Morocco Facts

Official name: The Kingdom of Morocco

National name: al-Mamlaka al-Maghrebia

Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)

Area: 710,850 sq km (including W Sahara)

Land area: 172,317 sq mi (446,301 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 33,757,175 (growth rate: 1.5%); birth rate: 21.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 38.9/1000; life expectancy: 71.2; 69 years (men), 73 years (women), density per sq mi: 196

Literacy rate: 52% (2003 est.)

Capital (2003 est.): Rabat, 1,636,600

Largest cities: Casablanca, 3,397,000; Fez, 941,800; Marrakech, 755,200

Major languages: Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French (Often used for business, government, and diplomacy), Spanish.

Religions: Islam 99%, Christian 1%

Ethnicity/race: Arab-Berber 99.1%, Jewish 0.2%, other 0.7%

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Western Sahara.

Land boundaries: 2,017.9 km

Border countries: Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) 9.6 km

Coastline: 1,835 km

Maritime claims: Territorial sea: 12 nm, contiguous zone: 24 nm

Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation.

Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior.

Terrain: Northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains.

Elevation extremes

Lowest point: Sebkha Tah -55 m

Highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m

Natural hazards: Northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts.

Environment - Current 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.

Environment - International Agreements

Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification.

Economic summary

GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $127 billion;

Per capita: $3,800

Real growth rate: 2.1%.

Inflation: 2.1%.

Unemployment: 15%.

Arable land: 19%.

Agriculture: Barley, wheat, citrus, wine, vegetables, olives; livestock.

Labor force: 11.35 million; agriculture 40%, services 45%, industry 15% (2003 est.).

Industries: Phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism. Natural resources: Phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt.

Exports: $12.73 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Export commodities: Clothing, fish, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, fruits, vegetables.

Exports - partners: Spain 20.6%, France 20.5%, UK 4.8%, Italy 4.7%, India 4% (2006)

Imports: $22.15 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)

Import commodities: Crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics.

Imports - partners: France 17.5%, Spain 13.9%, Saudi Arabia 6.9%, China 6.9%, Italy 6.3%, Germany 6% (2006)

Major trading partners: France, Spain, UK, Italy, India, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China (2006).


Revenues: $20.58 billion

Expenditures: $21.71 billion (2007 est.)

Public debt: 72.4% of GDP (2007 est.)

Oil - production: 3,746 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - consumption: 176,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil - exports: 21,890 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil - imports: 186,100 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil - proved reserves: 100 million bbl (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production: 47.95 million cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - consumption: 47.95 million cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2005)

Natural gas - proved reserves: 1.629 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Pipelines: Gas 720 km; oil 439 km (2007)

Current account balance: -$71 million (2007 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $651.8 million (2005)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $24.29 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Debt - external: $19.91 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $26.52 billion (2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $567 million (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares: $49.6 billion (2006)

Currency (code): Moroccan dirham (MAD)

Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams per US dollar - 8.3563 (2007), 8.7722 (2006), 8.865 (2005), 8.868 (2004), 9.574 (2003).


Telephones: main lines in use: 1.266 million (2006)

Mobile cellular: 16.005 million (2006).

Radio broadcast stations: AM 27, FM 25, shortwave 6 (1998).

Radios: 6.64 million (1997).

Television broadcast stations: 35 (plus 66 repeaters) (1995). Televisions: 3.1 million (1997).

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 137,187 (2007).

Internet users: 6.1 million (2006).


Railways: total: 1,907 km (2006).

Highways: total: 57,493 km; paved: 32,716 km (includes 507 km of expressways); unpaved: 24,777 km (2004).

Ports and harbors: Agadir, El Jadida, Casablanca, El Jorf Lasfar, Kenitra, Mohammedia, Nador, Rabat, Safi, Tangier; also Spanish-controlled Ceuta and Melilla.

Airports: 60 (2007).

Government type: Constitutional Monarchy

Administrative divisions: 15 regions; Grand Casablanca, Chaouia-Ouardigha, Doukkala-Abda, Fes-Boulemane, Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hssen, Guelmim-Es Smara, Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, Meknes-Tafilalet, Oriental, Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaer, Souss-Massa-Draa, Tadla-Azilal, Tanger-Tetouan, Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate.

Constitution: 10 March 1972; revised 4 September 1992, amended (to create bicameral legislature) September 1996

Legal system: Based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law systems; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal (as of January 2003)

Executive Branch

Chief of State: King MOHAMED VI (since 30 July 1999)

Head of Government: Prime Minister Abbas EL FASSI (since 19 September 2007)

Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch

Elections: the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch following legislative elections.

Legislative branch: Bicameral Parliament consists of a Chamber of Counselors (or upper house) (270 seats; members elected indirectly by local councils, professional organizations, and labor syndicates for nine-year terms; one-third of the members are elected every three years) and Chamber of Representatives (or lower house) (325 seats; 295 members elected by multi-seat constituencies and 30 from national lists of women; members elected by popular vote for five-year terms).

Elections - Chamber of Counselors - last held 8 September 2006 (next to be held in 2009); Chamber of Representatives - last held 7 September 2007 (next to be held in 2012).

Judicial branch

Supreme Court: Judges are appointed on the recommendation of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary, presided over by the monarch.

National holiday:

Throne Day (accession of King MOHAMED VI to the throne), 30 July (1999).

Political parties and leaders

  • Action Party or PA [Muhammad EL IDRISSI];
  • Alliance of Liberties or ADL [Ali BELHAJ];
  • Annahj Addimocrati or Annahj [Abdellah EL HARIF];
  • Avant Garde Social Democratic Party or PADS [Ahmed BENJELLOUN];
  • Citizen Forces or FC [Abderrahman LAHJOUJI];
  • Citizen's Initiatives for Development [Mohamed BENHAMOU];
  • Constitutional Union or UC [Mohamed ABIED];
  • Democratic and Independence Party or PDI [Abdelwahed MAACH];
  • Democratic and Social Movement or MDS [Mahmoud ARCHANE];
  • Democratic Forces Front or FFD;
  • Democratic Socialist Party or PSD [Aissa OUARDIGHI];
  • Democratic Society Party or PSD [Zhor CHEKKAFI];
  • Democratic Union or UD [Bouazza IKKEN];
  • Environment and Development Party or PED [Ahmed EL ALAMI];
  • Front of Democratic Forces or FFD [Thami EL KHYARI];
  • Independence Party (Istiqlal) or PI [Abbas EL FASSI];
  • Justice and Development Party or PJD [Saad Eddine EL OTHMANI];
  • Labor Party [Abdelkrim BENATIK];
  • Moroccan Liberal Party or PML [Mohamed ZIANE];
  • National Democratic Party or PND [Abdallah KADIRI];
  • National Ittihadi Congress Party or CNI [Abdelmajid BOUZOUBAA];
  • National Rally of Independents or RNI [Mustapha EL MANSOURI];
  • National Union of Popular Forces or UNFP [Abdellah IBRAHIM];
  • Parti Al Ahd or Al Ahd [Najib EL OUAZZANI];
  • Party of Progress and Socialism or PPS [Ismail ALAOUI];
  • Party of Renewal and Equity or PRE [Chakir ACHABAR];
  • Party of the Unified Socialist Left or GSU [Mohamed Ben Said AIT IDDER];
  • Popular Movement or MP [Mohamed LAENSER];
  • Reform and Development Party or PRD [Abderrahmane EL KOUHEN];
  • Social Center Party or PSC [Lahcen MADIH];
  • Socialist Union of Popular Forces or USFP.

Political pressure groups and leaders

Democratic Confederation of Labor or CDT [Noubir AMAOUI]; General Union of Moroccan Workers or UGTM [Abderrazzak AFILAL]; Moroccan Employers Association or CGEM [Hassan CHAMI]; National Labor Union of Morocco or UNMT [Abdelslam MAATI]; Union of Moroccan Workers or UMT [Mahjoub BENSEDDIK].

International organization participation


International disputes: Claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty remains unresolved - UN-administered cease-fire has remained in effect since September 1991, but attempts to hold a referendum have failed and parties thus far have rejected other proposals; Morocco protests Spain's control over the coastal enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Penon de Velez de la Gomera, the islands of Penon de Alhucemas and Islas Chafarinas, and surrounding waters; Morocco also rejected Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands in 2002 to set limits to undersea resource exploration and refugee interdiction; Morocco allowed Spanish fishermen to fish temporarily off the coast of Western Sahara after an oil spill soiled Spanish fishing grounds.

Internet country code: .ma

International dialling code: +212.

Last Updated on Friday 13th November 2009