About
Nonprofit Tools
Contact
Help

Search by country

Jordan

Jordan

Summary

Jordan, previously part of the Ottoman empire, was given to Britain to govern after World War 1 and gained complete independence in 1946. Jordan is facing a large refugee crisis from the Syrian conflict, and the international community has supplied only a fraction of the financial aid that is needed to accommodate the number of people living in the country. Water scarcity is a major problem, but the government is in the process of building a desalination system called the Red Sea Dead Sea Project to ensure water for future generations.1 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html

Demographics

Nationality
Jordanian
Population
6,482,081 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Explore Jordan Subcases

Click and view Jordan subcases and learn more about our Jordan

Environment
Family
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Human Rights
Education
Animals

Environment

Climate change and water scarcity are two of the most pressing environmental concerns for Jordanian citizens. Small scale subsistence farmers are finding it very difficult to make a living when water is scarce. There are underground aquifers that are being depleted at twice the rate that they should. The water scarcity issues have increased the use of illegal water pumping throughout the country.1 In 2013 Jordan, Israel, and Palestine created an agreement to work together to build desalination plants on the banks of the Red Sea and Dead Sea, but recent Israeli-Jordanian tensions have caused many to question whether the project will remain part of a inter-state agreement, or if Jordan will invoke full control of the plant.2

Family

Currently, the law allows rapists to avoid prosecution if they marry their victims, but this section of the law has been under scrutiny, and many officials support the amendment of this clause. When the law was drafted, it was hailed as being progressive and recognized the issue of domestic violence, but there were many loopholes that made it easy to continue to exploit vulnerable women. Despite the loopholes, the law has been revolutionary in educating women about their rights. In government and other institutions many women’s rights are not recognized.2

Poverty

Jordan struggles somewhat with poverty alleviation strategies, as well as a 15.3% unemployment rate. In 2017 the GDP was increasing at about 2% annually1, but the IMF has stated that in order for actual poverty to decrease, the economic growth rate would need to increase 7% annually. The refugee crisis has increased strain on the economy and the debt deficit has increased dramatically. As the economy slowly recovers from the influx of refugees, the wealth disparity widens between rural and urban areas.2

Religion

Sunni Islam is the official religion of Jordan, with around 97% of the population following Islam. 2% of the population is Christian, and the remaining people practice various orthodox religions.1 Despite Islam being the official religion, the government and the constitution generally uphold the right of freedom of religion. The only instances in which this right might be restricted is when it would interfere with public order. Most of the suppression of freedom of expression or assembly only happens if the group is somehow influencing the public’s perception of the government negatively2

Clean Water

In Jordan, clean water coverage is very good; 97% of the population has access to clean water and 99% has access to improved sanitation infrastructure.1 However, despite optimistic official statistics regarding water access, the country is quickly approaching a state of water scarcity due to the high volume of refugees. In the northern regions of the country there are over 1.4 million refugees, placing a high strain on the water resources. The country’s number of refugees is second only to Lebanon. It is estimated that there is only enough water coming from local resources to provide for 3 million of the country’s 7.8 million residents.2

Economy

The Jordanian economy is struggling to stay afloat compared to other larger and more lucrative Middle Eastern economies. The country has insufficient natural resources and a waning supply of water and oil. There are extremely high rates of poverty, unemployment, and a huge deficit regarding the public budget. The unemployment rate is 15.3%, and the public debt is over 80% of the GDP. Jordan hopes to soon decrease their dependence on foreign aid, specifically from the IMF.1 The business culture of Jordan has been negatively influenced by a lack of transparency and peddling. Many citizens rely on family connections rather than their own merit to secure jobs and advance their interests. Anti-corruption measures have been met with varying degrees of success and implementation.2

Government

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a king and a prime minister.1 Jordan’s penal code officially penalizes extortion, bribery, money laundering, and the abuse of public office. There are several pieces of legislation in place, including the Anti-Corruption Commission Law, that define corruption within the country, establish corruption as an economic crime, and denounce the use of nepotism. There is also an Anti-Money Laundering Law that complies with the Middle East/North Africa Financial Action Task Force and helps to reduce the number of complaints.2 Transparency International ranks Jordan 57th out of 178 countries for perceived corruption; their own citizens score the government 48 out of 100 for corruption transparency.3

Health

Jordan has relatively good health care coverage for its citizens, with around three physicians for every 1,000 citizens. 3% of children under five are underweight, with regional disparities between the northern and southern regions of the country. 35.5% of the adult population is overweight. The maternal mortality rate is 58 deaths per 100,000 live births, and the infant mortality rate is 14.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.1 Heart disease is the highest cause of death among citizens, followed by cerebrovascular diseases and diabetes. Children are at high risk for diarrheal diseases, hepatitis, and respiratory infections. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and high risks from local conflict and warfare are also increasing health problems. Life expectancy is 76 years old.2

Children

In Jordan, people under age 30 constitute 74% of the country’s population.1 The government is working on implementing protocols and legislation regarding child prostitution and pornography, as well as the sale of children. Jordan has advanced the legal status of children born out of wedlock in recent years, as well as the rights of children who have one Jordanian parent and one foreign parent.2 Child marriage remains a problem in Jordan, with 8% of children being married before they are 18.3 Two of the main reasons for young girls marrying so young are the hope of getting out of poverty and alleviating the financial burden for families with many daughters.4 There was a committee with an allocated budget formed to represent youth, but it hasn’t Read More made many advancements in policy.5 Show Less

Human Rights

Jordan has allowed millions of refugees into their borders including 2.1 million long-term Palestinian refugees. There are fairly strict media and censorship laws that punish those who do not comply with laws regarding self-expression. Jordan recently released a university professor the police had arrested because of a Facebook post that criticized the government. The State Security Court recently amended its rulings; it is now unnecessary for civilians to appear in trial before a court except in cases of terrorism, drug charges, money laundering, treason, and espionage. In 2016 the government submitted a ten-year human rights improvement plan to the King.1 The government struggles financially to support the provision of food and water for the millions of refugees. The international community has not sufficiently supported Jordan’s Read More efforts to provide for the Syrians staying in their country, which has created a major humanitarian crisis.2 Show Less

Education

Education in Jordan is inconsistent and does not allow for graduates to be internationally competitive. There is little government investment in programs outside the classroom, and public schools are generally overcrowded. There is a lack of teachers, as well as a lack in sufficient training for the few teachers who are interested.1 The literacy rate is 95%.2

Animals

The mainly desert plateau environment of Jordan is home to the Arabian Oryx, Capra ibex, and oxen. There are about 70 species and subspecies of mammals, and 73 species of reptiles. The Jordanian government cites desertification, droughts, and overhunting as threats to local wildlife. Similar to the human population, water shortage causes issues for the habitats and health of the native species.1

Jordan

News

Loading...