Photos of Algeria

Sahara dunes at sunset.

Introduction

Background

Algeria has known many empires and dynasties starting with the ancient Numidians (3rd century B.C.), Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, over a dozen different Arab and Berber dynasties, Spaniards, and Ottoman Turks. It was under the latter that the Barbary pirates operated from North Africa and preyed on shipping beginning in roughly 1500, peaking in the early to mid-17th century, until finally subdued by the French capture of Algiers in 1830. The French southward conquest of the entirety of Algeria proceeded throughout the 19th century and was marked by many atrocities. The country was heavily colonized by the French in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A bloody eight-year struggle culminated in Algerian independence in 1962.

Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has since largely dominated politics. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 legislative elections led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000.

Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election that was boycotted by several candidates protesting alleged fraud, and won subsequent elections in 2004, 2009, and 2014. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies, while also increasing subsidies to the populace. Since 2014, Algeria’s reliance on hydrocarbon revenues to fund the government and finance the large subsidies for the population has fallen under stress because of declining oil prices. Protests broke out across the country in late February 2019 against President BOUTEFLIKA’s decision to seek a fifth term. BOUTEFLIKA resigned on 2 April 2019, and the speaker of the upper house of parliament, Abdelkader BENSALAH, became interim head of state on 9 April. BENSALAH remained in office beyond the 90-day constitutional limit until Algerians elected former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE as the country's new president in December 2019.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates

28 00 N, 3 00 E

Area

total: 2,381,740 sq km

land: 2,381,740 sq km

water: 0 sq km

country comparison to the world: 11

Area - comparative

slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas

<p>slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas</p>

Land boundaries

total: 6,734 km

border countries (6): Libya 989 km, Mali 1359 km, Mauritania 460 km, Morocco 1941 km, Niger 951 km, Tunisia 1034 km

Coastline

998 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm

Climate

arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer

Terrain

mostly high plateau and desert; Atlas Mountains in the far north and Hoggar Mountains in the south; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Elevation

highest point: Tahat 2,908 m

lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m

mean elevation: 800 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc

Land use

agricultural land: 17.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.8% (2018 est.)

other: 81.8% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

13,600 sq km (2014)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lullemeden-Irhazer Aquifer System, Murzuk-Djado Basin, North Western Sahara Aquifer, Taoudeni-Tanezrouft Basin

Population distribution

the vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season; droughts

Geography - note

largest country in Africa but 80% desert; canyons and caves in the southern Hoggar Mountains and in the barren Tassili n'Ajjer area in the southeast of the country contain numerous examples of prehistoric art - rock paintings and carvings depicting human activities and wild and domestic animals (elephants, giraffes, cattle) - that date to the African Humid Period, roughly 11,000 to 5,000 years ago, when the region was completely vegetated

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Algerian(s)

adjective: Algerian

Ethnic groups

Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as primarily Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers and several other communities; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has officially recognized Berber languages and introduced them into public schools

Languages

Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber or Tamazight (official); dialects include Kabyle Berber (Taqbaylit), Shawiya Berber (Tacawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)

major-language sample(s):
كتاب حقائق العالم، المصدر الذي لا يمكن الاستغناء عنه للمعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Arabic audio sample:

Religions

Muslim (official; predominantly Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian and Jewish) <1% (2012 est.)

Demographic profile

For the first two thirds of the 20th century, Algeria's high fertility rate caused its population to grow rapidly. However, about a decade after independence from France in 1962, the total fertility rate fell dramatically from 7 children per woman in the 1970s to about 2.4 in 2000, slowing Algeria's population growth rate by the late 1980s. The lower fertility rate was mainly the result of women's rising age at first marriage (virtually all Algerian children being born in wedlock) and to a lesser extent the wider use of contraceptives. Later marriages and a preference for smaller families are attributed to increases in women's education and participation in the labor market; higher unemployment; and a shortage of housing forcing multiple generations to live together. The average woman's age at first marriage increased from about 19 in the mid-1950s to 24 in the mid-1970s to 30.5 in the late 1990s.

Algeria's fertility rate experienced an unexpected upturn in the early 2000s, as the average woman's age at first marriage dropped slightly. The reversal in fertility could represent a temporary fluctuation in marriage age or, less likely, a decrease in the steady rate of contraceptive use.

Thousands of Algerian peasants - mainly Berber men from the Kabylia region - faced with land dispossession and economic hardship under French rule migrated temporarily to France to work in manufacturing and mining during the first half of the 20th century. This movement accelerated during World War I, when Algerians filled in for French factory workers or served as soldiers. In the years following independence, low-skilled Algerian workers and Algerians who had supported the French (known as Harkis) emigrated en masse to France. Tighter French immigration rules and Algiers' decision to cease managing labor migration to France in the 1970s limited legal emigration largely to family reunification.

Not until Algeria's civil war in the 1990s did the country again experience substantial outmigration. Many Algerians legally entered Tunisia without visas claiming to be tourists and then stayed as workers. Other Algerians headed to Europe seeking asylum, although France imposed restrictions. Sub-Saharan African migrants came to Algeria after its civil war to work in agriculture and mining. In the 2000s, a wave of educated Algerians went abroad seeking skilled jobs in a wider range of destinations, increasing their presence in North America and Spain. At the same time, legal foreign workers principally from China and Egypt came to work in Algeria's construction and oil sectors. Illegal migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Malians, Nigeriens, and Gambians, continue to come to Algeria in search of work or to use it as a stepping stone to Libya and Europe.

Since 1975, Algeria also has been the main recipient of Sahrawi refugees from the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara (today part of Morocco). More than 1000,000 Sahrawis are estimated to be living in five refugee camps in southwestern Algeria near Tindouf.

Age structure

0-14 years: 29.58% (male 6,509,490/female 6,201,450)

15-24 years: 13.93% (male 3,063,972/female 2,922,368)

25-54 years: 42.91% (male 9,345,997/female 9,091,558)

55-64 years: 7.41% (male 1,599,369/female 1,585,233)

65 years and over: 6.17% (male 1,252,084/female 1,401,357) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Algeria. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 60.1

youth dependency ratio: 49.3

elderly dependency ratio: 10.8

potential support ratio: 9.3 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 28.9 years

male: 28.6 years

female: 29.3 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 139

Birth rate

19.24 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 76

Death rate

4.32 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 209

Net migration rate

-0.84 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 138

Population distribution

the vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 74.3% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.99% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

2.809 million ALGIERS (capital), 910,000 Oran (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

112 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Infant mortality rate

total: 20.23 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 22.36 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 17.98 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 83

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.79 years

male: 76.32 years

female: 79.33 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 78

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 99.2% of population

rural: 97.4% of population

total: 98.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 0.8% of population

rural: 2.1% of population

total: 1.1% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

1.9 beds/1,000 population (2015)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 96.9% of population

rural: 93.4% of population

total: 96% of population

unimproved: urban: 3.1% of population

rural: 6.6% of population

total: 4% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

<200 (2020 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 81.4%

male: 87.4%

female: 75.3% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 15 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 39.3%

male: 33.1%

female: 82% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 11

Environment

Environment - current issues

air pollution in major cities; soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 35.17 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 150.01 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 49.94 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer

Land use

agricultural land: 17.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 3.1% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.4% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 13.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 0.8% (2018 est.)

other: 81.8% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 74.3% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 1.99% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 53

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 12,378,740 tons (2016 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 990,299 tons (2013 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2013 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Niger (2,261,741 sq km)
Internal (endorheic basin) drainage: Lake Chad (2,497,738 sq km)

Major aquifers

Lullemeden-Irhazer Aquifer System, Murzuk-Djado Basin, North Western Sahara Aquifer, Taoudeni-Tanezrouft Basin

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 3.6 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 191 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 6.671 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

11.667 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

conventional short form: Algeria

local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah

local short form: Al Jaza'ir

etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Algiers

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Algiers

geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: name derives from the Arabic "al-Jazair" meaning "the islands" and refers to the four islands formerly off the coast but joined to the mainland since 1525

Administrative divisions

58 provinces (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Beni Abbes, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Badji Mokhtar, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djanet, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Meghaier, El Meniaa, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, In Guezzam, In Salah, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Ouled Djellal, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanrasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Timimoun, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen, Touggourt

Independence

5 July 1962 (from France)

National holiday

Independence Day, 5 July (1962); Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)

Constitution

history: several previous; latest approved by referendum 23 February 1989

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or through the president with the support of three fourths of the members of both houses of Parliament in joint session; passage requires approval by both houses, approval by referendum, and promulgation by the president; the president can forego a referendum if the Constitutional Council determines the proposed amendment does not conflict with basic constitutional principles; articles including the republican form of government, the integrity and unity of the country, and fundamental citizens’ liberties and rights cannot be amended; amended 2002, 2008, 2016; last in 2020

Legal system

mixed legal system of French civil law and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the mother must be a citizen of Algeria

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE (since 12 December 2019)

head of government: Prime Minister Ayman BENABDERRAHMANE (since 7 July 2021); note - President TEBBOUNE appointed BENABDERRAHMANE as prime minister following the resignation of Prime Minister Abdelaziz DJERAD on 24 June

 

 

Abdelaziz DJERAD (since 28 December 2019)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 December 2019 (next to be held in 2024); prime minister nominated by the president after consultation with the majority party in Parliament

election results: Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE (NLF) 58.1%, Abdelkader BENGRINA (Movement of National Construction) 17.4%, Ali BENFLIS (Vanguard of Freedoms) 10.6%, Azzedine MIHOUBI (RND) 7.3%, Abdelaziz BELAID (Future Front) 6.7%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Council of the Nation (upper house with 144 seats; one-third of members appointed by the president, two-thirds indirectly elected by simple majority vote by an electoral college composed of local council members; members serve 6-year terms with one-half of the membership renewed every 3 years)
National People's Assembly (lower house with 407 seats including 8 seats for Algerian diaspora); members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms); note - in March 2021, President TEBBOUNE ordered the number of Assembly seats be reduced to 407 from 462

elections:
Council of the Nation - last held on 29 December 2018 (next to be held in December 2021)
National People's Assembly - snap election held on 12 June 2021 (next to be held on 12 June 2026)

election results:
Council of the Nation - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - men 137, women 7, percent of women 5%,
National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 98, MSP 65, RND 58, EL Mostakbel 48, Movement of National Construction 39, other 15, independent 84; composition - men 373, women 34, percent of women 8.4%; note - total Parliament percent of women 7.4%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court or Cour Suprême, (consists of 150 judges organized into 8 chambers: Civil, Commercial and Maritime, Criminal, House of Offenses and Contraventions, House of Petitions, Land, Personal Status, and Social; Constitutional Council (consists of 12 members including the court chairman and deputy chairman); note - Algeria's judicial system does not include sharia courts

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the High Council of Magistracy, an administrative body presided over by the president of the republic, and includes the republic vice-president and several members; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Council members - 4 appointed by the president of the republic, 2 each by the 2 houses of Parliament, 2 by the Supreme Court, and 2 by the Council of State; Council president and members appointed for single 6-year terms with half the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: appellate or wilaya courts; first instance or daira tribunals

Political parties and leaders

Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa TOUATI]
Algerian Popular Movement or MPA [Amara BENYOUNES]
Algerian Rally or RA [Ali ZAGHDOUD]
Algeria's Hope Rally or TAJ [Amar GHOUL]
Democratic and Social Movement or MDS [Hamid FERHI]
Dignity or El Karama [Aymene HARKATI]
Ennour El Djazairi Party (Algerian Radiance Party) or PED [Badreddine BELBAZ]
Front for Justice and Development or El Adala [Abdallah DJABALLAH]
Future Front or El Mostakbel [Abdelaziz BELAID]
Islamic Renaissance Movement or Ennahda Movement [Mohamed DOUIBI]
Justice and Development Front or FJD [Abdellah DJABALLAH]
Movement of National Construction (Harakat El-Binaa El-Watani) [Abdelkader BENGRINA]
Movement of National Understanding or MEN
Movement for National Reform or Islah [Filali GHOUINI]
Movement of Society for Peace or MSP [Abderrazak MAKRI]
National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA]
National Front for Social Justice or FNJS [Khaled BOUNEDJEMA]
National Liberation Front or FLN [Mohamed DJEMAI]
National Party for Solidarity and Development or PNSD [Dalila YALAQUI]
National Reform Movement or Islah [Djahid YOUNSI]
National Republican Alliance or ANR [Belkacem SAHLI]
New Dawn Party or PFJ [Tahar BENBAIBECHE]
New Generation or Jil Jadid [Soufiane DJILALI]
Oath of 1954 or Ahd 54 [Ali Fawzi REBAINE]
Party of Justice and Liberty [Mohammed SAID]
Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Mohcine BELABBAS]
Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hakim BELAHCEL]
Union for Change and Progress or UCP [Zoubida Assoul]
Union of Democratic and Social Forces or UFDS [Noureddine BAHBOUH]
Vanguard of Freedoms (Talaie El Houriat) [Ali BENFLIS]
Youth Party or PJ [Hamana BOUCHARMA]
Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUNE]

note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997

International organization participation

ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, CAEU, CD, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Madjid BOUGUERRA (since 23 February 2015)

chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800

FAX: [1] (202) 986-5906

email address and website:
mail@algerianembassy.org

https://www.algerianembassy.org/

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: ambassador (vacant); Chargé d’Affaires Gautam RANA (since 20 January 2021)

embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16030, Alger

mailing address: 6030 Algiers Place, Washington DC  20521-6030

telephone: [213] (0) 770-08-2000

FAX: [213] (0) 770-08-2299

email address and website:
ACSAlgiers@state.gov

https://dz.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness

National symbol(s)

five-pointed star between the extended horns of a crescent moon, fennec fox; national colors: green, white, red

National anthem

name: "Kassaman" (We Pledge)

lyrics/music: Mufdi ZAKARIAH/Mohamed FAWZI

note: adopted 1962; ZAKARIAH wrote "Kassaman" as a poem while imprisoned in Algiers by French colonial forces

Economy

Economic overview

Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy, pursuing an explicit import substitution policy.

Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 30% of GDP, 60% of budget revenues, and nearly 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world - including the 3rd-largest reserves of shale gas - and is the 6th-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in proven oil reserves. Hydrocarbon exports enabled Algeria to maintain macroeconomic stability, amass large foreign currency reserves, and maintain low external debt while global oil prices were high. With lower oil prices since 2014, Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves have declined by more than half and its oil stabilization fund has decreased from about $20 billion at the end of 2013 to about $7 billion in 2017, which is the statutory minimum.

Declining oil prices have also reduced the government’s ability to use state-driven growth to distribute rents and fund generous public subsidies, and the government has been under pressure to reduce spending. Over the past three years, the government has enacted incremental increases in some taxes, resulting in modest increases in prices for gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, and certain imported goods, but it has refrained from reducing subsidies, particularly for education, healthcare, and housing programs.

Algiers has increased protectionist measures since 2015 to limit its import bill and encourage domestic production of non-oil and gas industries. Since 2015, the government has imposed additional restrictions on access to foreign exchange for imports, and import quotas for specific products, such as cars. In January 2018 the government imposed an indefinite suspension on the importation of roughly 850 products, subject to periodic review.

President BOUTEFLIKA announced in fall 2017 that Algeria intends to develop its non-conventional energy resources. Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. Algeria has not increased non-hydrocarbon exports, and hydrocarbon exports have declined because of field depletion and increased domestic demand.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$468.4 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$495.56 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$491.63 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 42

Real GDP growth rate

1.4% (2017 est.)

3.2% (2016 est.)

3.7% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 157

Real GDP per capita

$10,700 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$11,500 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$11,600 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 138

GDP (official exchange rate)

$169.912 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.9% (2019 est.)

4.2% (2018 est.)

5.6% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 105

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 13.3% (2017 est.)

industry: 39.3% (2017 est.)

services: 47.4% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 42.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 38.1% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 11.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 23.6% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -35.8% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

potatoes, wheat, milk, watermelons, barley, onions, tomatoes, oranges, dates, vegetables

Industries

petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 10.8%

industry: 30.9%

services: 58.4% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)

Budget

revenues: 54.15 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 70.2 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

27.5% of GDP (2017 est.)

20.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

note: data cover central government debt as well as debt issued by subnational entities and intra-governmental debt

country comparison to the world: 170

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$22.1 billion (2017 est.)

-$26.47 billion (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 198

Exports

$38.32 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$44.39 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 67

Exports - partners

Italy 13%, France 13%, Spain 12%, United States 7%, United Kingdom 7%, India 5%, South Korea 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

crude petroleum, natural gas, refined petroleum, fertilizers, ammonia (2019)

Imports

$54.26 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$60.05 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 56

Imports - partners

China 18%, France 14%, Italy 8%, Spain 8%, Germany 5%, Turkey 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, wheat, packaged medical supplies, milk, vehicle parts (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$97.89 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$114.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Debt - external

$5.574 billion (2019 est.)

$5.666 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Exchange rates

Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar -

131.085 (2020 est.)

119.775 (2019 est.)

118.4617 (2018 est.)

100.691 (2014 est.)

80.579 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 99.4% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 99.6% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 97% (2019)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 4,635,217

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 10.96 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 47,081,131

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 111.29 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

Algeria has a steadily developing telecom infrastructure through sound regulatory measures and government policies aimed at providing Internet connections across the country, including underserved areas; mobile penetration and LTE services are growing steadily; in common with other markets in the region, mobile connections account for the vast majority of Internet accesses; well served by satellite and submarine cable connections; importer of broadcasting equipment from China 

(2021)

domestic: a limited network of fixed-lines with a teledensity of less than 11 telephones per 100 persons has been offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 109 telephones per 100 persons (2019)

international: country code - 213; ALPAL-2 is a submarine telecommunications cable system in the Mediterranean Sea linking Algeria and the Spanish Balearic island of Majorca; ORVAL is a submarine cable to Spain; landing points for the TE North/TGN-Eurasia/SEACOM/SeaMeWe-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; MED cable connecting Algeria with France; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; Algeria part of the 4,500 Km terrestrial Trans Sahara Backbone network which connects to other fiber networks in the region; Alcomstat-1 satellite offering  telemedicine network (2020)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations

Internet users

total: 24,819,531

percent of population: 59.58% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 3,582,739

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8.47 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 87

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 6,442,442 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 28.28 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 67

over 3,047 m: 14

2,438 to 3,047 m: 27

1,524 to 2,437 m: 18

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 2 (2020)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 82

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 16

914 to 1,523 m: 36

under 914 m: 28 (2020)

Heliports

3 (2013)

Pipelines

2600 km condensate, 16415 km gas, 3447 km liquid petroleum gas, 7036 km oil, 144 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 3,973 km (2014)

standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.432-m gauge (283 km electrified) (2014)

narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2014)

country comparison to the world: 50

Roadways

total: 104,000 km (2015)

paved: 71,656 km (2015)

unpaved: 32,344 km (2015)

country comparison to the world: 46

Merchant marine

total: 114

by type: bulk carrier 1, container ship 2, general cargo 11, oil tanker 11, other 89 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 83

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda

LNG terminal(s) (export): Arzew, Bethioua, Skikda

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Algerian People's National Army (ANP): Land Forces, Naval Forces (includes coast guard), Air Forces, Territorial Air Defense Forces, Republican Guard (under ANP, but responsible to the President), National Gendarmerie; Ministry of Interior: General Directorate of National Security (2021)

Military expenditures

7% of GDP (2020 est.)

6% of GDP (2019)

5.5% of GDP (2018)

5.8% of GDP (2017)

6.6% of GDP (2016)

country comparison to the world: 3

Military and security service personnel strengths

the Algerian People's National Army (ANP) has approximately 130,000 total active personnel (110,000 Army; 6,000 Navy; 14,000 Air Force); estimated 140,000 National Gendarmerie (information varies widely) (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the ANP's inventory includes mostly Russian-sourced equipment; since 2010, Russia is the leading supplier of armaments to Algeria, followed by China and Germany (2020)

Military service age and obligation

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 19-30 years of age for compulsory service; conscript service obligation reduced from 18 to 12 months in 2014 (2019)

Military - note

the ANP has played a large role in the country’s politics since independence in 1962, including coups in 1965 and 1991; it was a key backer of BOUTEFLIKA’s election in 1999 and remained a center of power during his 20-year rule; the military was instrumental in BOUTEFLIKA’s resignation in 2019 when it withdrew support and called for him to be removed from office

in 2021, Algeria had the largest defense budget (approximately $9 billion) and one of the best-equipped militaries in Africa

the ANP traditionally has focused on internal stability and on Morocco where relations as of 2021 remained tense over Western Sahara and Algerian accusations that Morocco supports the Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie (MAK), a separatist group in Algeria’s Kabylie region; however, following the Arab Spring events of 2011 and a series of cross-border terrorist attacks emanating from Mali in 2012-2013, particularly the 2013 attack on a commercial gas plant by al-Qa’ida-linked terrorists that resulted in the deaths of 35 hostages and 29 jihadists, it has made a concerted effort to beef up security along its other borders and promote regional security cooperation; since 2013, additional Army and paramilitary forces were deployed to the borders with Tunisia, Libya, Niger, and Mali to interdict and deter cross-border attacks by Islamic militant groups; in addition, Algeria has provided security assistance to some neighboring countries, particularly Tunisia, and conducted joint military/counter-terrorism operations

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM); Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) – Algeria; al-Mulathamun Battalion (al-Mourabitoun)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Algeria and many other states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the "Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic" which Algeria recognizes; the Algerian-Moroccan land border remains closed; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km of southeastern Algeria and the National Liberation Front's (FLN) assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco.

 

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): more than 100,000 (Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf) (2018); 6,627 (Syria) (2020)

Trafficking in persons

current situation:

human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims; Algerian women and girls are vulnerable to sex trafficking due to financial problems or after running away from home; undocumented sub-Saharan migrants are vulnerable to labor and sex trafficking and are exploited in restaurants, houses, and informal worksites; sub-Saharan men and women needing more funds for their onward journey to Europe work illegally in construction and commercial sex and are vulnerable to sex trafficking and debt bondage; foreign women and girls, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, are subject to sex trafficking in bars and informal brothels; criminal begging rings that exploit sub-Saharan African migrant children are common



tier rating: Tier 3 — Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; authorities prosecuted fewer traffickers and identified fewer victims compared to last year and convicted no traffickers; the government continued to lack effective procedures and mechanisms to screen for, identify, and refer potential victims to protective services and punished some potential victims for unlawful acts traffickers forced them to commit; the government took some steps to combat trafficking, including prosecuting some traffickers, identifying some victims, and continuing to implement its 2019-2021 national anti-trafficking action plan (2020)