OFFICIAL NAME: Kingdom of Morocco
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Monarchy
AREA: 409,200 Sq Km (157,993 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Morocco is located in the northwestern corner of Africa. It is bound by Western Sahara to the southwest, Algeria to the southeast and east, the Mediterranean sea to the northeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country is divided into three topographical regions. (1.) An open area in the northwest which is enclosed by a complex and rugged area of mountains known as the Rif. (2.) The mountains and plateaux in the eastern and southern areas which include the Atlas Mountains as well as the Sarho Mountains while the plateaux are characterized by the arid rolling Dhara Plateau. (3.) The coastal plains of the west which include the fertile Gharb, Chaouia, Doukkala, Meseta, Abda, Djebilet and Rehmana Plains. The principal rivers are the Moulouya, Oumer Rebia, Sobou, Bou Regreg, Tensift, Draa and Sous. Major Cities (pop. est.); Casablanca 2,943,200, Rabat 1,220,000, Fes 564,000 (1993). Land Use; forested 20%, pastures 47%, agricultural-cultivated 22%, other 11% (1993).

CLIMATE: Morocco has two climatic zones. (1.) a Mediterranean climate in the north and central areas that is characterized by warm wet winters and hot dry summers. (2.) A semiarid climate which is predominant in the pre-Sahara region. The wet seasons are from April to May and October to November with average annual precipitation varying from 254 mm (10 inches) to 100 mm (4 inches) depending on the region. During summer the intensely hot winds of the Sahara Desert known as the Sirocco or Chergui prevails. Average temperature ranges in Rabat are from 8 to 17 degrees Celsius (46 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 18 to 28 degrees Celsius (64 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit) in August.

PEOPLE: Moroccans are generally descendants of the indigenous Berbers, although the people of both Hamitic Berber and Semitic Arab origins together constitute 99% of the population with Jews being the only true minority.

DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 56 persons per sq km (145 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 49.5% urban, 50.5% rural (1992). Sex Distribution; 50.1% male, 49.9% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 59.1 years male, 62.5 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 41% under 15, 28% 15 to 29, 17% 30 to 44, 8% 45 to 59, 5% 60 to 74, 1% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 35.3 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 9.7 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 25.6 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 82.0 per 1,000 live births (1990).

RELIGIONS: The official religion is Islam with 99% of the population Sunni Muslims while a minority of Christians and Jews account for the remainder.

LANGUAGES: The official language is Arabic, although only 60% of the population speak it as their mother tongue while Berber accounts for the other 40%.

EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 47.8%, incomplete primary 47.8%, incomplete secondary 3.8%, higher 0.6%, unspecified 2,3% (1982). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 70.7% (1980).

MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: After World War II, Morocco's Sultan Sidi Mohammed bin Yusuf led the independence movement and on March 2, 1956 Morocco gained complete independence from France while Spain also relinquished its claims on Northern Morocco. Mohammed changed his title from Sultan to King and established a constitutional monarchy. In 1960 King Mohammed took full control of the government and named himself Prime Minister. After his death in 1961 his son, Prince Moulay Hassan became King Hassan II. During the 1960's radical groups opposing the monarchy became active and in 1965 a State of Emergency was declared which lasted until 1970. In the early 1970's King Hassan began to press Morocco's long time claim to Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara). In 1975 Spain withdrew from Spanish Sahara and in Nov. 1975 Morocco invaded Spanish Sahara along with Mauritania and occupied it jointly. In 1979 Mauritania withdrew from Western Sahara and Morocco then claimed the entire area. During the 1980's fighting between Moroccan troops and the Western Sahara Polisario, which are supported by Libya and Algeria, has continued. In 1984 King Hassan agreed to a union with the Polisario but it was canceled in Aug. 1986 after Libya's President Col. Gaddafi who initiated the treaty criticized King Hassan's meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister one month earlier. In Oct. 1989 the Polisario launched a new offensive against Moroccan troops after it became frustrated with a stalemate in negotiations. In Dec. 1990 a strike led to two days of rioting in Fez, which resulted in some 30 people being killed. In Jan. 1991 the government accepted a UN-sponsored plan for a referendum to be held in Western Sahara over the disputed territory. On Feb. 3, 1991 mass demonstrations involving 300,000 people were held in Rabat over the government's support for the US-led coalition Gulf War. In June 1991 King Hassan granted a pardon to Polisario members and supporters before new UN negotiations to end the conflict got underway. In July 1991 the government submitted additional voter lists of 120,000 people for scrutiny that led to difficulties and on Sept. 6, 1991 a cease-fire was declared. Also in 1991 Morocco established a permanent secretariat in Rabat for the Union Maghreb Arabe (UMA) in which it's a member while Algeria and Morocco agreed to build a gas pipeline to Spain. In 1992 the UN Security Council insisted that the Moroccan government and the Western Saharan Polisario Front remove any further obstacles to the UN-sponsored referendum following the objections between the parties over additional voting lists. The UN also suggested that if no agreement could be reached by the year's end then it would consider withdrawing its peacekeeping force, MINUSRO while Morocco warned that it would extend its electoral process to the disputed territory. In June 1992 concerns and doubts over the improved Moroccan-Algerian relations arose after the Algerian Pres. Boudiaf was assassinated raising fears that the new regime would renew support for the Polisario. In Sept. 1992 Morocco included Western Sahara in its nationwide constitutional referendum and in Oct. 1992 held local council elections there as well, although planned legislative elections to be held there were postponed. In 1993 the dispute between the Polisario and the Moroccan government continued over the government's additional 120,000 Sahrawis submitted to vote in referendum over an above the 74,000 from the 1974 Spanish census of the territory. Later the UN and MINURSO announced plans for a new census to be held in preparation for the referendum. In June 1993 parliamentary elections were held with the Socialist Union of Populist Forces (USFP) expected to win and form a new government. In Oct. 1993 the USFP announced it did not intend to form a coalition or minority government while USFP leader Abd ar-Rahman al-Yousifi resigned in protest to alleged electoral fraud. A new coalition government was eventually formed from the ranks of the loyalist parties. Also in 1993 the government continued with its privatization program which had raised in excess of US $214 million and the government opened the US $500 million Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.

CURRENCY: The official currency is the Dirham (DH) divided into 100 Francs.

ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $27,645,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $20,310,000,000 (1993). Imports; DH 66,119,000,000 (1994). Exports; DH 36,815,000,000 (1994). Tourism Receipts; USD $1,267,000,000 (1994). Balance of Trade; DH -23,353,000,000 (1994). Economically Active Population; 8,694,000 or 32.8% of total population (1994). Unemployed; 16.0% (1993).

MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are France, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, India, the former USSR, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, the UK and Poland.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Almonds, Cereals, Citrus Fruits, Dates, Fish, Goats, Grapes, Iron, Lead, Manganese, Olives, Phosphates, Poultry, Pulses, Sheep, Timber, Vegetables.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Cement, Fertilizers, Fishing, Food Processing, Leather Goods, Mining, Textiles, Wine.

MAIN EXPORTS: Clothing, Fish, Fruit and Vegetables, Metal Ores, Petroleum Products, Phosphates, Phosphoric Acid.

TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 1,893 km (1,176 mi) (1989), passenger-km 2,232,000,000 (1,387,000,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 5,112,000,000 (3,501,000,000 short ton-mi) (1990). Roads; length 59,450 km (36,941 mi) (1989). Vehicles; cars 554,059 (1987), trucks and buses 255,149 (1987). Merchant Marine; vessels 450 (1990), deadweight tonnage 618,241 (1990). Air Transport; passenger-km 2,700,000,000 (1,678,000,000 passenger-mi) (1989), cargo ton-km 35,016,000 (23,982,000 short ton-mi) (1989).

COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 14 with a total circulation for 1 of 335,000 (1992). Radio; receivers 5,100,000 (1994). Television; receivers 1,210,000 (1994). Telephones; units 820,800 (1993).

MILITARY: 195,500 (1995) total active duty personnel with 89.5% army, 3.6% navy and 6.9% air force while military expenditure accounts for 4.3% (1994) of the Gross National Product (GNP).

Countries Navbar

© 1993-2011, Latimer Clarke Corporation Pty Ltd. All Rights Reserved
Use of these site materials or portion thereof is restricted
Atlapedia is a trademark and in worldwide use

See our Legal Notice for Copyright and Linking conditions of use
Best viewed at 1024x768 or higher

Big Game