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Morocco

Morocco is in North Africa, bordering Western Sahara and Algeria. It also borders the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This former French protectorate gained independence in 1956. In 1860, northern Morocco experienced Spanish occupation, which ended in 1912 when France took over. Due to its strategic location, Morocco developed a rich culture blended from Arab, Berber, European and African influences. Arabs moved into Northern Africa centuries ago and established some dynasties in Morocco. It is an Islamic country, with a touch of European influence due to its close proximity to European countries such as Spain. Morocco has a number of beautiful cities. Fès, built in the 8th century, is

Morocco’s oldest and most historic city, filled with medieval buildings. The town of Marrakech is home to some sultan palaces, mansions of rich merchants and some bazaars. Other cities include Casablanca, Tangier and Rabat, which is the country’s capital. Founded in the 12th century, Rabat is filled with trees and flowers, and many monumental gateways. Some attractions of Rabat include the unfinished 12th-century mosque, the Mohammed V Mausoleum, the Royal Palace, Roman ruins to the museums and cafes. Morocco offers more than a diverse culture, historic cities and beaches. Morocco is home to some snow-capped Atlas Mountains and the edges of the Sahara Desert lie within its borders.
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Demographics
Country Flag: Morocco's Flag

Red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Sulayman's (Solomon's) seal in the center of the flag; red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags, although the use of red is more commonly associated with the Arab states of the Persian gulf; design dates to 1912

Nationality: Moroccan

Capital: Rabat

Population: 33,241,259 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 31.6%
  • 15-64 years: 63.4%
  • 65 years and over: 5% (2006 est.)  

Population growth rate: 1.55% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 51.7% of the population is literate (male: 64.1%, female: 39.4%) (2003 est.)

Major religions: Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%

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

Quick Facts
Area:
  • total: 446,550 sq km
  • land: 446,300 sq km
  • water: 250 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: slightly smaller than the Yukon Territory

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

Environmental 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

Economy


Morocco suffers from its inability to promote the growth of small and medium sized enterprises. In the 1990s, Morocco experienced macroeconomic stability. Poverty has risen over the past few years because of its dependence on foreign energy and its incapability to encourage the growth of small and medium sized enterprises. Morocco signed a free trade agreement with the US in 2004 as an attempt to improve foreign direct investment. Some of the challenges the Moroccon government faces includes preparing the economy for freer trade with the European Union and US, bettering the education system and providing job prospects for Morocco’s youth and improving living standards. The government intends on achieving this through the increase in tourism and enhancing competitiveness in textiles.


Major industries:

  • phosphate rock mining and processing
  • food processing
  • leather goods
  • textiles
  • construction
  • tourism

Agricultural products:

  • barley
  • wheat
  • citrus
  • wine
  • vegetables
  • olives
  • livestock

Oil production: 300 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Railways: 1,907 km

Road map: 57,694 km (paved: 32,551 km; unpaved: 25,143 km)

Currency: Moroccan Dirham

Communications

Telephone lines in use: 1,308,600 (2004)

Cellular lines in use: 9,336,900 (2004)

Television Stations: 35 (plus 66 repeaters) (1995)

Radio Stations: AM 27, FM 25, shortwave 6 (1998)

Internet users: 3.5 million (2005)

Health Issues

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2001 est.)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 15,000 (2001 est.)

More Information

For more informaiton, please visit:
http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/mo.html