Jordan State Overview

Jordan State Overview


Jordan. Kingdom located northwest of the Arabian peninsula, in southwest Asia.

It borders Iraq to the northeast, Saudi Arabia to the south and southeast, and Israel (since the occupation of the West Bank in 1967) to the west.

Limited access to the Red Sea takes place at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.


There are three well-defined geographical areas in Jordan: the desert, the Jordan Valley region, and the mountainous region of the East Bank.


Approximately 80% of the country’s territory is made up, in the east, of a prolongation of the North Arabian (or Syrian) desert. The desert soils are, in the south, of sandy formation, and in the north, accumulations of volcanic lava and basalt. The Jordan Valley region, shaped by the Rift Valley, is the lowest on the planet, reaching its lowest point at the Dead Sea (about 400 m below sea level).

The East Bank region is a mountain range also structured by the Rift Valley (which crosses all of East Africa) and is located east of the Jordan River. The average height is between 600 and 900 m reaching with the Jabal Ramm peak, in the extreme south of the kingdom, near the Gulf of Aqaba, the maximum height of Jordan: 1,753 m.


One of the main problems of the nation is the lack of water, since it does not rain more than 400 mm per year on 95% of the territory. And this only in winter, since between the months of April and October hardly any water falls. Numerous springs and streams from the eastern plateau feed the Jordan River (natural boundary between Israel and Jordan). However, the extreme dryness of the climate evaporates the waters during its course, making them saltier as they approach its mouth, in the Dead Sea.

It shows, in the water on its surface, the highest salinity index among the world’s seas: 300 per thousand.


The Jordanian population is of Arab descent, coming from two major ethnic groups: the Yemeni tribes of southern Arabia (Banü Kalb or Qahtani), and the Qaysi tribes (Adnani, Nizari, Ma’di or Ismailis) of northern Arabia. Arabia. This pre-Islamic division, less and less used, had religious and social meanings that still persist today in isolated areas. The vast majority of Jordanians speak Arabic, of which there is the classical, or written version, the spoken form, and each of the dialects of the different territorial regions.

  • Barasheh Tribe [4]

As a country located in Middle East according to ALLCOUNTRYLIST.COM, the King of Jordan descends in a direct line from the Prophet Muhammad and almost all Jordanians are Muslims (80% are Sunnis and 12% belong to other ethnic groups). The small minority of Christians is divided between 1.9% of faithful to the Greek Orthodox Church, 1.7% of followers of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church and other religious communities, such as the Greek Catholic Church, or Melkite, the Church Nestorian or Assyrian and the Syrian or Jacobite Orthodox Church.

There have been migrations from the countryside to the cities, complicating the economic development of the country. In the last years of the 20th century, Jordanian emigration to other countries has increased for this reason. Jordan has also received huge masses of refugees (more than a million), especially after the 1967 war, when they settled on the East and West banks, profoundly altering Jordan’s political, social and economic life, as well as its demographic distribution..

While some of the refugees have adopted full Jordanian citizenship, most resist permanent settlement and insist on returning to their homeland.

In 1955 there were 24 large refugee camps in Jordan and since 1967 many more have been added. Living conditions in these camps are harsh, especially in winter: many of them live crammed into tents or huts and lack electricity and running water. They cannot be classified as urban, rural or nomadic residents, being simply displaced whose fate depends on the movements of international politics.

Suffering from overpopulation and unemployment, they survive supported in part by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides them with the basics for subsistence. The same association also provides medical and social care, as well as education.

Economic development

In 1987 agriculture contributed 9% to Jordan’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employed 6.5% of the labor force, in 1988. The main crops (vegetables, fruit and nuts) accounted for 8% of export earnings in 1987. Industry contributed 28% to GDP in 1987. From 1980 to 1987, industrial production increased at an annual rate of 4.5%.

Mining contributed 3.6% to GDP in 1986, with the highest mineral exports being Phosphates and Potassium (25.4% and 11.3% of the total 1987 export, respectively).

Manufacturing contributed 13% to GDP in 1987. The most significant activities are food processing, petroleum refining, and chemicals.

Imported petroleum is mainly used as fuel. The services sector, which includes small businesses, restaurants and hotels, transport and financial services, is the most developed and the true engine of the Jordanian economy. In 1987 it accounted for 64% of GDP and 63% of the workforce worked there.

Jordan exhibits price stability rare among developing nations. It achieves this through a competitive import policy, the use of local resources and services, and the income of strong foreign currencies as aid. The Jordanian economy cannot be planned for the long term without taking into account the occupied strip of the West Bank of the Jordan, which was the one that represented for the country not only the best agricultural land, but also a tourist attraction that contributed large sums in foreign currencies.

Since the mid-1980s, the rest of the Middle Eastern countries have suffered economic decline. A plan has been drawn up, agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to reduce the budget deficit to 5% of GDP by 1993, as well as to lower the annual rate of inflation to 7%.

Tourism is a very important source of income. The ancient cities of Jerash and Petra, and Jordan’s proximity to Biblical sites, attracted 2,391,167 visitors in 1988. The previous year, tourism had provided an income of 600 million dollars.

Social development


There is a national health insurance program that provides affordable medical, dental and eye care that is free to the indigent. There are hospitals in the cities of Amman, as-Zarqá, al-Karak, as-Salt, Irbid, at-Tafilah, Janin and al-Aqaba. Despite the huge number of refugees (870,490 registered by UNRWA in Jordan in 1988 and another 385,634 in the West Bank) all infectious diseases are under control, except for dysentery and eye infections.

Public health is in clear improvement, due to government concern and the number of doctors, which has increased substantially. Until the Ministry of Social Affairs was established in 1951, benefits were private. In 1978, a new Social Security Law came into force (extended in 1981), which protected employers and employees. Wages are higher in cities and in industry than in the countryside and in agriculture.


Primary education is free and, in principle, compulsory. It begins at the age of five and lasts for six. The following three-year preparatory cycle is also compulsory. UNRWA provides schooling for Palestinian refugees. In 1983, 88% of West Bank children between the ages of six and eleven attended primary schools. In 1982, about 71% of students between the ages of twelve and seventeen received a secondary education. There are nine universities in Jordan.


Newspapers enjoy relative freedom of the press, only interrupted by the government in case of obvious abuses. Literary and scientific magazines are published, as well as specialized newspapers. The vast majority of professional groups or government departments publish their own magazines. Some of the most important publications are the newspapers Ar-Rai (Opinion), Ad-Dustour (The Constitution), Sawt ash Shaab (Voice of the People), the weekly Akhbar al-Usbou (News of the Week), JordanThe Jerusalem Star, and many others.

Trade Union Movement

The main union is the General Federation of Jordanian Workers’ Unions, which is also a member of the Confederation of Arab Trade Unions. There are also independent unions, such as the Petroleum Workers and Employees Union.

Living place

Despite the uninterrupted construction process, housing is a problem in Jordan. Most homes consist of single-room dwellings. There are projects to build new neighborhoods and renovate others in Amman and az-Zarqa, as well as loans from the Housing Bank and building construction plans for low-income families, carried out by the Housing Corporation and the Jordan Valley Authority.


The oldest known dams are found in Jordan. These are earth dams with stone faces dating back to 3200 BC. Cy were discovered in 1974 by members of the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem in Jawa.

Jordan State Overview