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Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations awarded Britain the mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain demarcated a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s. The area gained its independence in 1946 and thereafter became The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country's long-time ruler, King HUSSEIN (1953-99), successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, King HUSSEIN's eldest son, assumed the throne following his father's death in 1999. He has implemented modest political and economic reforms, including the passage of a new electoral law in early 2016 ahead of legislative elections held in September. The Islamic Action Front, which is the political arm of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, returned to parliament with 15 seats after boycotting the previous two elections in 2010 and 2013.


Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia, between Israel (to the west) and Iraq

Natural Resources

phosphates, potash, shale oil

Population - distribution

population heavily concentrated in the west, and particularly the northwest, in and around the capital of Amman; a sizeable, but smaller population is located in the southwest along the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba

Arabic (official), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes)
AMMAN (capital) 1.155 million (2015)
Conventional long form
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Conventional short form
Local long form
Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah
Local short form
Al Urdun
parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Geographic coordinates
31 57 N, 35 56 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Friday in March; ends last Friday in October
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources, underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment and underemployment, budget and current account deficits, and government debt.
External debt stocks
US$ 25,745,968,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -3,331,746,479
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 21,623,661,972
Exports of goods and services
US$ 13,576,056,338
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 1,274,788,732
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 5,915,633,803
citrus, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, strawberries, stone fruits; sheep, poultry, dairy
tourism, information technology, clothing, fertilizer, potash, phosphate mining, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, cement, inorganic chemicals, light manufacturing
textiles, fertilizers, potash, phosphates, vegetables, pharmaceuticals
US 21%, Saudi Arabia 16.5%, Iraq 10.3%, India 8.7%, UAE 4.8%, Kuwait 4.4% (2015)
crude oil, refined petroleum products, machinery, transport equipment, iron, cereals
Saudi Arabia 15.4%, China 12.8%, US 6.2%, Germany 4.7%, UAE 4.2% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is mediocre. The availability and the reliability of corporate financial information vary widely. Debt collection can sometimes be difficult. The institutional framework has a few troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run appreciable risks in the unstable, largely inefficient environments rated B.
  • Supported financially and politically by the Gulf monarchies and western countries
  • Significant production of phosphates and potash
  • Expatriate workforce and tourism significant sources of foreign exchange
  • Low natural energy resources and weak production base
  • Weak natural energy resources and production base
  • Vulnerable to the international economic cycle and the political instability in the Near and Middle East
  • Imbalance in the public and external accounts, resulting in a reliance on aid and foreign capital
  • High unemployment

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