Jordan

 

Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the UK received a mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain separated out a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s, and the area gained its independence in 1946; it adopted the name of Jordan in 1950. The country’s long-time ruler was King HUSSEIN (1953-99). A pragmatic leader, he successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population, despite several wars and coup attempts. In 1989 he reinstituted parliamentary elections and gradual political liberalization; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, the son of King HUSSEIN, assumed the throne following his father’s death in February 1999.

 

Geography:
Location: Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates: 31 00 N, 36 00 E
People:
Population: 6,508,887 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 35.3% (male 1,180,595/female 1,114,533)

15-64 years: 59.9% (male 1,977,075/female 1,921,504)

65 years and over: 4.8% (male 153,918/female 160,646) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

conventional short form: Jordan

local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah

local short form: Al Urdun

former: Transjordan

Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Amman

geographic coordinates: 31 57 N, 35 56 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Thursday in March; ends last Friday in September

Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 485,000 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 6.62 million (2009)
Transportation:
Airports: 18 (2012)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 16

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF): Royal Jordanian Land Force, Royal Jordanian Navy, Royal Jordanian Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Malakiya al-Urduniya), Special Operations Command (Socom); Public Security Directorate (normally falls under Ministry of Interior, but comes under JAF in wartime or crisis situations) (2011)
Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary military service; initial service term 2 years, with option to reenlist for 18 years; conscription for males at age 18 was suspended in 1999, but reinstated in July 2007 in order to provide youth training necessary for job market needs; all males under age 37 are required to register; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in noncombat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women’s Corps and RJAF (2012)

Economy:

Jordan is a small Arab country with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation are fundamental problems, but King ABDALLAH II, since assuming the throne in 1999, has undertaken some broad economic reforms in a long-term effort to improve living standards. Since Jordan’s graduation from its most recent IMF program in 2002, Amman has continued to follow IMF guidelines, practicing careful monetary policy, making substantial headway with privatization, and opening the trade regime. Jordan’s exports have significantly increased under the free trade accord with the US and Jordanian Qualifying Industrial Zones (QIZ), which allow Jordan to export goods duty free to the US. In 2006, Jordan reduced its debt-to-GDP ratio significantly.

Transnational Issues:

Disputes – international: approximately two million Iraqis have fled the conflict in Iraq, with the majority taking refuge in Syria and Jordan; 2004 Agreement settles border dispute with Syria pending demarcation
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 1,979,580 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)); 29,286 (Iraq) (2012)