Map Morocco
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Morocco


Background: In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, successive Moorish dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. The Alaouite dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family belongs, established a sultanate in Morocco beginning in the 17th century. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Sultan MOHAMMED V, the current monarch's grandfather, organized the new state as a constitutional monarchy and in 1957 assumed the title of King. Morocco annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Under King MOHAMMED VI - who in 1999 succeeded his father to the throne - human rights have improved. Morocco enjoys a moderately free press, but the government occasionally takes action against journalists who report on three broad subjects considered to be taboo: the monarchy, Islam, and the status of Western Sahara. Despite the continuing reforms, ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch.
Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara
Area land: 446,300 sq km
Area water: 250 sq km
Coastline: 1,835 km
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco
Country name conventional short form: Morocco
Country name former: Kingdom of Morocco
Population: 31,968,361 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 27.8% (male 4,514,623/female 4,382,487); 15-64 years: 66.1% (male 10,335,931/female 10,785,380); 65 years and over: 6.1% (male 881,622/female 1,068,318) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 1.067% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 19.19 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 4.75 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: -3.77 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female; total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 27.53 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 32.32 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 22.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 75.9 years; male: 72.84 years; female: 79.11 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 2.21 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.1% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 26,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 1,200 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Moroccan(s); adjective: Moroccan;
Ethnic groups: 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: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 52.3%; male: 65.7%; female: 39.6% (2004 census);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $153.8 billion (2010 est.); $147.6 billion (2009 est.); $140.6 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $91.7 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 4.2% (2010 est.); 4.9% (2009 est.); 5.6% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,900 (2010 est.); $4,700 (2009 est.); $4,500 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 17.1%; industry: 31.6%; services: 51.4% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 15% (2007 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.7%; highest 10%: 33.2% (2007);
Labor force: 11.63 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 44.6%; industry: 19.8%; services: 35.5% (2006 est.);
Unemployment rate: 9.8% (2010 est.); 9.1% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $23.42 billion; expenditures: $27.08 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, energy, tourism;
Industrial production growth rate: 4.4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 19.78 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 20.78 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 3.429 billion kWh (2009 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.



(Istiqlal nationalist party organ), Rabat

Aujourd'hui le Maroc


Le Matin du Sahara et du Maghreb

(Government-owned), Casablanca


(Independent, business-oriented daily), Casablanca


(Istiqlal nationalist party organ), Rabat

Western Sahara News


Morocco in the News

Previous 1 2 3 Next

Displaying 5 to 8 of 9 items.

Morocco's Tentative Tap-Dance With Terrorism

The bombings in Casablanca on May 16, 2003, and in Madrid last March 11, were both carried out almost entirely by Moroccan men. This fact is hard to swallow in a country that prides itself on its tolerant Islamic traditions and actively promotes itself as something of an exception within the Arab world.

International Reaction to the Suicide Bombings in Casablanca

Reactions from around the world to the suicide bombing attacks in Casablanca on May 16.

Sidi Mohammed Daddach: Sweet Taste of Freedom

Sarah Coleman profiles Sidi Mohammed Daddach, an activist from the disputed territory Western Sahara recently released from death row in Morocco.

The Saber and the Quran

Morocco's political elite is worried about plotting by radical Islamists to institute an islamic state. Officials in Morocco and United States are investigating the islamists' possible links to Al-Qaeda.