Fast Facts

Population:
5,795,000
Capital:
Amman; 1,237,000
Area:
89,342 square kilometers (34,495 square miles)
Language:
Arabic, English
Religion:
Sunni Muslim, Christian
Currency:
Jordanian dinar
Life Expectancy:
61
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $4,300
Literacy Percent:
91
Flag: Jordan
Map: Jordan

Located on desert plateaus in southwest Asia, Jordan is almost landlocked but for a short coast on the Gulf of Aqaba. In 1923, after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Transjordan was designated a British mandate. Independence came in 1946. Following the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948-49, the country annexed the West Bank—but lost it to Israel in the 1967 war.

The Arab-Israeli wars have brought this small, poor country some 1.5 million Palestinian refugees. Jordan has a constitutional monarchy, with an economy based on agriculture and phosphates. It joined the World Trade Organization in 2000 and hopes to grow its economy through reforms and increased trade. Jordan looks to address its limited natural resources—it lacks its own oil—through cooperative agreements and the development of renewable energy.

ECONOMY

  • Industry: Phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, potash
  • Agriculture: Wheat, barley, citrus, tomatoes; sheep
  • Exports: Phosphates, fertilizers, potash, agricultural products, manufactures

—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition

Related Features

  • Picture of Nymphaeum ruins, Jarash, Jordan

    Best Trips 2013

    From Jarash to Uganda, Raja Ampat to Memphis, 20 wildly diverse places make our wanderlust list for the new year.

     

  • Photo: A visitor near the Treasury in Petra, Jordan

    Best Winter Trips of 2012

    Winter doesn't have to mean long months indoors. Our editors have chosen ten trips that will have you gearing up for adventure or joining in local festivities.

  • Photo: Ruins of Timgad, the most intact of Roman cities in Algeria.

    Roman Frontiers Pictures

    Rome’s border walls were the beginning of its end.

Take a Nat Geo Trip

Select a destination or trip type to find a trip:

See All Trips »

Travel Photos From Your Shot

  • Picture of canoes on a dock in Alberta, Canada

    Your Canada Photos

    View scenes of Canada's city life and countryside—all taken by our Nat Geo photo community.

See More Your Shot Galleries »