Fast Facts

Amman; 1,237,000
89,342 square kilometers (34,495 square miles)
Arabic, English
Sunni Muslim, Christian
Jordanian dinar
Life Expectancy:
GDP per Capita:
U.S. $4,300
Literacy Percent:
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.


  • 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

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