Morocco Flag Icon

Morocco Country Guide

Explore Morocco in Africa Morocco with the capital city Rabat is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 446,551 square kilometres (slightly larger than California) with 34,272,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The landscape offers northern coast and interior are mountainous with large areas of bordering plateaus, intermontane valleys, and rich coastal plains. The average density of population is approximately 77 per km². The notable climate conditions in Morocco can be described as Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior. Potential threats by nature are northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes or periodic droughts.

To reach someone in Morocco dial +212 prior to a number. There are 3,516,000 installed telephones. And there are 25,311,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".ma". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 127/220V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Morocco

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.

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. Although Morocco is not the UN-recognized Administering Power for the Western Sahara, it exercises de facto administrative control there. The UN assists with direct negotiations between Morocco and the Polisario Front, but the status of the territory remains unresolved. Gradual political reforms in the 1990s resulted in the establishment of a bicameral legislature, which first met in 1997. Morocco enjoys a moderately free press, but the government has taken action against journalists who they perceive to be challenging the monarchy, Islam, or the status of Western Sahara. Influenced by protests elsewhere in the region, in February 2011 thousands of Moroccans began weekly rallies in multiple cities across the country to demand greater democracy and end to government corruption. Overall the response of Moroccan security forces was subdued compared to the violence elsewhere in the region. King MOHAMMED VI responded quickly with a reform program that included a new constitution and early elections. The constitution was passed by popular referendum in July 2011; some new powers were extended to parliament and the prime minister, but ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch. In early elections in November 2012, the Justice and Development Party - a moderate Islamist party, won the largest number of seats, becoming the first Islamist party to lead the Moroccan Government. In January 2012, Morocco assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.


Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Algeria, Western Sahara, Spain
Capital: Rabat
Size 446,550 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 172,414 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly larger than California
Population 34,272,000
Currency Name: Dirham, Currency Code: MAD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .ma
Telephone Country Prefix +212
Mobile Phone Connections 25,311,000
Landline Phone Connections 3,516,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).

Geography

Value name Value World Rank
Area 446,550 (sq km) 58

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 32,649,130 38
Population growth rate 1.04 (%) 111
Birth rate 18.73 (births/1,000 population) 100
Death rate 4.78 (deaths/1,000 population) 194
Net migration rate -3.56 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 184
Maternal mortality rate 100.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 70
Infant mortality rate 25.49 (deaths/1,000 live births) 75
Life expectancy at birth 76.31 (years) 79
Total fertility rate 2.17 (children born/woman) 106
Health expenditures 5.20 (% of GDP) 129
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 146
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 26,000 71
HIV/AIDS - deaths 1,200 63
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 16.40 (%) 114
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 3.10 (%) 111
Education expenditures 5.40 (% of GDP) 56
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 17.9 (%) 69

Economy

Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 174,000,000,000 60
GDP - real growth rate 3.00 (%) 109
GDP - per capita (PPP) 5,400 155
Labor force 11,780,000 46
Unemployment rate 8.80 (%) 101
Distribution of family income - Gini index 41 55
Investment (gross fixed) 31.20 (% of GDP) 19
Taxes and other revenues 25.8 (% of GDP) 115
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -7.30 (% of GDP) 189
Public debt 71.70 (% of GDP) 37
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.40 (%) 24
Central bank discount rate 3.31 (%) 99
Commercial bank prime lending rate 6.50 (%) 135
Stock of narrow money 70,350,000,000 42
Stock of broad money 107,200,000,000 53
Stock of domestic credit 104,900,000,000 51
Market value of publicly traded shares 69,150,000,000 49
Industrial production growth rate 4.40 (%) 68
Current account balance -8,508,000,000 174
Exports 22,230,000,000 73
Imports 42,490,000,000 59
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 17,750,000,000 61
Debt - external 33,980,000,000 70
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 49,930,000,000 55
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 1,353,000,000 74

Energy

Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 20,090,000,000 (kWh) 73
Electricity - consumption 22,210,000,000 (kWh) 69
Electricity - imports 4,623,000,000 (kWh) 39
Electricity - installed generating capacity 6164000 (kW) 68
Electricity - from fossil fuels 67.6 (% of total installed capacity) 115
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 20.8 (% of total installed capacity) 91
Electricity - from other renewable sources 4.1 (% of total installed capacity) 42
Crude oil - production 5,500 (bbl/day) 89
Crude oil - imports 95,460 (bbl/day) 50
Crude oil - proved reserves 100000000 (bbl) 72
Refined petroleum products - production 113,300 (bbl/day) 70
Refined petroleum products - consumption 203,600 (bbl/day) 58
Refined petroleum products - exports 15,100 (bbl/day) 81
Refined petroleum products - imports 107,000 (bbl/day) 47
Natural gas - production 70,000,000 (cu m) 82
Natural gas - consumption 570,000,000 (cu m) 98
Natural gas - imports 500,000,000 (cu m) 67
Natural gas - proved reserves 1,444,000,000 (cu m) 98
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 35,660,000 (Mt) 72

Communications

Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 3,566,000 45
Telephones - mobile cellular 36,554,000 31
Internet hosts 277,338 66
Internet users 13,213,000 29

Transportation

Value name Value World Rank
Airports 56 85
Railways 2,067 (km) 70
Roadways 58,256 (km) 74
Merchant marine 26 88

Military

Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 4.80 (% of GDP) 18

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Archaeological Site of Volubilis
The Mauritanian capital, founded in the 3rd century B.C., became an important outpost of the Roman Empire and was graced with many fine buildings. Extensive remains of these survive in the archaeological site, located in a fertile agricultural area. ...
1997
Historic City of Meknes
Founded in the 11th century by the Almoravids as a military settlement, Meknes became a capital under Sultan Moulay Ismaïl (1672–1727), the founder of the Alawite dynasty. The sultan turned it into a impressive city in Spanish-Moorish style, surro ...
1996
Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou
The ksar, a group of earthen buildings surrounded by high walls, is a traditional pre-Saharan habitat. The houses crowd together within the defensive walls, which are reinforced by corner towers. Ait-Ben-Haddou, in Ouarzazate province, is a striking ...
1987
Medina of Essaouira (formerly Mogador)
Essaouira is an exceptional example of a late-18th-century fortified town, built according to the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context. Since its foundation, it has been a major international trading se ...
2001
Medina of Fez
Founded in the 9th century and home to the oldest university in the world, Fez reached its height in the 13th–14th centuries under the Marinids, when it replaced Marrakesh as the capital of the kingdom. The urban fabric and the principal monuments ...
1981
Medina of Marrakesh
Founded in 1070–72 by the Almoravids, Marrakesh remained a political, economic and cultural centre for a long period. Its influence was felt throughout the western Muslim world, from North Africa to Andalusia. It has several impressive monuments da ...
1985
Medina of Tétouan (formerly known as Titawin)
Tétouan was of particular importance in the Islamic period, from the 8th century onwards, since it served as the main point of contact between Morocco and Andalusia. After the Reconquest, the town was rebuilt by Andalusian refugees who had been expe ...
1997
Portuguese City of Mazagan (El Jadida)
The Portuguese fortification of Mazagan, now part of the city of El Jadida, 90-km southwest of Casablanca, was built as a fortified colony on the Atlantic coast in the early 16th century. It was taken over by the Moroccans in 1769. The fortification ...
2004
Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: a Shared Heritage
Located on the Atlantic coast in the north-west of Morocco, the site is the product of a fertile exchange between the Arabo-Muslim past and Western modernism. The inscribed city encompasses the new town conceived and built under the French Protectora ...
2012