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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. Morocco virtually annexed Western Sahara during the late 1970s, but final resolution on 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. Improvements in human rights have occurred and there is a largely free press. Despite the continuing reforms, ultimate authority remains in the hands of the monarch.
15-64 years: 66.1% (male 10,335,931/female 10,785,380)
65 years and over: 6.1% (male 881,622/female 1,068,318) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Morocco
local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah
local short form: Al Maghrib
geographic coordinates: 34 01 N, 6 49 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 4(2012)
Continued dependence on foreign energy and Morocco’s inability to develop small and medium size enterprises also contributed to the slowdown. Moroccan authorities understand that reducing poverty and providing jobs are key to domestic security and development. In 2005, Morocco launched the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), a $2 billion social development plan to address poverty and unemployment and to improve the living conditions of the country’s urban slums. Moroccan authorities are implementing reform efforts to open the economy to international investors.
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