Jordan - Statistics & Facts

Published by H. Plecher, Mar 27, 2018
Jordan is a landlocked kingdom situated in the Middle East and surrounded by Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Israel and Palestine. Just like Great Britain, Jordan is a constitutional monarchy; however, contrary to the British Queen, Jordan’s King Abdullah II holds a lot of political power. He is, for example, responsible for appointing governors and members of the Senate. The vast majority of Jordan’s inhabitants are Muslims, and the country’s legal system is partly influenced by Sharia Law, but also has civil courts.

The number of Jordan’s inhabitants has been increasing steadily over the last decade, even though the population growth rate has been on a constant decline since 2012. Most Jordanians work in the services sector, which generates the lion’s share of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Jordan’s official unemployment rate has increased significantly in 2016 and 2017, which is probably due to a decrease in tourist visits and foreign investments.

Even though Jordan’s gross domestic product shows an upward trend – an occurrence usually signaling a positive development of a country’s economy –, its national debt has been soaring simultaneously, reaching almost 96 percent of the country's GDP in 2017 and leaving Jordan to struggle with trade and budget. While export figures have increased, so has the value of imported goods, with the latter amounting to three times as much as export shipments can yield. One reason for this imbalance is probably the financial crisis around 2009, which impacted the Jordanian economy as well, while another reason may be the consequences of the Arab Spring, which started around 2010 and spread throughout the Arab world. Both events meant grave repercussions for the country’s economy, with the aforementioned tourism declining and trade suffering.

The country is considered to be at least a middle income economy, and is a member of trading associations, as well as the Arab League. Additionally, its Human Development Index score may not be among the top 30 countries, but it certainly isn’t among the lowest.

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