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Morocco

Morocco

Summary

Morocco has historically been ruled by foreign powers and Islamic domination. Today, the nation is the only remaining monarchy in Africa and is rapidly modernizing. It has become a popular tourist destination because of its ancient architecture, proximity to Spain, and Arab style.1 The government is the de facto administrative ruler of the majority of the neighboring region of Western Sahara, but the UN does not recognize Morocco’s rule there.2 1 https://www.britannica.com/place/Morocco 2 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mo.html

Demographics

Nationality
Moroccan
Population
32,649,130 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

Explore Morocco Subcases

Click and view Morocco subcases and learn more about our Morocco

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

Environment

Morocco’s environment faces serious issues due to exploitation of its natural resources. Livestock overgrazing, deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution have resulted from poor environmental regulations. Industrial waste is also dumped into water sources, making the already scarce resource polluted.1 Additionally, the northern mountain range is geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes. Morocco is also susceptible to droughts, which occur periodically.2

Family

Family is an integral part of Moroccan society and culture, and marriage is highly important. It is considered a primary goal to get married and have children. It is still not uncommon for parents to have a large say in the choice of spouse, through arranged marriages are not as common as they were in the past.1 In recent years, the government has taken steps to increase females’ place in society, but in many parts of the country men dominate the household and workplace.2

Human Rights

While Morocco’s government has passed reforms to improve human rights, they have not been carried out properly. The media and protests are both closely regulated and freedom of speec is stifled. Journalists are subject to harassment, violence, and even time in prison.1 Migrants, refugees, women, and domestic workers also face inequality and abuse. These groups have been abused and discriminated against by law enforcement officials and by society.2

Education

The education system in Morocco consists of five years of primary school and four years of secondary school. 90% of children are enrolled in school, but children living in rural areas have lower school attendance.1 Enrollment discrepancy between boys and girls continuing their education occurs during secondary school, where only 50% of girls enroll at secondary school, compared to 66% of boys. This is also reflected in national literacy rates, which demonstrate that 74% of women between the ages of 15 and 24 are able to read and write,compared to 89% of men of the same age.2

Poverty

About 15% of the population lives under the international poverty line.1 Nearly 75% of rural people living in poverty depend on agriculture for their livelihood, but pollution and urbanization limit the amount of quality agricultural areas. Lack of widespread education also contributes to an uneven distribution of poverty between rural and urban areas.2

Religion

Islam is Morocco’s official religion, with 99% of Moroccans identifying as Muslim.1 Although the majority of its population practices Islam, the constitution guarantees religious freedom. Despite this, proselytizing is not allowed, and missionaries have previously faced imprisonment or been forced to leave the country. Defaming Islam is outlawed.2

Clean Water

Morocco has made improvements in providing clean water for its people, but its water supply is still fairly inconsistent, particularly in rural areas. With inconsistent rainfall, a desert climate, and water sources that are somewhat polluted, accessible water is becoming scarce.1 Approximately 85% of the population has access to clean water, and 77% of the population has access to improved sanitation infrastructure.2

Economy

Morocco has moved toward privatizing industries to support its economy. The country has been able to reap the benefits of its proximity to the Europe to create a more diverse, market-oriented economy. However, Morocco faces problems with its high tax rate and corrupt regulations.1 Morocco’s primary industries are forestry and agriculture, but it is expanding to include construction, textiles, tourism, rock mining, and phosphates. It is the world leader in the production and exportation of phosphates, owning three-quarters of the worlds’ reserves. The unemployment rate is at 10%.2

Government

The Kingdom of Morocco is a constitutional monarchy that won its independence from France in 1956. Despite efforts to combat corruption, the nation continues to be riddled with problems in both the public and private sectors. The government has been accused of accepting bribes and arbitrarily arresting people.1 Due to regional unrest in 2011, the nation implemented a new constitution that increased transparency and democratic procedures. While this has been largely successful, there is still room for improvement to increase human rights. Politically, Morocco maintains close relationships with both the United States and European powers.2

Health

Less than 30% of Moroccans have health insurance. The life expectancy is 69 for men and 73 for women.1 Poor water quality and sanitation contribute to serious diseases, such as cholera, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and parasites.2

Children

Moroccan children make up around 35% of the population. Poverty is high in rural areas, and these children do not have adequate access to health care facilities. Additionally, some children end up in the workforce to help provide for their families, and as a result not all children receive a complete education. Less than half of children complete high school.1 Child marriage is also a concern. While the legal marrying age is 18, approximately 16% of girls are married before then, and judges can marry girls as young as age 13.2

Animals

Morocco has Mediterranean Conifer and other types of mixed forests in the higher altitude regions closer to mountainous regions. Humans have been present in these forests since the time of the Roman Empire, and most large game animals have been killed off in the region. Deforestation has only become a major issue in the past century. Today, there is a large number of bird species. Morocco is a popular migratory destination for birds from Europe.1

Morocco

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