Photos of Morocco

Introduction

Background

In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, a series of Moroccan Muslim dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad al-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. The Alaouite Dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family belongs, dates from the 17th century. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half-century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. A protracted independence struggle with France ended successfully in 1956. The internationalized city of Tangier and most Spanish possessions were turned over to the new country that same year. Sultan MOHAMMED V, the current monarch's grandfather, organized the new state as a constitutional monarchy and in 1957 assumed the title of king. Since Spain's 1976 withdrawal from Western Sahara, Morocco has extended its de facto administrative control to roughly 75% of this territory; however, the UN does not recognize Morocco as the administering power for Western Sahara. The UN since 1991 has monitored a cease-fire, which broke down in late 2020, between Morocco and the Polisario Front - an organization advocating the territory’s independence - and restarted negotiations over the status of the territory in December 2018. On 10 December 2020, the US recognized Morocco's sovereignty over all of Western Sahara.

King MOHAMMED VI in early 2011 responded to the spread of pro-democracy protests in the North Africa region by implementing a reform program that included a new constitution, passed by popular referendum in July 2011, under which some new powers were extended to parliament and the prime minister, but ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch. In November 2011, the Justice and Development Party (PJD) - a moderate Islamist democratic party - won the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections, becoming the first Islamist party to lead the Moroccan Government. In September 2015, Morocco held its first direct elections for regional councils, one of the reforms included in the 2011 constitution. The PJD again won the largest number of seats in nationwide parliamentary elections in October 2016, but it lost its plurality to the probusiness National Rally of Independents (RNI) in September 2021. In December 2020, Morocco signed a normalization agreement with Israel, similar to those that Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan had concluded with Israel earlier in 2020.

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

Geography

Location

Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between Algeria and Mauritania

Geographic coordinates

28 30 N, 10 00 W

Area

total: 716,550 sq km

land: 716,300 sq km

water: 250 sq km

comparison ranking: total 41

Area - comparative

slightly larger than twice the size of California

Area comparison map:
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 3,523.5 km

border countries (3): Algeria 1,941 km; Mauritania 1,564 km; Spain (Ceuta) 8 km and Spain (Melilla) 10.5 km

note: an additional 75-meter border segment exists between Morocco and the Spanish exclave of Penon de Velez de la Gomera

Coastline

2,945 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 in the north, becoming more extreme in the interior; in the south, hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Terrain

mountainous northern coast (Rif Mountains) and interior (Atlas Mountains) bordered by large plateaus with intermontane valleys, and fertile coastal plains; the south is mostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces 

Elevation

highest point: Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m

lowest point: Sebkha Tah -59 m

mean elevation: 909 m

Natural resources

phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

Land use

agricultural land: 67.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 17.5% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 47.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 11.5% (2018 est.)

other: 21% (2018 est.)

note: does not include the area of the former Western Sahara, which is almost exclusively desert

Irrigated land

17,645 sq km (2019)

Population distribution

the highest population density is found along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts; a number of densely populated agglomerations are found scattered through the Atlas Mountains as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

in the north, the mountains are geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts; windstorms; flash floods; landslides; in the south, a hot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility

Geography - note

strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar; the only African nation to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines; the waters off the Atlantic coast are particularly rich fishing areas

People and Society

Population

37,067,420 (2023 est.)

note: includes Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 40

Nationality

noun: Moroccan(s)

adjective: Moroccan

Ethnic groups

Arab-Amazigh 99%, other 1%

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Languages

Arabic (official), Tamazight languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy); note - the proportion of Tamazight speakers is disputed

major-language sample(s):
كتاب ديال لحقائق متاع العالم، احسن مصدر متاع المعلومات الأساسية (Arabic)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Arabic audio sample:

Religions

Muslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 3,000-3,500 (2020 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

MENA religious affiliation

Demographic profile

Morocco is undergoing a demographic transition. Its population is growing but at a declining rate, as people live longer and women have fewer children. Infant, child, and maternal mortality rates have been reduced through better health care, nutrition, hygiene, and vaccination coverage, although disparities between urban and rural and rich and poor households persist. Morocco’s shrinking child cohort reflects the decline of its total fertility rate from 5 in mid-1980s to 2.2 in 2010, which is a result of increased female educational attainment, higher contraceptive use, delayed marriage, and the desire for smaller families. Young adults (persons aged 15-29) make up almost 26% of the total population and represent a potential economic asset if they can be gainfully employed. Currently, however, many youths are unemployed because Morocco’s job creation rate has not kept pace with the growth of its working-age population. Most youths who have jobs work in the informal sector with little security or benefits.

During the second half of the 20th century, Morocco became one of the world’s top emigration countries, creating large, widely dispersed migrant communities in Western Europe. The Moroccan Government has encouraged emigration since its independence in 1956, both to secure remittances for funding national development and as an outlet to prevent unrest in rebellious (often Berber) areas. Although Moroccan labor migrants earlier targeted Algeria and France, the flood of Moroccan "guest workers" from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s spread widely across northwestern Europe to fill unskilled jobs in the booming manufacturing, mining, construction, and agriculture industries. Host societies and most Moroccan migrants expected this migration to be temporary, but deteriorating economic conditions in Morocco related to the 1973 oil crisis and tighter European immigration policies resulted in these stays becoming permanent.

A wave of family migration followed in the 1970s and 1980s, with a growing number of second generation Moroccans opting to become naturalized citizens of their host countries. Spain and Italy emerged as new destination countries in the mid-1980s, but their introduction of visa restrictions in the early 1990s pushed Moroccans increasingly to migrate either legally by marrying Moroccans already in Europe or illegally to work in the underground economy. Women began to make up a growing share of these labor migrants. At the same time, some higher-skilled Moroccans went to the US and Quebec, Canada.

In the mid-1990s, Morocco developed into a transit country for asylum seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa and illegal labor migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia trying to reach Europe via southern Spain, Spain’s Canary Islands, or Spain’s North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla. Forcible expulsions by Moroccan and Spanish security forces have not deterred these illegal migrants or calmed Europe’s security concerns. Rabat remains unlikely to adopt an EU agreement to take back third-country nationals who have entered the EU illegally via Morocco. Thousands of other illegal migrants have chosen to stay in Morocco until they earn enough money for further travel or permanently as a "second-best" option. The launching of a regularization program in 2014 legalized the status of some migrants and granted them equal access to education, health care, and work, but xenophobia and racism remain obstacles.

Age structure

0-14 years: 26.01% (male 4,919,266/female 4,722,463)

15-64 years: 65.92% (male 12,124,939/female 12,311,552)

65 years and over: 8.06% (2023 est.) (male 1,455,355/female 1,533,845)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 52.2

youth dependency ratio: 40.9

elderly dependency ratio: 11.3

potential support ratio: 8.9 (2021 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Median age

total: 30.2 years (2023 est.)

male: 29.8 years

female: 30.7 years

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: total 133

Population growth rate

0.88% (2023 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 108

Birth rate

17.1 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 93

Death rate

6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 132

Net migration rate

-1.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 166

Population distribution

the highest population density is found along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts; a number of densely populated agglomerations are found scattered through the Atlas Mountains as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 65.1% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.88% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

3.893 million Casablanca, 1.959 million RABAT (capital), 1.290 million Fes, 1.314 million Tangier, 1.050 million Marrakech, 979,000 Agadir (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Maternal mortality ratio

72 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 83

Infant mortality rate

total: 18.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 20.9 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.4 deaths/1,000 live births

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: total 85

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 74 years (2023 est.)

male: 72.3 years

female: 75.7 years

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: total population 142

Total fertility rate

2.27 children born/woman (2023 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 81

Gross reproduction rate

1.11 (2023 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

70.8% (2018)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.3% of population

rural: 79.1% of population

total: 91% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.7% of population

rural: 20.9% of population

total: 9% of population (2017 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Current health expenditure

6% of GDP (2020)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Physicians density

0.73 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Hospital bed density

1 beds/1,000 population (2017)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 98.2% of population

rural: 72.4% of population

total: 88.8% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.8% of population

rural: 27.6% of population

total: 11.2% of population (2020 est.)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

26.1% (2016)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 44

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 0.51 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 0.18 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0.24 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0.09 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 163

Tobacco use

total: 14.5% (2020 est.)

male: 28.2% (2020 est.)

female: 0.8% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 106

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

2.8% (2019/20)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 92

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 0.5%

women married by age 18: 13.7% (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

6.8% of GDP (2020)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: 23

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 75.9%

male: 84.8%

female: 67.4% (2021)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2021)

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

Environment

Environment - current issues

in the north, land degradation/desertification (soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation); water and soil pollution due to dumping of industrial wastes into the ocean and inland water sources, and onto the land; in the south, desertification; overgrazing; sparse water and lack of arable land

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Environment - international agreements

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

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Climate

Mediterranean in the north, becoming more extreme in the interior; in the south, hot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Land use

agricultural land: 67.5% (2018 est.)

arable land: 17.5% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 2.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 47.1% (2018 est.)

forest: 11.5% (2018 est.)

other: 21% (2018 est.)

note: does not include the area of the former Western Sahara, which is almost exclusively desert

Urbanization

urban population: 65.1% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.88% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.13% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 107

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 80

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 13.44 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 61.28 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 17.16 megatons (2020 est.)

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 6.852 million tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 548,160 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 8% (2014 est.)

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 1.06 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 210 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 9.16 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Total renewable water resources

29 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

note:  data does not include former Western Sahara

Geoparks

total global geoparks and regional networks: 1

global geoparks and regional networks: M'Goun (2023)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco

conventional short form: Morocco

local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah

local short form: Al Maghrib

former: French Protectorate in Morocco, Spanish Protectorate in Morocco, Ifni, Spanish Sahara, Western Sahara

etymology: the English name "Morocco" derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names "Marruecos" and "Marrocos," which stem from "Marrakesh" the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name "Al Maghrib" translates as "The West"

Government type

parliamentary constitutional monarchy

Capital

name: Rabat

geographic coordinates: 34 01 N, 6 49 W

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

etymology: name derives from the Arabic title "Ribat el-Fath," meaning "stronghold of victory," applied to the newly constructed citadel in 1170

Administrative divisions

12 regions; Beni Mellal-Khenifra, Casablanca-Settat, Dakhla-Oued Ed-Dahab, Draa-Tafilalet, Fes-Meknes, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Laayoune-Sakia El Hamra, Marrakech-Safi, Oriental, Rabat-Sale-Kenitra, Souss-Massa, Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima

note: effective 10 December 2020, the US Government recognizes the sovereignty of Morocco over all of the territory of former Western Sahara

Independence

2 March 1956 (from France)

National holiday

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

Constitution

history: several previous; latest drafted 17 June 2011, approved by referendum 1 July 2011; note - sources disagree on whether the 2011 referendum was for a new constitution or for reforms to the previous constitution

amendments: proposed by the king, by the prime minister, or by members in either chamber of Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by both chambers and approval in a referendum; the king can opt to submit self-initiated proposals directly to a referendum

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil law based on French civil law and Islamic (sharia) law; judicial review of legislative acts by Constitutional Court

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 father must be a citizen of Morocco; if the father is unknown or stateless, the mother must be a citizen

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King MOHAMMED VI (since 30 July 1999)

head of government: Prime Minister Aziz AKHANNOUCH (since 7 October 2021)

cabinet: Council of Ministers chosen by the prime minister in consultation with Parliament and appointed by the monarch; the monarch chooses the ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Islamic Affairs, and National Defense Administration

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch from the majority party following legislative elections

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
House of Councillors or Majlis al-Mustacharine (120 seats; members indirectly elected by an electoral college of local councils, professional organizations, and labor unions; members serve 6-year terms)
House of Representatives or Majlis al-Nuwab (395 seats; 305 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 90 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms); note - 60 seats reserved for women and 30 seats for those under age 40 in regional multi-seat constituencies, with the seats divided proportionally among the 12 regions by population size of the region

elections: House of Councillors - last held on 5 October 2021 (next to be held by 31 October 2027)
House of Representatives - last held on 8 September 2021 (next to be held by 30 September 2026)

election results:
House of Councillors - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RNI 27, PAM 19, PI 17, MP 12, USFP 8, UGIM 6, CDT 3, PJD 3, UC 2, UMT 2, Amal 1, FDT 1, MDS 1, PRD 1, independent 1; composition as of October 2021) men 105, women 15, percent of women 12.5%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party NA; seats by party - RNI 102, PAM 87, PI 81, USFP 34, MP 28, PPS 22, UC 18, PJD 13, MDS 5, other 5; composition as of July 2022 - men 305, women 90, percent of women 24.1%; note - overall percent of women in Parliament 21.4%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Court of Cassation (consists of 5-judge panels organized into civil, family matters, commercial, administrative, social, and criminal sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 12 members)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the Superior Council of Judicial Power, a 20-member body presided over by the monarch, which includes the Supreme Court president, the prosecutor general, representatives of the appeals and first instance courts  (among them 1 woman magistrate), the president of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH), and 5 "notable persons" appointed by the monarch; judges appointed for life; Constitutional Court members - 6 designated by the monarch and 6 elected by Parliament; court president appointed by the monarch from among the court members; members serve 9-year nonrenewable terms

subordinate courts: courts of appeal; High Court of Justice; administrative and commercial courts; regional and Sadad courts (for religious, civil and administrative, and penal adjudication); first instance courts

Political parties and leaders

Action Party or PA [Mohammed EL IDRISSI]
Amal (hope) Party [Mohamed BANI]
An-Nahj Ad-Dimocrati or An-Nahj or Democratic Way [Mustapha BRAHMA]
Authenticity and Modernity Party or PAM [Abdellatif OUAHBI]
Constitutional Union Party or UC [Mohamed JOUDAR]
Democratic and Social Movement or MDS [Abdessamad ARCHANE]
Democratic Forces Front or FFD [Mustapha BENALI]
Environment and Sustainable Development Party or PEDD [Karim HRITANE]
Federation of the Democratic Left or FGD [Abdesalam EL AZIZ]
Green Left Party or PGV [Mohamed FARES]
Istiqlal (Independence) Party or PI [Nizar BARAKA]
Moroccan Liberal Party or PML [Isaac CHARIA]
Moroccan Union for Democracy or UMD [Jamal MANDRI]
National Democratic Party [Moussa SAADI]
National Rally of Independents or RNI [Aziz AKHANNOUCH]
Neo-Democrats Party [Mohamed DARIF]
Party of Development Reform or PRD [Abderrahmane EL KOHEN]
Party of Justice and Development or PJD [Abdelilah BENKIRANE]
Party of Liberty and Social Justice or PLJS [Miloud MOUSSAOUI]
Party of Progress and Socialism or PPS [Nabil BENABDELLAH]
Popular Movement or MP [Mohammed OUZZINE]
Renaissance and Virtue Party or PRV [Mohamed KHALIDI]
Renaissance Party [Said EL GHENNIOUI]
Renewal and Equity Party or PRE [Chakir ACHEHABAR]
Shoura (consultation) and Istiqlal Party [Ahmed BELGHAZI]
Socialist Union of Popular Forces or USFP [Driss LACHGAR]
Unified Socialist Party or GSU [Nabila MOUNIB]
Unity and Democracy Party [Ahmed FITRI]

International organization participation

ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AIIB, AMF, AMU, AU, CAEU, CD, EBRD, FAO, G-11, 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, OAS (observer), OIC, OIF, OPCW, OSCE (partner), Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club (associate), PCA, SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNOCI, UNOOSA, UNSC (temporary), UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Youssef AMRANI (since 27 February 2024)

chancery: 3508 International Drive NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 462-7979

FAX: [1] (202) 265-0161

email address and website:
washingtonembmorocco@maec.gov.ma

consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Puneet TALWAR (since 4 October 2023)

embassy: Km 5.7 Avenue Mohammed VI, Souissi, Rabat 10170

mailing address: 9400 Rabat Place, Washington DC  20521-9400

telephone: [212] 0537-637-200

FAX: [212] 0537-637-201

email address and website:
https://ma.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Casablanca

Flag description

red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Sulayman's (Solomon's) seal in the center of the flag; red and green are traditional colors in Arab flags, although the use of red is more commonly associated with the Arab states of the Persian Gulf; the pentacle represents the five pillars of Islam and signifies the association between God and the nation; design dates to 1912

National symbol(s)

pentacle symbol, lion; national colors: red, green

National anthem

name: "Hymne Cherifien" (Hymn of the Sharif)

lyrics/music: Ali Squalli HOUSSAINI/Leo MORGAN

note: music adopted 1956, lyrics adopted 1970

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 9 (all cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Medina of Fez; Medina of Marrakesh; Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou; Historic City of Meknes; Archaeological Site of Volubilis; Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin); Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador); Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida); Historic and Modern Rabat

Economy

Economic overview

lower middle-income North African economy; ongoing recovery from recent drought; rebounding via tourism, manufacturing, and aeronautics industries; major US free trade agreement; developing energy exporter 

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$307.442 billion (2022 est.)
$303.621 billion (2021 est.)
$281.076 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 56

Real GDP growth rate

1.26% (2022 est.)
8.02% (2021 est.)
-7.18% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 185

Real GDP per capita

$8,100 (2022 est.)
$8,100 (2021 est.)
$7,500 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 152

GDP (official exchange rate)

$130.913 billion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

6.66% (2022 est.)
1.4% (2021 est.)
0.71% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 103

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB+ (2020)

Moody's rating: Ba1 (1999)

Standard & Poors rating: BBB- (2010)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 14% (2017 est.)

industry: 29.5% (2017 est.)

services: 56.5% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 146; industry 80; agriculture 69

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 58% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 18.9% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 28.4% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 4.2% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 37.1% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -46.6% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

wheat, sugar beet, milk, potatoes, olives, tangerines/mandarins, tomatoes, oranges, barley, onions

Industries

automotive parts, phosphate mining and processing, aerospace, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, energy, tourism

Industrial production growth rate

-1.7% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 189

Labor force

12.183 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 48

Unemployment rate

9.99% (2022 est.)
11.22% (2021 est.)
11.73% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 163

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 27.2% (2021 est.)

male: 26.7%

female: 28.7%

note: does not include data from the former Western Sahara

comparison ranking: total 49

Population below poverty line

4.8% (2013 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

39.5 (2013 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 57

Average household expenditures

on food: 34% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 1.4% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.7%

highest 10%: 31.9% (2013 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population

Remittances

8.53% of GDP (2022 est.)
7.69% of GDP (2021 est.)
6.11% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities

Budget

revenues: $30.697 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $35.591 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 150

Public debt

65.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
64.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

comparison ranking: 62

Taxes and other revenues

22.12% (of GDP) (2022 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 68

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$4.775 billion (2022 est.)
-$3.349 billion (2021 est.)
-$1.368 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 174

Exports

$58.556 billion (2022 est.)
$47.09 billion (2021 est.)
$37.545 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 64

Exports - partners

Spain 20%, France 19%, India 5%, Brazil 5%, Italy 5% (2021)

Exports - commodities

cars, fertilizers, insulated wiring, phosphoric acid, clothing and apparel (2021)

Imports

$73.783 billion (2022 est.)
$60.215 billion (2021 est.)
$46.358 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 57

Imports - partners

Spain 19%, France 11%, China 9%, United States 7%, Germany 5%, Turkey 5%, Italy 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, cars and vehicle parts, natural gas, wheat, coal (2021)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$32.314 billion (2022 est.)
$35.648 billion (2021 est.)
$35.998 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 56

Debt - external

$52.957 billion (2019 est.)
$51.851 billion (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 65

Exchange rates

Moroccan dirhams (MAD) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
10.161 (2022 est.)
8.988 (2021 est.)
9.497 (2020 est.)
9.617 (2019 est.)
9.386 (2018 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 14.187 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 29,447,883,000 kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 624 million kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 856 million kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 6.703 billion kWh (2019 est.)

comparison rankings: imports 76; exports 72; installed generating capacity 55; transmission/distribution losses 174; consumption 66

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 81.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 1.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 13% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 4.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 9.321 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 9.321 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 14 million metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 307,500 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 700,000 barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

66,230 bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 74

Refined petroleum products - exports

9,504 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 83

Refined petroleum products - imports

229,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)

comparison ranking: 30

Natural gas

production: 105.678 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 1,051,658,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 950.765 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 1.444 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

60.2 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 20.267 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 37.834 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 2.099 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 54

Energy consumption per capita

24.59 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 129

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 2,645,109 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 44

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 52.012 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 139 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 32

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: national network nearly 100% digital using fiber-optic links; improved rural service employs microwave radio relay; one of the most state-of-the-art markets in Africa; high mobile penetration rates in the region with low cost for broadband Internet access; improvement in LTE reach and capabilities; service providers have all successfully completed 5G proofs of concept and are currently lining up 5G equipment providers for both radio and core technology; regulatory agency expects to conduct the 5G spectrum auction in 2023; mobile Internet accounts for 93% of all Internet connections; World Bank provided funds for Morocco’s digital transformation; government supported digital education during pandemic; submarine cables and satellite provide connectivity to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Australia (2022)

domestic: fixed-line teledensity is 7 per 100 persons and mobile-cellular subscribership is 139 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 212; landing point for the Atlas Offshore, Estepona-Tetouan, Canalink and SEA-ME-WE-3 fiber-optic telecommunications undersea cables that provide connectivity to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Australia; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Arabsat; microwave radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara (2019)

Broadcast media

2 TV broadcast networks with state-run Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM) operating one network and the state partially owning the other; foreign TV broadcasts are available via satellite dish; 3 radio broadcast networks with RTM operating one; the government-owned network includes 10 regional radio channels in addition to its national service (2019)

Internet users

total: 32.56 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 88% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 31

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 2,102,434 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 6 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 57

Communications - note

the University of al-Quarawiyyin Library in Fez is recognized as the oldest existing, continually operating library in the world, dating back to A.D. 859; among its holdings are approximately 4,000 ancient Islamic manuscripts

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 76

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 8,132,917 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 97.71 million (2018) mt-km

Airports

49 (2024)

comparison ranking: 89

Heliports

17 (2024)

Pipelines

944 km gas, 270 km oil, 175 km refined products (2013)

Railways

total: 2,067 km (2014)

standard gauge: 2,067 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge (1,022 km electrified)

comparison ranking: total 72

Roadways

total: 57,300 km (2018)

comparison ranking: total 84

Merchant marine

total: 94 (2023)

by type: container ship 6, general cargo 5, oil tanker 2, other 81

comparison ranking: total 94

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Ad Dakhla, Agadir, Casablanca, Jorf Lasfar, Laayoune (El Aaiun), Mohammedia, Safi, Tangier

container port(s) (TEUs): Tangier (7,173,870) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Jorf Lasfar (planned)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Royal Armed Forces (FAR): Royal Moroccan Army (includes the Moroccan Royal Guard), Royal Moroccan Navy (includes Coast Guard, marines), Royal Moroccan Air Force; Royal Moroccan Gendarmerie (2023)

note 1: the Moroccan Royal Guard is officially part of the Royal Moroccan Army, but is under the direct operational control of the Royal Military Household of His Majesty the King; it provides for the security and safety of the King and royal family; it was established in the 11th century and is considered one of the world's oldest active units still in military service

note 2: Morocco's security apparatus includes several police and paramilitary organizations with overlapping authority; the National Police (DGSN; Ministry of Interior) manages internal law enforcement in cities; the Royal Gendarmerie (Administration of National Defense) is responsible for law enforcement in rural regions and on national highways; the Gendarmerie operates mobile and fixed checkpoints along the roads in border areas and at the entrances to major municipalities; it also has a counterterrorism role; the Auxiliary Forces (Ministry of Interior) provide support to the Gendarmerie and National Police; it includes a Mobile Intervention Corps, a motorized paramilitary security force that supplements the military and the police as needed

Military expenditures

4.5% of GDP (2022 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2021 est.)
4.5% of GDP (2020 est.)
3.4% of GDP (2019 est.)
3.3% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 10

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 200,000 active personnel (175,000 Army; 10,000 Navy; 15,000 Air Force); estimated 20,000 Gendarmerie; estimated 5,000 Mobile Intervention Corps; estimated 25-30,000 Auxiliary Forces (2023)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the Moroccan military's inventory is comprised of mostly older French and US equipment, although in recent years, it has received quantities of more modern equipment from a variety of countries with France and the US continuing to be the leading suppliers (2023)

Military service age and obligation

19-25 years of age for 12-month compulsory and voluntary military service for men and women (conscription abolished 2006 and reintroduced in 2019) (2023)

Military deployments

775 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 925 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) (2023)

Military - note

the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) are responsible for defending Morocco’s territorial integrity; key areas of concern for the FAR include regional challenges such as the Polisario Front in Western Sahara and Algeria; Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara and administers the territory that it controls; the Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), an organization that seeks the territory’s independence, disputes Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over the territory; Moroccan and Polisario forces fought intermittently from 1975, when Spain relinquished colonial authority over the territory, until a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping mission; the Polisario withdrew from the cease-fire in November 2020, and since then there have been reports of intermittent indirect fire between the FAR and Polisario fighters across the 2,500-kilometer-long berm built in 1987 that separates the two sides; Algeria is considered a regional rival and has openly backed the Polisario Front

the FAR has experience in counterinsurgency, desert warfare, and international peacekeeping and security operations; it participates in both bilateral and multinational exercises and has relations with a variety of partners including the militaries of France, Spain, and the US, as well as NATO, the Arab League, and the African Union; the FAR provided fighter aircraft to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from 2015-2019; Morocco has Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) status with the US, a designation under US law that provides foreign partners with certain benefits in the areas of defense trade and security cooperation

the Royal Army has considerable artillery, armored, mechanized infantry, and motorized infantry forces formed as brigades, regiments, and independent battalions that are mostly deployed in two geographic commands focused on Western Sahara in the south and Algeria in the east and north; its armored forces include some 400 modern US-made tanks purchased since 2012; the Army also has brigades of airborne and security troops; the Navy's warships include about six frigates and more than 20 offshore patrol craft of varying size and capabilities; it also has a small force of naval infantry; the Air Force has approximately 100 French- and US-made combat aircraft
 
the FAR was created in May 1956; large numbers of Moroccans were recruited for service in the Spahi and Tirailleur regiments of the French Army of Africa during the period of the French protectorate (1912-1956); many Moroccans fought under the French Army during both World Wars; after World War II, Moroccans formed part of the French Far East Expeditionary Corps during the First Indochina War (1946-1954); the Spanish Army recruited Moroccans from the Spanish Protectorate during both the Rif War (1921-26) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-39)

the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) was established by Security Council resolution 690 in April 1991 in accordance with settlement proposals accepted in August 1988 by Morocco and the Polisario Front; MINURSO was unable to carry out all the original settlement proposals, but continues to monitor the cease-fire and reduce the threat of mines and unexploded ordnance, and has provided logistic support to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with personnel and air and ground assets (2023)

Space

Space agency/agencies

Morocco Royal Center for Remote Sensing (Centre Royal de Télédétection Spatiale, CRTS; established 1989) (2023)

Space program overview

has a small space program largely focused on the acquisition of remote sensing (RS) satellites; designs, jointly builds RS microsatellites and exploits imagery applications; has relations with a variety of space agencies and commercial space industries, including those of Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, the European Space Agency and some individual member states (particularly France, Germany, Italy, and the UK), Russia, and the US; also a member of the Arab Space Cooperation Group, established by the UAE in 2019 (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

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

Morocco-Algeria: Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling

Morocco-Mauritania: tensions arose in 2016 when Mauritanian soldiers were deployed to Lagouira, a city in the southernmost part of Morocco, and raised their flag

Morocco-Spain: 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; both countries claim Isla Perejil (Leila Island); discussions have not progressed on a comprehensive maritime delimitation, setting limits on resource exploration and refugee interdiction, since Morocco's 2002 rejection of Spain's unilateral designation of a median line from the Canary Islands; Morocco serves as one of the primary launching areas of illegal migration into Spain from North Africa

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 5,250 (Syria) (mid-year 2022)

Illicit drugs

one of the world’s largest cannabis-producing country with Europe as the main  market; hashish is smuggled to South America and the Caribbean where it is exchanged for cocaine which is distributed in Europe; MDMA (ecstasy), originating in Belgium and the Netherlands is smuggled into northern Morocco for sale on the domestic market