The World Factbook (1990)/Morocco



World Factbook (1990) Morocco.jpg

See regional map VII


Total area: 446,550 km²; land area: 446,300 km²

Comparative area: slightly larger than California

Land boundaries: 2,002 km total; Algeria 1,559 km, Western Sahara 443 km

Coastline: 1,835 km

Maritime claims:

Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Continental shelf: 200 meters or to depth of exploitation
Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: claims and administers Western Sahara, but sovereignty is unresolved; armed conflict in Western Sahara; Spain controls two coastal presidios or places of sovereignty (Ceuta, Melilla)

Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior

Terrain: mostly mountains with rich coastal plains

Natural resources: phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt

Land use: 18% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 28% meadows and pastures; 12% forest and woodland; 41% other; includes 1% irrigated

Environment: northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; desertification

Note: strategic location along Strait of Gibraltar


Population: 25,648,241 (July 1990). growth rate 2.2% (1990)

Birth rate: 31 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -1 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 78 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 63 years male, 66 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 4.0 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Moroccan(s); adjective—Moroccan

Ethnic divisions: 99.1% Arab-Berber, 0.7% non-Moroccan, 0.2% Jewish

Religion: 98.7% Muslim, 1.1% Christian, 0.2% Jewish

Language: Arabic (official); several Berber dialects; French is language of business, government, diplomacy, and postprimary education

Literacy: 28%

Labor force: 7,400,000; 50% agriculture, 26% services, 15% industry, 9% other (1985)

Organized labor: about 5% of the labor force, mainly in the Union of Moroccan Workers (UMT) and the Democratic Confederation of Labor (CDT)


Long-form name: Kingdom of Morocco

Type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Rabat

Administrative divisions: 36 provinces (provinces, singular—province) and 2 municipalities* (wilayas, singular—wilaya); Agadir, Al Hoceïma, Azilal, Beni Mellal, Ben Slimane, Boulemane, Casablanca*, Chaouen, El Jadida, El Kelaa des Srarhna, Er Rachidia, Essaouira, Fès, Figuig, Guelmim, Ifrane, Kenitra, Khemisset, Khenifra, Khouribga, Laâyoune, Marrakech, Meknès, Nador, Ouarzazate, Oujda, Rabat-Salé*, San, Settat, Sidi Kacem, Tanger, Tan-Tan, Taounate, Taroudannt, Tata, Taza, Tétouan, Tiznit

Independence: 2 March 1956 (from France)

Constitution: 10 March 1972

Legal system: based on Islamic law and French and Spanish civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in Constitutional Chamber of Supreme Court

National holiday: National Day (anniversary of King Hassan II's accession to the throne), 3 March (1961)

Executive branch: monarch, prime minister, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral Chamber of Representatives (Majlis al Nuwab)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Leaders: Chief of State—King HASSAN II (since 3 March 1961); Head of Government—Prime Minister Dr. Azzedine LARAKI (since 30 September 1986)

Political parties and leaders: Morocco has 15 political parties; the major ones are Istiqlal Party, M’Hamed Boucetta; Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP), Abderrahim Bouabid; Popular Movement (MP), Secretariat General; National Assembly of Independents (RNI), Ahmed Osman; National Democratic Party (PND), Mohamed Arsalane El-Jadidi; Party for Progress and Socialism (PPS), Ali Yata; Constitutional Union (UC), Maati Bouabid

Suffrage: universal at age 21

Elections: Chamber of Representatives—last held on 14 September 1984 (were scheduled for September 1990, but postponed until NA 1992); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(306 total, 206 elected) CU 83, RNI 61, MP 47, Istiqlal 41, USFP 36, PND 24, others 14

Communists: about 2,000

Member of: AfDB, Arab League, CCC, EC (associate), FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB—Islamic Development Bank, IFAD, IFC, ILO, ILZSG, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOOC, IPU, ITU, NAM, OIC, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Ali BENGELLOUN; Chancery at 1601 21st Street NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 462-7979; there is a Moroccan Consulate General in New York; US—Ambassador Michael USSERY; Embassy at 2 Avenue de Marrakech, Rabat (mailing address is P. O. Box 120, Rabat, or APO New York 09284); telephone [212](7) 622-65; there are US Consulates General in Casablanca and Tangier

Flag: red with a green pentacle (five-pointed, linear star) known as Solomon's seal in the center of the flag; green is the traditional color of Islam


Overview: After registering a robust 10% growth in 1988, the economy slowed in 1989 because of higher prices for food and oil imports, lower worker remittances, and a trade dispute with India over phosphoric acid prices that cost Rabat $500 million. To meet the foreign payments shortfall, Rabat has been drawing down foreign exchange reserves. Servicing the $22 billion foreign debt, high unemployment, and Morocco's vulnerability to external forces remain severe problems for the 1990s.

GDP: $21.9 billion, per capita $880 (1988); real growth rate 4.5% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6% (1989)

Unemployment rate: 15% (1988)

Budget: revenues $5.1 billion; expenditures $6.0 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.4 billion (1988)

Exports: $3.1 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—food and beverages 30%, semi-processed goods 23%, consumer goods 21%, phosphates 17%; partners—EC India 7%, Japan 5%, USSR 3%, US 2%

Imports: $5.1 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—capital goods 24%, semiprocessed goods 22%, raw materials 16%, fuel and lubricants 16%, food and beverages 13%, consumer goods 10%; partners—EC 53%, US 11%, Canada 4%, Iraq 3%, USSR 3%, Japan 2%

External debt: $22.2 billion (1989)

Industrial production: growth rate 4% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 2,140,000 kW capacity; 7,760 million kWh produced, 300 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: phosphate rock mining and processing, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, tourism

Agriculture: 50% of employment and 30% of export value; not self-sufficient in food; cereal farming and livestock raising predominate; barley, wheat, citrus fruit, wine, vegetables, olives; fishing catch of 491,000 metric tons in 1987

Illicit drugs: illicit producer of cannabis; trafficking on the increase for both domestic and international drug markets; shipments of cannabis mostly directed to Western Europe; occasional transit point for cocaine from South America destined for Western Europe.

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $1.2 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $6.3 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $4.8 billion; Communist countries (1970-88), $2.3 billion

Currency: Moroccan dirham (plural—dirhams); 1 Moroccan dirham (DH) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Moroccan dirhams (DH) per US$1—8.093 (January 1990), 8.488 (1989), 8.209 (1988), 8.359 (1987), 9.104 (1986), 10.062 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 1,893 km 1.435-meter standard gauge (246 km double track, 974 km electrified)

Highways: 59,198 km total; 27,740 km bituminous treated, 31,458 km gravel, crushed stone, improved earth, and unimproved earth

Pipelines: 362 km crude oil; 491 km (abandoned) refined products; 241 km natural gas

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

Merchant marine: 54 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 334,931 GRT/513,762 DWT; includes 11 cargo, 2 container, 14 refrigerated cargo, 5 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 3 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 12 chemical tanker, 4 bulk, 3 short-sea passenger

Civil air: 23 major transport aircraft

Airports: 75 total, 68 usable; 26 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways over 3,659 m; 14 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 27 with runways 1,220- 2,439 m

Telecommunications: good system composed of wire lines, cables, and radio relay links; principal centers are Casablanca and Rabat, secondary centers are Fès, Marrakech, Oujda, Tangier, and Tétouan; 280,000 telephones; stations—14 AM, 6 FM, 47 TV; 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations—2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT and 1 ARABSAT; radio relay to Gibraltar, Spain, and Western Sahara; coaxial cable to Algeria; microwave network linking Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco

Defense Forces

Branches: Royal Moroccan Army, Royal Moroccan Navy, Royal Moroccan Air Force, Royal Gendarmerie

Military manpower: males 15-49, 6,203,759; 3,946,408 fit for military service; 293,893 reach military age (18) annually; limited conscription

Defense expenditures: 7.1% of GDP (1987)