular Action (OADP), leader NA
pro-government: Constitutional Union (UC), Maati BOUABID; Popular Movement (MP), Mohamed LAENSER; National Democratic Party (PND), Mohamed Arsalane EL-JADIDI; National Popular Movement (MNP), Mahjoubi AHARDANE
independents: National Rally of Independents (RNI), Ahmed OSMAN; Democracy and Istiqlal Party (PDI), leader NA; Action Party (PA), Abdullah SENHAJI; Non-Obedience Candidates (SAP), leader NA
labor unions and community organizations (indirect elections) only): Democratic Confederation of Labor (CDT), Nabir AMAOUI; General Union of Moroccan Workers (UGTM), Abderrazzak AFILAL; Moroccan Union of Workers (UTM), leader NA; Party of Shura and Istiqlal, leader NA


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mohamed BENAISSA
chancery: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979 through 7982
FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161
consulate(s) general: New York

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Marc C. GINSBERG
embassy: 2 Avenue de Marrakech, Rabat
mailing address: PSC 74, Box 003, APO AE 09718
telephone: [212] (7) 76 22 65
FAX: [212] (7) 76 56 61
consulate(s) general: Casablanca

Flag: red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Solomon's seal in the center of the flag; green is the traditional color of Islam


Overview: Morocco faces the typical problems of developing countries - restraining government spending, reducing constraints on private activity and foreign trade, and keeping inflation within bounds. Since the early 1980s the government has pursued an economic program toward these objectives with the support of the IMF, the World Bank, and the Paris Club of creditors. The economy has substantial assets to draw on: the world's largest phosphate reserves, diverse agricultural and fishing resources, a sizable tourist industry, a growing manufacturing sector, and remittances from Moroccans working abroad. A severe drought in 1992-93 depressed economic activity and held down exports. Real GDP contracted by 4.4% in 1992 and 1.1% in 1993. Despite these setbacks, initiatives to relax capital controls, strengthen the banking sector, and privatize state enterprises went forward in 1993-94. Favorable rainfall in 1994 boosted agricultural production by 40%. Servicing the large debt, high unemployment, and vulnerability to external economic forces remain long-term problems for Morocco.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $87.5 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 8% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $3,060 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 5.4% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 16% (1994 est.)

revenues: $8.1 billion
expenditures: $8.9 billion (1994 est.)

Exports: $4.1 billion (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: food and beverages 30%, semiprocessed goods 23%, consumer goods 21%, phosphates 17%
partners: EU 70%, Japan 5%, US 4%, Libya 3%, India 2% (1993)

Imports: $7.5 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: capital goods 24%, semiprocessed goods 22%, raw materials 16%, fuel and lubricants 16%, food and beverages 13%, consumer goods 9%
partners: EC 59%, US 8%, Saudi Arabia 5%, UAE 3%, Russia 2% (1993)

External debt: $20.5 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 0.1% accounts for 28% of GDP

capacity: 2,620,000 kW
production: 9.9 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 361 kWh (1993)

Industries: phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

Agriculture: accounts for 15% of GDP, 50% of employment, and 30% of export value; not self-sufficient in food; cereal farming and livestock raising predominate; barley, wheat, citrus fruit, wine, vegetables, olives

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of hashish; trafficking on the increase for both domestic and international drug markets; shipments of hashish mostly directed to Western Europe; transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $1.3 billion; US commitments, including Ex-Im (1992), $123.6 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $7.5 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $4.8 billion; Communist countries (1970-89), $2.5 billion
note: $2.8 billion debt canceled by Saudi Arabia (1991); IMF standby agreement worth $13 million; World Bank, $450 million (1991)

Currency: 1 Moroccan dirham (DH) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams (DH) per US$1 - 2.892 (January 1995), 9.203 (1994), 9.299 (1993), 8.538 (1992), 8.707 (1991), 8.242 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 1,893 km
standard gauge: 1,893 km 1.435-m gauge (974 km electrified; 246 km double track)

total: 59,474 km
paved: 29,440 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, improved earth, unimproved earth 30,034 km

Pipelines: crude oil 362 km; petroleum products (abandoned) 491 km; natural gas 241 km

Ports: Agadir, Al Jadida, Casablanca, El Jorf Lasfar, Kenitra, Mohammedia, Nador, Rabat, Safi, Tangier; also Spanish-controlled Ceuta and Melilla

Merchant marine:
total: 38 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 183,951 GRT/273,057 DWT
ships by type: cargo 6, chemical tanker 9, container 2, oil tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 10, roll-on/roll-off cargo 6, short-sea passenger 1

total: 74
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 11
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 3
with paved runways under 914 m: 13
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 10
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 24


Telephone system: 280,000 telephones; 10.5 telephones/1,000 persons
local: NA
intercity: good system composed of wire lines, cables, and microwave radio relay links; principal centers are Casablanca and Rabat; secondary centers are Fes, Marrakech, Oujda, Tangier, and Tetouan
international: 5 submarine cables; 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 ARABSAT earth station; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Algeria; microwave radio relay network linking Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco

broadcast stations: AM 20, FM 7, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 26 (repeaters 26)
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Moroccan Army, Royal Moroccan Navy, Royal Moroccan Air Force, Royal Gendarmerie, Auxiliary Forces

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 7,307,076; males fit for military service 4,637,453; males reach military age (18) annually 323,921 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $1.3 billion, 3.8% of GDP (1994)