The Hashimite Kingdom of Jordan
Arabic: ‘al-mamlakatu l-urdunniyyati l-hāshimiyya
Independent monarchy in Asia with 6.34 million inhabitants (2009 estimate) and an area of 97,740 kmē. Capital is Amman, which is also the country’s largest city.
Administratively is Jordan divided into 12 governorates, called muhafaza.
Day of independence is May 25, 1946, when Jordan peacefully gained self-governance from League of Nations mandate under British administration
Head of state is King Abdullah 2, Prime minister since December 2009 is Samir Rifai. There are two levels of National Assemblies: The Senate with 55 members appointed by the king, and The House of Representatives with 110 members elected in general elections (6 seats reserved for women).
Jordan does not perform too well on the Human Development Index where it comes in as no. 96 of the 182 states that are ranked in the world, no. 12 among 22 MENA countries. On a scale with 1.000 as maximum, Algeria gains 0.770 points.
The currency of Jordan is the Dinars (JOD), which has since 1996 a fixed rate to the US $ dollar.
Although Jordan has a good economic reputation, the GDP per capita at US$5,200 (2008 estimate) is very low, half of world average. Unemployment is at 12.6% and 14% of the population is below the poverty line.
Considering national economy, Jordan has an impressive health situation. The country has both excellent hospitals, and long life expectancy.
As is the case for health, Jordan has remarkably good education structures, from basic education to higher institutions.
Jordan is largely an immigrant society, although few peoples come from lands far away. Despite the multi-ethnicity, Jordan is reportedly stable.
Arabic dominates all aspects of the Jordanian society, English is the main foreign language. Certain peoples have formed small communities where their native tongue is still used.
Sunni Islam dominates the Jordanian society, but Christianity remains a vital force.
Population growth in Jordan remains high, even if indicators suggest that this rate will fall in coming years.
Jordan has been close to important centres of world history, but being a thinly populated region, it emerges as a unique entity first in the 20th century.
List of Cites and Towns
By Tore Kjeilen