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Algeria

 
Flag of Algeria
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Coordinates:
28.00 N  03.00 E

 

 

Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Algeria

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Algeria Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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), has dominated politics ever since. Many Algerians in the subsequent generation were not satisfied, however, and moved to counter the FLN's centrality in Algerian politics. 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 crack down on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. The government later allowed elections featuring pro-government and moderate religious-based parties, but did not appease the activists who progressively widened their attacks. The fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense fighting between 1992-98 and which resulted 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. However, small numbers of armed militants persist in confronting government forces and conducting ambushes and occasional attacks on villages. The army placed Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA in the presidency in 1999 in a fraudulent election but claimed neutrality in his 2004 landslide reelection victory. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA in his second term, including the ethnic minority Berbers' ongoing autonomy campaign, large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing - although significantly degraded - activities of extremist militants. Algeria must also diversify its petroleum-based economy, which has yielded a large cash reserve but which has not been used to redress Algeria's many social and infrastructure problems.
   Geography    Algeria Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
28 00 N, 3 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,381,740 sq km
land: 2,381,740 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 6,343 km
border countries: Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
998 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 3.17%
permanent crops: 0.28%
other: 96.55% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
5,690 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)
   People    Algeria Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
32,930,091 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 28.1% (male 4,722,076/female 4,539,713)
15-64 years: 67.1% (male 11,133,802/female 10,964,502)
65 years and over: 4.8% (male 735,444/female 834,554) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 24.9 years
male: 24.7 years
female: 25.1 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.22% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.14 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.61 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
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: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 29.87 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 33.62 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 25.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 73.26 years
male: 71.68 years
female: 74.92 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.89 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.1% ; note - no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
9,100 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 500 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: cutaneous leishmaniasis is a high risk in some locations (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Algerian(s)
adjective: Algerian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
note: almost all Algerians are Berber in origin, not Arab; the minority who identify themselves as Berber 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
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 70%
male: 78.8%
female: 61% (2003 est.)
   Government    Algeria Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
conventional short form: Algeria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
local short form: Al Jaza'ir
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Algiers
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
48 provinces (wilayat, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
5 July 1962 (from France)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Revolution Day, 1 November (1954)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976, effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, and 28 November 1996
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials, including several Supreme Court justices; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister - vacant
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 8 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2009); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for second term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA 85%, Ali BENFLIS 6.4%, Abdellah DJABALLAH 5%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consisting of the National People's Assembly or Al-Majlis Ech-Chaabi Al-Watani (389 seats - formerly 380 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the Council of Nations (Senate) (144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote; members serve six-year terms; the constitution requires half the council to be renewed every three years)
elections: National People's Assembly - last held 30 May 2002 (next to be held in 2007); Council of Nations (Senate) - last held 30 December 2003 (next to be held in 2006)
election results: National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FLN 199, RND 47, Islah 43, MSP 38, PT 21, FNA 8, EnNahda 1, PRA 1, MEN 1, independents 30; Council of Nations - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party NA
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Algerian National Front or FNA [Moussa TOUATI]; National Democratic Rally (Rassemblement National Democratique) or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA, secretary general]; Islamic Salvation Front or FIS (outlawed April 1992) [Ali BELHADJ and Dr. Abassi MADANI, Rabeh KEBIR (self-exiled in Germany)]; National Entente Movement or MEN [Ali BOUKHAZNA]; National Liberation Front or FLN [Abdelaziz BELKHADEM, secretary general (also serves as minister of state and special representative of the head of state)]; National Reform Movement or Islah (formerly MRN) [Abdellah DJABALLAH]; National Renewal Party or PRA [Yacine TERKMANE]; Progressive Republican Party [Khadir DRISS]; Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Said SAADI, secretary general]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda Movement [Fatah RABEI]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait AHMED, secretary general (self-exiled in Switzerland)]; Social Liberal Party or PSL [Ahmed KHELIL]; Society of Peace Movement or MSP [Boudjerra SOLTANI]; Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUN]
note: a law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
The Algerian Human Rights League or LADH or LADDH [Yahia Ali ABDENOUR]; SOS Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]; Somoud [Ali MERABET]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, ONUB, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Amine KHERBI
chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX: [1] (202) 667-2174
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard W. ERDMAN
embassy: 4 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, Algiers
mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers
telephone: [213] (21) 69-12-55
FAX: [213] (21) 69-39-79
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam (the state religion)
   Economy    Algeria Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the seventh-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second-largest gas exporter; it ranks 14th in oil reserves. Sustained high oil prices in recent years, along with macroeconomic policy reforms supported by the IMF, have helped improve Algeria's financial and macroeconomic indicators. Algeria is running substantial trade surpluses and building up record foreign exchange reserves. Real GDP has risen due to higher oil output and increased government spending. The government's continued efforts to diversify the economy by attracting foreign and domestic investment outside the energy sector, however, has had little success in reducing high unemployment and improving living standards. The population is becoming increasingly restive due to the lack of jobs and housing and frequently stages protests, which have resulted in arrests and injuries, including some deaths as government forces intervened to restore order. Structural reform within the economy, such as development of the banking sector and the construction of infrastructure, moves ahead slowly hampered by corruption and bureaucratic resistance.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$233.2 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$85.31 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7,200 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 10.1%
industry: 60%
services: 29.8% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.15 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 14%, industry 13.4%, construction and public works 10%, trade 14.6%, government 32%, other 16% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17.1% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
25% (2005 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
35.3 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.9% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $42.05 billion
expenditures: $30.75 billion; including capital expenditures of $5.8 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
30.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
26.99 billion kWh (2003 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.9 billion kWh (2003 est.)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
400 million kWh (2003 est.)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
200 million kWh (2003 est.)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.373 million bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
246,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.127 million bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.46 billion bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
82.4 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.32 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
57.98 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.531 trillion cu m (2005)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$18.79 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$49.59 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 22.9%, Italy 16.6%, Spain 10.4%, France 10%, Canada 7.9%, Brazil 5.7%, Germany 4.4%, Belgium 4.2% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$22.53 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
France 27.8%, Italy 7.6%, Spain 7%, Germany 6.6%, China 6.5%, US 5.4%, Turkey 4.5% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$56.58 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$19.45 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$122.8 million (2002 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Algerian dinar (DZD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Algerian dinars per US dollar - 73.276 (2005), 72.061 (2004), 77.395 (2003), 79.682 (2002), 77.215 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Algeria Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.288 million (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.661 million (2005)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: telephone density in Algeria is very low, not exceeding five telephones per 100 persons; the number of fixed main lines increased in the last few years to a little more than 2 million, but only about two-thirds of these have subscribers; much of the infrastructure is outdated and inefficient
domestic: good service in north but sparse in south; domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations (20 additional domestic earth stations are planned)
international: country code - 213; submarine cables - 5; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 51 (Intelsat, Intersputnik, and Arabsat) (2005)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.dz
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1,175 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
845,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Algeria Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
137 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 52
over 3,047 m: 10
2,438 to 3,047 m: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 85
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 26
914 to 1,523 m: 38
under 914 m: 19 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
condensate 1,344 km; gas 85,946 km; liquid petroleum gas 2,213 km; oil 6,496 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,973 km
standard gauge: 2,888 km 1.435-m gauge (283 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 1,085 km 1.055-m gauge (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 104,000 km
paved: 71,656 km
unpaved: 32,344 km (1999)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 52 ships (1000 GRT or over) 840,484 GRT/880,151 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 9, cargo 13, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 9, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 6, roll on/roll off 6 (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda
   Military    Algeria Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
National Popular Army (ANP; includes Land Forces), Algerian National Navy (MRA), Air Force (QJJ), Territorial Air Defense Force (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
19-30 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (October 2003)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 19-49: 8,033,049
females age 19-49: 7,926,351 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 19-49: 6,590,079
females age 19-49: 6,711,285 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 374,639
females age 19-49: 369,021 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$3 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.2% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Algeria Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Algeria supports the exiled Sahrawi Polisario Front and rejects Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; most of the approximately 102,000 Western Saharan Sahrawi refugees are sheltered in camps in Tindouf, Algeria; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; in an attempt to improve relations, Morocco, in mid-2004, unilaterally lifted the requirement that Algerians visiting Morocco possess entry visas - a gesture not reciprocated by Algeria; Algeria remains concerned about armed bandits operating throughout the Sahel who sometimes destabilize southern Algerian towns; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the FLN's assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Definition Field Listing
refugees (country of origin): 102,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf)
IDPs: 400,000-600,000 (conflict between government forces, Islamic insurgents) (2005)

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook