Country Profile
Kingdom of Morocco

(Statistics Sources: CIA World Factbook 2000, UNAIDS, Encyclopedia Britannica)








Gross Domestic Product (GDP): $108 billion (1999 est.)

GDP per capita: $3,600 (1999 est.)

GDP Growth Rate: 0% (1999 est.)

Inflation: 1.9% (1999 est.)

Unemployment: 19% (1998 est.)

Exports: $7.1 billion (f.o.b., 1998)

Major Exports: Phosphates and fertilizers, food and beverages, minerals (1998)

External Debt: $19.1 billion (1999 est.)

Economic Aid Recipient: $565.6 million (1995)

Currency: Dirham


Physical Description: Morocco boasts the highest mountains in northern Africa. The Rif mountain chain runs along the northern Mediterranean coast with its peak at Mount Tidirhine at just over 8,000 ft. The Atlas mountains dominate the center of the country with an average elevation of 11,000 ft. At 13,665 ft., Mount Toubkai is the highest peak. Rocky plateaus make up half of Morocco's land area. The alluvial lowlands, where agriculture is concentrated, around 20 percent. The Saharan plateau dominates the south. Morocco is dominated by Algeria to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the disputed Western Sahara to the south.

Climate: Mediterranean with extreme heat in the interior

Irrigated Land: 4,857 sq miles (1993 est.)

Land Use:
Arable Land: 21%
Permanent Crops: 1%
Permanent Pastures: 47%
Forests and Woodland: 20%
Other: 11% (1993 est.)

Natural Resources: Phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc

Natural Hazards: Northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts

Eco-alerts: Morocco suffers from the standard regional environmental problems of land degradation from farming exhausted lands, overgrazing and destruction of vegetation. Water supplies are frequently contaminated by raw sewage. Oil pollution plagues coastal waters.

Official Name: Kingdom of Morocco

Government Type: Constitutional monarchy

Capital: Rabat (pop: 518,616) (1982)

Size: 177,117 square miles or roughly the size of California

Internet Service Providers: 27 (1999)










Population: 30,122,350

Life Expectancy: 69 years

HIV/AIDS Rate Of Infection: .03% (1999)

Infant Mortality Rate: 49.72 deaths/1,000 live births

Fertility Rate: 3.13 children born/woman

Ethnic Groups: Arab-Berber 99%

Religion: Muslim

Languages: Moroccan Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French widely used

Literacy Rate: 43.7%

Cell Phones: 116,645 (1998)

Telephones: 1.391 million (1998)

Radios: 6.64 million (1997)

Televisions: 3.1 million (1997)

Morocco made its first entrance onto the world stage in the 11th century when the Moors conquered Spain, bringing with them not only Islam, but an advanced knowledge of architecture, written literature, science and mathematics. Its influence can still be felt throughout southern Spain. In modern times, Western perceptions of Morocco have centered more around belly dancers and snake charmers, a stereotype that the country capitalizes on with a booming tourism industry. Independent from France since 1956, Morocco has played its hand carefully in relations between the West and its fellow Arab states. Under King Mohamed VI, that moderation is expected to continue, with an eye to increasing contacts with the European Union and increasing investment to keep its young from leaving Morocco for more profitable jobs in France and elsewhere.