Middle East :: Jordan

Introduction ::Jordan

    Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations awarded Britain the mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain demarcated a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s. The area gained its independence in 1946 and thereafter became The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country's long-time ruler, King HUSSEIN (1953-99), successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, King HUSSEIN's eldest son, assumed the throne following his father's death in 1999. He implemented modest political and economic reforms, but in the wake of the "Arab Revolution" across the Middle East, Jordanians continue to press for further political liberalization, government reforms, and economic improvements.

Geography ::Jordan

People and Society ::Jordan

Government ::Jordan

    conventional 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
    constitutional monarchy
    name: Amman
    geographic coordinates: 31 57 N, 35 56 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins first Friday in April; ends last Friday in October
    note: Jordan remains on DST following a decision by the government to cancel a change back to Standard Time in October 2012; DST currently scheduled to end the fourth Friday in October
    12 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Ajlun, Al 'Aqabah, Al Balqa', Al Karak, Al Mafraq, 'Amman, At Tafilah, Az Zarqa', Irbid, Jarash, Ma'an, Madaba
    25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
    Independence Day, 25 May (1946)
    1 January 1952; amended many times
    mixed legal system of civil law and Islamic religious law; judicial review of legislative acts in a specially provided High Tribunal
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: King ABDALLAH II (since 7 February 1999); Crown Prince HUSSEIN (born 28 June 1994), eldest son of King ABDALLAH II
    head of government: Prime Minister Abdullah NSOUR (since 11 October 2012)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister in consultation with the monarch; note - a new cabinet was sworn in 30 March 2013
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    elections: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch
    bicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-'Umma consists of the Senate, also called the House of Notables or Majlis al-Ayan (60 seats; members appointed by the monarch to serve four-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies, also called the House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwaab (150 seats; 123 members elected using the single, non-transferable vote system in multi-member districts, and 27 seats elected using a closed national list system based on proportional representation; all legislators serve four-year terms); note - the new electoral law enacted in July 2012 allocated an additional 10 seats (6 seats added to the number reserved for women, bringing the total to 15; 2 additional seats for Amman; and 1 seat each for the cities of Zarqa and Irbid; unchanged are 9 seats reserved for Christian candidates, 9 for Bedouin candidates, and 3 for Jordanians of Chechen or Circassian descent
    elections: Chamber of Deputies - last held on 23 January 2013 (next election NA); note - the King dissolved the previous Chamber of Deputies in November 2012, midway through the parliamentary term
    election results: Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - 27 elected on closed national list to include: Islamic Centrist Party 3, Nation 2, National Union 2, Stronger Jordan 2, Ahl al-Himma 1, Al-Bayyan 1, Citizenship 1, Construction 1, Cooperation 1, Dawn 1, Dignity 1, Free Voice 1, Labor and Trade 1, National Accord Youth Block 1, National Action 1, National Current 1 (member resigned in February 2013), National Unity 1, Nobel Jerusalem 1, Salvation 1, The People 1, Unified Front 1, Voice of Nation 1; other 123; note - the IAF boycotted the election
    highest court(s): Court of Cassation or Supreme Court (consists of 7 judges including the chief justice; 7-judge panels for important cases and 5 judge panels for most appeals cases)
    judge selection and term of office: chief justice appointed by the king; other judges nominated by the Higher Judicial Council and approved by the king; judge tenure NA
    subordinate courts: courts of appeal; magistrate courts; courts of first instance; religious courts; State Security Court
    Ahl al-Himma
    Al-Hayah Jordanian Pary [Zahier AMR]
    Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party [Akram al-HIMSI]
    Ba'ath Arab Progressive Party [Fuad DABBOUR]
    Democratic People's Party [Ablah ABU ULBAH]
    Democratic Popular Unity Party [Sa'id DIAB]
    Du'a Party [Muhammed ABU BAKR]
    Free Voice
    Islamic Action Front or IAF [Hamzah MANSOUR]
    Islamic Centrist Party [Muhammad al-HAJ]
    Jordanian Communist Party [Munir HAMARNAH]
    Jordanian National Party [Muna ABU BAKR]
    Jordanian United Front [Amjad al-MAJALI]
    Labor and Trade
    National Accord Youth Block
    National Action
    National Constitution Party [Ahmad al-SHUNAQ]
    National Current Party [Abd al-Hadi al-MAJALI]
    National Movement for Direct Democracy [Muhammad al-QAQ]
    National Union
    National Unity
    Nobel Jerusalem
    Risalah Party [Hazem QASHOU]
    Stronger Jordan
    The Direct Democratic Nationalists Movement Party [Nash'at KHALIFAH]
    The People
    Unified Front
    United Front
    Voice of the Nation
    15 April Movement [Mohammad SUNEID, chairman]
    24 March Movement [Mu'az al-KHAWALIDAH, Abdel Rahman HASANEIN, spokespersons]
    1952 Constitution Movement
    Anti-Normalization Committee [Hamzah MANSOUR, chairman]
    Economic and Social Association of Retired Servicemen and Veterans or ESARSV [Abdulsalam al-HASSANAT, chairman]
    Group of 36
    Higher Coordination Committee of Opposition Parties [Said DIAB]
    Higher National Committee for Military Retirees or HNCMR [Ali al-HABASHNEH, chairman]
    Jordan Bar Association [Saleh al-ARMUTI, chairman]
    Jordanian Campaign for Change or Jayin
    Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood [Dr. Hamam SAID, controller general]
    Jordanian Press Association [Sayf al-SHARIF, president]
    National Front for Reform or NFR [Ahmad OBEIDAT, chairman]
    Popular Gathering for Reform
    Professional Associations Council [Abd al-Hadi al-FALAHAT, chairman]
    Sons of Jordan
    chief of mission: Ambassador Alia Hatough BOURAN
    chancery: 3504 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 966-2664
    FAX: [1] (202) 966-3110
    chief of mission: Ambassador Stuart E. JONES
    embassy: Abdoun, Al-Umawyeen St., Amman
    mailing address: P. O. Box 354, Amman 11118 Jordan; Unit 70200, Box 5, DPO AE 09892-0200
    telephone: [962] (6) 590-6000
    FAX: [962] (6) 592-0163
    three equal horizontal bands of black (top), representing the Abbassid Caliphate, white, representing the Ummayyad Caliphate, and green, representing the Fatimid Caliphate; a red isosceles triangle on the hoist side, representing the Great Arab Revolt of 1916, and bearing a small white seven-pointed star symbolizing the seven verses of the opening Sura (Al-Fatiha) of the Holy Koran; the seven points on the star represent faith in One God, humanity, national spirit, humility, social justice, virtue, and aspirations; design is based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I
    name: "As-salam al-malaki al-urdoni" (Long Live the King of Jordan)

    lyrics/music: Abdul-Mone'm al-RIFAI'/Abdul-Qader al-TANEER
    note: adopted 1946; the shortened version of the anthem is used most commonly, while the full version is reserved for special occasions

Economy ::Jordan

    Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources, underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and a large budget deficit. Since assuming the throne in 1999, King ABDALLAH has implemented significant economic reforms, such as opening the trade regime, privatizing state-owned companies, and eliminating some fuel subsidies, which in the last decade spurred economic growth by attracting foreign investment and creating some jobs. The global economic slowdown and regional turmoil, however, have depressed Jordan''s GDP growth, impacting export-oriented sectors, construction, and tourism. In 2011 and 2012, the government approved two economic relief packages and a budgetary supplement, meant to improve the living conditions for the middle and poor classes. Jordan''s finances have also been strained by a series of natural gas pipeline attacks in Egypt, causing Jordan to substitute more expensive diesel imports, primarily from Saudi Arabia, to generate electricity. Jordan is currently exploring nuclear power generation in addition to the exploitation of abundant oil shale reserves and renewable technologies to forestall energy shortfalls. In 2012, to correct budgetary and balance of payments imbalances, Jordan entered into a $2.1 billion, multiple year International Monetary Fund Stand-By Arrangement. Jordan''s financial sector has been relatively isolated from the international financial crisis because of its limited exposure to overseas capital markets. Jordan will continue to depend heavily on foreign assistance to finance the deficit in 2013.
    $39.29 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    $38.22 billion (2011 est.)
    $37.25 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $31.21 billion (2012 est.)
    2.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    2.6% (2011 est.)
    2.3% (2010 est.)
    $6,100 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 149
    $6,100 (2011 est.)
    $6,100 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    6.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 137
    12.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    19.6% of GDP (2010 est.)
    household consumption: 73.6%
    government consumption: 21.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 25.9%
    investment in inventories: -1.6%
    exports of goods and services: 44.7%
    imports of goods and services: -64.4%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 3.1%
    industry: 30.1%
    services: 66.8% (2012 est.)
    citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, strawberries, stone fruits; sheep, poultry, dairy
    clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing, tourism
    0.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    1.835 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    agriculture: 2.7%
    industry: 20%
    services: 77.4% (2007 est.)
    12.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 129
    12.3% (2011 est.)
    note: official rate; unofficial rate is approximately 30%
    14.2% (2002)
    lowest 10%: 3.4%
    highest 10%: 28.7% (2010 est.)
    39.7 (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    36.4 (1997)
    revenues: $6.668 billion
    expenditures: $9.678 billion (2012 est.)
    21.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    -9.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    75% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    70.7% of GDP (2011 est.)
    note: data cover central government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data exclude debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment; debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions
    calendar year
    4.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    4.4% (2011 est.)
    0.3% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    4.75% (31 December 2009 est.)
    8.95% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    8.67% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $10.17 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    $10.26 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $38.61 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    $34.02 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $35.39 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    $30.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $27 billion (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    $27.18 billion (31 December 2011)
    $30.86 billion (31 December 2010)
    -$3.359 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    -$2.871 billion (2011 est.)
    $7.897 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $8.018 billion (2011 est.)
    clothing, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals
    US 16.6%, Iraq 15.1%, Saudi Arabia 11%, India 10.5%, Indonesia 4.2% (2012)
    $18.4 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    $16.85 billion (2011 est.)
    crude oil, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals
    Saudi Arabia 23.6%, China 9.4%, US 6.7%, Italy 4.7%, Turkey 4.6% (2012)
    $8.829 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    $12.11 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $17.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    $17.63 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $24.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    $22.92 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Jordanian dinars (JOD) per US dollar -
    0.709 (2012 est.)
    0.709 (2011 est.)
    0.71 (2010 est.)
    0.709 (2009)
    0.709 (2008)

Energy ::Jordan

Communications ::Jordan

    465,400 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    7.483 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    general assessment: service has improved recently with increased use of digital switching equipment; microwave radio relay transmission and coaxial and fiber-optic cable are employed on trunk lines; growing mobile-cellular usage in both urban and rural areas is reducing use of fixed-line services
    domestic: 1995 telecommunications law opened all non-fixed-line services to private competition; in 2005, monopoly over fixed-line services terminated and the entire telecommunications sector was opened to competition; currently multiple mobile-cellular providers with subscribership reaching 115 per 100 persons in 2011
    international: country code - 962; landing point for the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) FEA and FLAG Falcon submarine cable networks; satellite earth stations - 33 (3 Intelsat, 1 Arabsat, and 29 land and maritime Inmarsat terminals); fiber-optic cable to Saudi Arabia and microwave radio relay link with Egypt and Syria; participant in Medarabtel (2011)
    radio and TV dominated by the government-owned Jordan Radio and Television Corporation (JRTV) that operates a main network, a sports network, a film network, and a satellite channel; first independent TV broadcaster aired in 2007; international satellite TV and Israeli and Syrian TV broadcasts are available; roughly 30 radio stations with JRTV operating the main government-owned station; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are available (2007)
    69,473 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    1.642 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 78

Transportation ::Jordan

Military ::Jordan

    Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force (RJLF), Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya, RJAF), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis) (2013)
    17 years of age for voluntary male military service; initial service term 2 years, with option to reenlist for 18 years; conscription at age 18 suspended in 1999; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in noncombat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps and RJAF (2013)
    males age 16-49: 1,674,260
    females age 16-49: 1,611,315 (2010 est.)
    males age 16-49: 1,439,192
    females age 16-49: 1,384,500 (2010 est.)
    male: 73,574
    female: 69,420 (2010 est.)
    9.5% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 4

Transnational Issues ::Jordan