Jordan Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Jordan > Map Economy History

Jordan Nature Reserves  Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature

Facts About Jordan

Background: For most of its history since independence from British administration in 1946, Jordan was ruled by King HUSSEIN (1953-1999). A pragmatic ruler, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the 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 was signed with Israel. King ABDALLAH II - the eldest son of King HUSSEIN and Princess MUNA - assumed the throne following his father's death in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and established his domestic priorities.
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Amman
Currency: 1 Jordanian dinar (JD) = 1,000 fils

Geography of Jordan

Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 31 00 N, 36 00 E
Area:
total: 89,213 sq km
land: 88,884 sq km
water: 329 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,619 km
border countries: 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
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
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: 4%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 9%
forests and woodland: 1%
other: 85% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 630 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: droughts
Environment - current issues: limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, 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.

People of Jordan

Jordanians are Arabs, except for a few small communities of Circassians, Armenians, and Kurds which have adapted to Arab culture. The official language is Arabic, but English is used widely in commerce and government. About 70% of Jordan's population are urban; less than 6% of the rural population is nomadic or seminomadic. Most people live where the rainfall supports agriculture. About 1.5 million Palestinian Arabs registered as refugees and displaced persons reside in Jordan, most as citizens.

Population: 5,759,732 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  37.23% 
15-64 years:  59.44%
65 years and over:  3.33% 
Population growth rate: 2.8% 
Birth rate: 25.44 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 2.62 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 7.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 20.36 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  77.53 years
male:  75.1 years
female:  80.12 years 
Total fertility rate: 3.29 children born/woman 
Nationality:
noun: Jordanian(s)
adjective: Jordanian
Ethnic groups: Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%
Religions: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek Catholics, Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shi'a Muslim and Druze populations) (2000 est.)
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely understood among upper and middle classes
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 86.6%
male: 93.4%
female: 79.4% (1995 est.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Jordan > Map Economy History