Background: Morocco’s long struggle for independence from France ended in 1956. In the same year, the “international zone” of Tangier became part of the new country. In the late 1970s Morocco has, in effect, annexed Western Sahara, but the status of this territory has not yet been definitively determined. Gradually carried out in the 1990s. political reforms led to the establishment in 1997 of a bicameral legislature.
Location: North Africa, on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, between Algiers and Western Sahara. See franciscogardening.com to know more about Morocco Geography.
Geographical coordinates: 32° 00′ N. latitude, 5° 00′ W
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 446,550 km2; land surface area: 446,300 square kilometers; water surface area: 250 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of California.
Land borders: total length: 2,017.9 km; with neighboring states: with Algeria 1,559 km, with Western Sahara 443 km, with Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, with Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km.
Coastline: 1,835 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of exploitation; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: Mediterranean, more contrasting in the interior.
Terrain: mountains on the northern coast and inland, bordering on vast plateaus, valleys between mountains, fertile coastal plains.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Sebha-Tah -55 m; highest point: Mount Toubkal 4,165 m.
Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt.
Land use: arable land: 21%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 47%; forests and plantations: 20%; others: 11% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 12,580 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: frequent earthquakes in the mountains in the north; periodic droughts.
Current environmental issues: soil degradation and erosion, as well as desertification as a result of agriculture in marginal areas, overgrazing and destruction of vegetation; contamination of water supplies with sewage; siltation of reservoirs; oil pollution of coastal waters.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Pollution, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling; signed but not ratified: Environmental Change, Law of the Sea.
Geography Note: Strategic location along the Strait of Gibraltar.
Population: 30,645,305 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 34.39% (male 5,368,784; female 5,170,891); 15 to 64 years: 60.93% (male 9,270,095; female 9,402,561); over 65: 4.68% (male 646,567; female 786,407) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.71% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 24.16 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 5.94 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -1.15 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.99 male/female; over 65: 0.82 male/female; for the general population: 1 male/female. (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 48.11 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 69.43 years; men: 67.2 years; women: 71.76 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 3.05 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adult population infected with HIV: 0.03% (1999 est.). i
Number of people infected with HIV: no data available.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Moroccan; adjective: Moroccan.
Ethnic groups: Arabs and Berbers 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jews 0.2%.
Believers: Muslims 98.7%, Christians 1.1%, Jews 0.2%.
Languages): Arabic (official), Berber dialects; French is the most common business and diplomatic language.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 43.7%; men: 56.6%; women: 31% (1995 est.). State Name:
Common long form: Kingdom of Morocco;
conventional short form: Morocco; local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghri-biyah; local short form: Al Maghrib.
State structure: constitutional monarchy.
Administrative division: 37 provinces and 2 vilayets*: Agadir, Azilal, Al Hoceima, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Bulemane, Guelmim, Ifrane, Casablanca*, Quemisset, Kenitra, Laayoune, Larache, Marrakech, Meknes, Nador, Rabat- Sale*, Safi, Settat, Sidi Kasem, Taza, Tangier, Taru-dant, Tan-Tan, Tata, Taunat, Tetouan, Tiznit, Ouj-da, Urzazat, Fes, Figwig, Khenifra, Khouribga, Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Srarna, Er Rashidiya, Essaouira; note: three additional provinces of Ad Dakla (Oued Eddahab), Bujdur and Es Smara, as well as parts of the provinces of Laayoun and Tan Tan, are located in Western Sahara; the adoption in March 1997 by the legislature of a law on decentralization and a new regional division led to the creation of many new provinces; the details and extent of the reorganization are not known yet.
Independence: from March 2, 1956 (until 1956 – protectorate of France).
National holiday: Coronation Day, July 30 (since 1999) (the anniversary of the accession to the throne of King MOHAMMED VI [MOHAMED VI]).
Constitution: adopted March 10, 1972, revised September 4, 1992, amended to establish a bicameral legislature, September 1996
Legal system: based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law systems; judicial review of legislative acts in the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.
Suffrage: from 21 years old; universal.
chief of state: King MOHAMMED VI (since 23 July 1999)
head of the government: Prime Minister Abderrahmane YOUSSOUFI (since 14 March 1998);
Government: council of ministers appointed by the monarch; elections: no; hereditary monarchy; the prime minister is appointed by the monarch after parliamentary elections.
Legislature: bicameral Parliament, consisting of an upper House of Councilors (270 members elected by secret ballot by local councils, professional organizations and trade unions for a nine-year term; one third of the members are renewed every three years) and a lower House of Representatives (325 members elected by popular vote for a five-year term); elections: for House of Councilors last held 15 September 2000 (next to be held in 2002); to the House of Representatives were last held on 14 November 1997 (next to be held in November 2002); election results: for the House of Councilors – distribution of votes by party – no data; distribution of seats by parties – no data; to the House of Representatives – distribution of votes by parties – no data; distribution of seats by party – USFP 57, UC 50, RNI 46, MP 40, MDS 32, IP 32, MNP 19, PND 10, MPCD 9,
Judiciary: Supreme Court; judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Judicial Council, headed by the monarch.
Political parties and leaders: Action Party (RA) (Muhammad ID-RISS); Constitutional Union (UC) (leader – NA); Front for Democratic Forces (FFD) (Thami KHIARI); Democratic Socialist Party (PSD) (Issa OUARDIGHI); Democratic Party for Independence (PDI) (Thami EL-OUAZZANI, Said BOUACH-RINE); Istiklal Party (IP) (Abbas EL-FASSI [Abbas EL-FASSI]); Labor Party (UT) (leader – no data); National Democratic Party (PND) (Mohamed Arsalane EL-JA-DIDI [Mohamed Arsalane EL-JADIDI]); National People’s Movement (MNP) (Mahjoubi AHARDANE); National Association of Independents (RNI) (Ahmed OSMAN); Organization for Democratic and Popular Action (OADP) (Mohamed BENSAID); Progress and Socialism Party (PPS) (Moulay Ismail ALAOUI); People’s Constitutional and Democratic Movement (MPCD) (Dr. Abdelkarim KHATIB); People’s Movement (MP) (Mohamed LAENSER [Mohamed LAENSER]); Social Democratic Movement (MDS) (Mahmoud ARCHANE); Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) (Abderakhman YUSSUFI).
Political pressure groups and their leaders: Association of People’s Trade Unions (ADP) (leader – NA); Democratic Confederation of Labor (CDT) (Nubir AMAOUI); Democratic National Union (USND) (leader – NA); Democratic Trade Union (SD) (leader – NA); General Union of Moroccan Workers (UGTM) (Abderrazzak AFILAL [Abderrazzak AFILAL]); Trade Union Commissions (CS) (leader – NA); Moroccan National Union of Workers (UNMT) (leader – NA); Moroccan Union of Workers (UTM) (Mahjoub BENSEDIQ); Party “Shura and Istikla” (Abdelwaheb MAASH [Abdelwaheb MAASH]).
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, ACCT (associate), AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CCC, EBRD, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO.
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Abdullah MAAROUFI; office: 1601 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009; phone:  (202) 462-7979 to 462-7982; fax:  (202) 265-0161; consulates general: New York.
US Diplomatic Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Edward M. GABRIEL; Embassy Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat; mailing address: PSC 74, Box 3, APO AE 09718; phone:  (7) 76 22 65; fax:  (7) 76 56 61; consulates general: Casablanca.
Description of the flag: red, with a green pentagram, known as Solomon’s seal, in the very center of the flag; green is the traditional color of Islam.