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After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets, and fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence between 1992-98 resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent. He was reelected to a second term in 2004 and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009 after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qa'ida to form al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions, ending the state's monopoly on broadcast media, increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies, and expanding the role of judges in administering elections. Political protest activity in the country remained low in 2011, but small, sometimes violent socioeconomic demonstrations by disparate groups continued to be a common occurrence. Parliamentary elections held in May 2012 resulted in an increase of seats for presidentially-aligned parties. Parliament in 2013 is expected to revise the constitution.


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People And Society

Noun Algerian(s)
Adjective Algerian

Ethnic groups
Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
Although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools

Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber dialects: Kabylie Berber (Tamazight), Chaouia Berber (Tachawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)

Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%

Population World Ranking: 34
37,367,226 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
24.2% (male 4,319,295/female 4,144,863)
15-64 years
70.6% (male 12,455,378/female 12,242,604)
65 years and over
5.2% (male 845,116/female 987,681) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 28.1 years
Male 27.9 years
Female 28.4 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 101
1.165% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 122
16.64 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 196
4.72 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 126
-0.27 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 66% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
ALGIERS (capital) 2.74 million; Oran 770,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population
1.01 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 75
97 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 81
Total 24.9 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 27.82 deaths/1,000 live births
21.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 98
Total population 74.73 years
Male 72.99 years
Female 76.57 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 72
2.78 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 113
5.8% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
1.207 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital bed density
1.7 beds/1,000 population (2004)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 108
0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 81
18,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 67
Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 97
3.7% (2005)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 89
4.3% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 69.9%
Male 79.6%
Female 60.1% (2002 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 13 years
Male 13 years
Female 13 years (2005)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 34
Total 24.3% (2006)


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  Algeria (Algiers):

  GPS points from Algeria (Algiers)

Mechta Tafelkout Constantine

Sidi Ali El Bsissi Algeria (general)

Djebel Serraf Algeria (general)

Douar Sfafha Mascara

Rouis Bel Lakhal Algeria (general)

Baghai Algeria (general)
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