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People and Society






In 788, about a century after the Arab conquest of North Africa, a series of Moroccan Muslim dynasties began to rule in Morocco. In the 16th century, the Sa'adi monarchy, particularly under Ahmad AL-MANSUR (1578-1603), repelled foreign invaders and inaugurated a golden age. The Alaouite dynasty, to which the current Moroccan royal family belongs, dates from the 17th century. In 1860, Spain occupied northern Morocco and ushered in a half century of trade rivalry among European powers that saw Morocco's sovereignty steadily erode; in 1912, the French imposed a protectorate over the country. 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. Sultan MOHAMMED V, the current monarch's grandfather, organized the new state as a constitutional monarchy and in 1957 assumed the title of king. Morocco 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. Under King MOHAMMED VI - who in 1999 succeeded his father to the throne - human rights have improved. Morocco enjoys a moderately free press, but the government has taken action against journalists who they perceive to be challenging the monarchy, Islam, and the status of Western Sahara. Influenced by protests elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa, in February 2011 thousands of Moroccans began weekly rallies in multiple cities across the country to demand greater democracy and a crackdown on government corruption. Police response to most of the protests was subdued compared to the violence elsewhere in the region. A commission set up in March 2011 presented a draft constitution that was passed by popular referendum in July 2011. Under the new constitution, some new powers were extended to parliament and the prime minister, but ultimate authority remained in the hands of the monarch. That same month, the king urged swift implementation of the new constitution, starting with the holding of parliamentary elections in 2011 instead of in 2012. A prominent moderate Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party, subsequently won the largest number of seats on 25 November 2011, becoming the first Islamist party to lead the Moroccan Government. In January 2012, Morocco assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2012-13 term.


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People And Society

Noun Moroccan(s)
Adjective Moroccan

Ethnic groups
Arab-Berber 99%, other 1%

Arabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy)

Muslim 99% (official), Christian 1%, Jewish about 6,000

Population World Ranking: 38
32,309,239 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
27.8% (male 4,514,623/female 4,382,487)
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.)

Median age
Total 27.3 years
Male 26.7 years
Female 27.8 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 112
1.054% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 99
18.97 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 193
4.76 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 185
-3.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 58% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
2.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
Casablanca 3.245 million; RABAT (capital) 1.77 million; Fes 1.044 million; Marrakech 909,000; Tangier 768,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.82 male(s)/female
Total population
0.97 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 70
100 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 75
Total 26.49 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 31.16 deaths/1,000 live births
21.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 79
Total population 76.11 years
Male 73.04 years
Female 79.32 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 104
2.19 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 127
5.5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
0.62 physicians/1,000 population (2009)

Hospital bed density
1.1 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 142
0.1% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 71
26,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 63
1,200 (2009 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 31
16% (2000)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight World Ranking: 67
9.9% (2004)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 40
5.6% of GDP (2008)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 56.1%
Male 68.9%
Female 43.9% (2009 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 10 years
Male 11 years
Female 10 years (2007)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 44
Total 21.9%
Male 22.8%
Female 19.4% (2009)


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  Morocco (Rabat):

  GPS points from Morocco (Rabat)

Sidi Mohammed Fes-boulemane

Sidi Bou Chakour Meknes-tafilalet

Mechta Mohammed Ben Mathi Chaouia-ouardigha

Douar El Boudaoudia Taza-al Hoceima-taounate

Es Sebt De Brikiine Region De Marrakech-tensift-al Haouz

Aourir Imjjat N' Agourbane Region De Souss-massa-draa

Kherza El Aguef Doukkala-abda

Hassi Ouiggane Souss-massa-draa
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