General information: Most of the time since independence (until 1946 under British rule), Jordan was led by King HUSSEIN (1953-1999). Being a pragmatic ruler, he successfully led the country through a series of wars and attempted coups d’état, without succumbing to pressure from the great powers (USA, USSR and Great Britain), various Arab states, Israel and the large local Palestinian population. In 1989 he reopened an elected parliament and gradually introduced political freedoms; in 1994, an official peace treaty was signed with Israel. King Abdullah II (ABDALLAH II) – the eldest son of King HUSSEIN and Princess MUNA (MUNA) – took the throne after the death of his father in February 1999. Since then, he has consolidated his power and developed domestic policy priorities.
Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia.
Geographical coordinates: 31° 00′ N. latitude, 36° 00′ E
Reference map: Middle East.
Area: total: 92,300 km2; land surface area: 91,971 km2; water surface area: 329 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Indiana.
Land borders: total: 1,619 km; with neighboring states: with the West Bank of the Jordan River 97 km, with Israel 238 km, with Iraq 181 km, with Saudi Arabia 728 km, with Syria 375 km.
Coastline: 26 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 3 nautical miles.
Climate: mostly dry, desert; in the west from November to April is the rainy season.
Terrain: mostly desert plateau in the east, mountainous terrain in the west; The Great Rift Valley (Ghar Basin) separates the East and West Banks of the Jordan River.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m; highest point: Mount Ram 1,734 m.
Natural resources: phosphates, potash, oil shale (shale oil).
Land use: arable land: 4%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 9%; forests and plantations: 1%; others: 85% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 630 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: limited natural fresh water resources; deforestation; overgrazing by livestock; soil erosion; desertification.
International environmental agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate change, Desertification, Endangered species, Hazardous wastes, Law of the sea, Marine pollution, Nuclear test ban, Ozone layer protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 5,153,378 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 37.23% (male 980,345; female 938,081); 15 to 64 years old: 59.44% (male 1,633,579; female 1,429,631); over 65: 3.33% (male 84,815; female 86,927) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 3% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 25.44 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 2.62 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 7.18 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.06 male/female; under 15: 1.05 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.14 male/female; over 65: 0.98 male/female; for the general population: 1.1 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 20.36 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 77.53 years; men: 75.1 years; women: 80.12 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.29 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.02% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Jordanian; adjective: Jordanian.
Ethnic groups: Arabs 98%, Circassians 1%, Armenians 1%.
Believers: Sunni Muslim 92%, Christian 6% (mostly Orthodox, but also Greek Catholic, Roman Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Copt, Armenian Apostolic and Protestant), other 2% (small groups of Shia and Druze) (2000 est.).
Language(s): Arabic (official), English, which is well understood in the upper and middle strata of society.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 86.6%; men: 93.4%; women: 79.4% (1995 est.).
Common long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan;
conventional short form: Jordan; local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah; local short form: Al Urdun; former: Transjordan.
State structure: constitutional monarchy. See a2zgov.com to know more about Jordan government and politics.
Administrative divisions: 12 governorates: Ajlun, Amman, Jarash, Irbid, Maan, Madaba, Az-Zarqa, Al-Aqaba, Al-Balqa, El-Karak, El-Mafraq, Al-Tafilah.
Independence: since May 25, 1946 (until 1946 – administered by Great Britain under a League of Nations mandate).
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 May (1946).
Constitution: from January 8, 1952.
Legal system: based on Islamic law and French law codes; legal review of legislative acts is carried out in a specially established High Tribunal; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 20 years old; universal.
chief of state: King ABDULLAH II (since 7 February 1999) Crown Prince HAMZAH (HAMZAH) (half-brother of the King, born 29 March 1980);
head of government: Prime Minister Ali Abul RAGHEB (since 19 June 2000)
Government: cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch; elections: not held; hereditary monarchy; the prime minister is appointed by the monarch.
Legislature: bicameral National Assembly (Majlis al-‘Umma), consisting of the Senate (40 members appointed by the monarch from certain categories of public figures; term of office of the chamber is 4 years) and the House of Representatives (80 seats; members of the house are elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation for a term of 4 years); elections: House of Representatives – last held 4 November 1997 (next to be held November 2001); election results: House of Representatives – distribution of votes between parties – NA; distribution of seats among parties – National Constitutional Party 2, Arab Land Party 1, independents 75, others 2; note: since 1974 the House of Representatives has been convened and dissolved by the king several times; in November 1989, the first parliamentary elections in 22 years were held.
Judiciary: Court of Cassation; Supreme Court (high court).
Political parties and leaders: Arab Lands Party (Dr. Muhammad al-‘ORAN, General Secretary); Jordanian Popular Unity Democratic Party (Sa’eed THIYAB, General Secretary); National Constitution Party (Abdul Hadi MAJALI, General Secretary); Party of the Nation (Al-Umma) (Ahmad al-HANANDEH, General Secretary).
Political influence groups and their leaders: Council of Presidents of Professional Associations (Ahmad al-QADIRI, Chairman); Jordanian Press Association (Sayf al-SHARIF, Chairman); Muslim Brotherhood (Abd-al-Majid DHUNAYBAT, General Secretary).
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Marwan Jamil MUASHER; office: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 966-2664; fax: [\] (202) 966-3110.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador William BURNS; embassy: Abdoum, Amman; mailing address: R. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; APO AE 09892-0200; phone:  (6) 5920101; fax:  (6) 5920121.
Flag description: three identical horizontal stripes of black (top, symbolizes the Abassid Caliphate), white (Umayyad Caliphate) and green (Fatimid Caliphate) colors with a red isosceles triangle (symbolizing the Great Arab Revolution of 1916) with a base on the side adjacent to the pole; on the triangle is a small white seven-pointed star, symbolizing the first seven verses of the first sura of the Qur’an; the seven ends of the star symbolize faith in one God, philanthropy, national spirit, humility, social justice, valor and hope.