Arab World

 

01. Morocco > Area and Population


 

AREA

Morocco is situated in the north-west of Africa. It is bordered in the north by the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean sea, to the south by Mauritania and Western Sahara, to the east by Algeria, and to the west the Atlantic Ocean. Its area is 446,550 sq. km, not counting the area of Western Sahara which covers a further 267,028 km sq. Moroco's coastal plains are rich and fertile. The northern coast and interior are mountainous with high plateaus. The highest point is Jebel Toubkal at 4,165 metres. The climate is Mediterranean, but more severe in the interior.
The Atlas Mountains separate the west of the country from the Sahara Desert. Rabat is the seat of government, but Casablanca is the commercial and industrial centre. Marrakech is a major tourist centre.

To the south of Morocco is the disputed region of Western Sahara. Still occupied by Morocco but regarded as an independent state by the Polisario Liberation Front, the territory is likely to be the subject of a referendum overseen by the United Nations.

To view a map of Morocco, please visit http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/morocco.pdf

 POPULATION

The population in mid-2007 was estimated at 33.75 million, with an average annual growth rate of 1.53 per cent. 350,000 people live in the disputed Western Sahara. The 2000 population density was almost 40.5 people per sq. km. The majority of the population (63 per cent) is aged between 15 and 60, with around 29 per cent aged under 15, and about 8 per cent aged 60 or over. Rabat, the capital, has a population of about 1,220,000. Around 56 per cent of the population lives in urban areas.

Arabic is the official language but French, Spanish and various Berber dialects are also spoken.

BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, DEATHS

The birth rate in 2007 was around 22 births per 1,000 people, whilst the death rate was 6 deaths per 1,000 people. According to World Health Organization statistics, average life expectancy rose from the age of 65 in 1997 to 72 in 2007 (70 for men and 75 for women). Them edian age was 25 years. The child mortality rate in 2007 was an estimated 34 deaths per 1,000 children who survived beyond five years. The total fertility rate was 2.4 children born per woman. (Source: WHO)

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

2010
1 January: New Year
11 January: Independence Manifesto Day
26 February: Birth of the Prophet*
1 May: Labour Day
23 May: National Day
30 July: Festival of the Throne Day
14 August: Oued ed-Dahab Day
11 August: Ramadan begins
10 September: Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan)*
6 November: Anniversary of the Green March
18 November: Independence Day
17 November: Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)*
7 December: Al-Hijira (Islamic New Year)*

2011
1 January: New Year
11 January: Independence Manifesto Day
15 February: Birth of the Prophet*
1 May: Labour Day
23 May: National Day
30 July: Festival of the Throne Day
14 August: Oued ed-Dahab Day
1 August: Ramadan begins
30 August: Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan)*
6 November: Anniversary of the Green March
18 November: Independence Day
6 November: Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)*
26 November: Al-Hijira (Islamic New Year)*

* Islamic holiday: exact date depends upon sighting of the moon




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