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Countries > Algeria Algeria Flag

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Capital: Algiers
Population: 1,696,000
Description: Arabic is spoken by the vast majority of the population. About 2½ million people speak various Berber languages. Kabyle is spoken by over 2 million people in the mountains east of Algiers. Slightly to the south and east, in the region known as the Aurès, Shawia is spoken by about 150,000 people. Far to the south, in scattered parts of the Sahara Desert, about 10,000 Tuaregs speak Tamashek. French is spoken by the dwindling European community and by many educated Algerians.
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Algeria Map


Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates: 28 00 N, 3 00 E

Map references: Africa

total : 2,381,740 sq km
land: 2,381,740 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas

Land boundaries:
total: 6,343 km
border countries : Libya 982 km, Mali 1,376 km, Mauritania 463 km, Morocco 1,559 km, Niger 956 km, Tunisia 965 km, Western Sahara 42 km

Coastline: 998 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer

Terrain: mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain

Elevation extremes:
lowest point : Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 13%
forests and woodland: 2%
other : 82% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 5,550 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mud slides

Environment - current issues: soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water

Environment - international agreements:
party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban

Geography - note: second-largest country in Africa (after Sudan)


Population: 31,736,053 (July 2001 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years :34.21% (male 5,528,755; female 5,328,083)
15-64 years: 61.72% (male 9,901,319; female 9,687,449)
65 years and over: 4.07% (male 594,973; female 695,474) (2001 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.71% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 22.76 births/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 5.22 deaths/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate:-0.45 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2001 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2001 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 40.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.95 years
male : 68.6 years
female: 71.34 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate:2.72 children born/woman (2001 est.)

noun : Algerian(s)
adjective: Algerian

Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%

Religions: Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%

Languages: Arabic (official), French, Berber dialects

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 61.6%
male: 73.9%
female : 49% (1995 est.)


Country name:
conventional long form: Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria
conventional short form: Algeria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Shabiyah
local short form: Al Jaza'ir

Data code: AG

Government type: republic

National capital: Algiers

Administrative divisions: 48 provinces (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanghasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen

Independence: 5 July 1962 (from France)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 1 November (1954)

Constitution: 19 November 1976, effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, and 28 November 1996; note - referendum approving the revisions of 28 November 1996 was signed into law 7 December 1996

Legal system: socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials, including several Supreme Court justices; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Pchief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Ali BENFLIS (since 26 August 2000)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 15 April 1999 (next to be held NA April 2004); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA elected president; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA over 70%; note - his six opposing candidates withdrew on the eve of the election citing electoral fraud

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the National People's Assembly or Al-Majlis Ech-Chaabi Al-Watani (380 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; suspended since 1992) and the Council of Nations (144 seats; one-third of the members appointed by the president, two-thirds elected by indirect vote; members serve six-year terms; created as a result of the constitutional revision of November 1996)
elections : National People's Assembly - last held 5 June 1997 (next to be held NA 2002); Council of Nations - last held 30 December 2000 (next to be held NA 2003)
election results: National People's Assembly - percent of vote by party - RND 40.8%, MSP 18.2%, FLN 16.8%, Nahda Movement 8.9%, FFS 5%, RCD 5%, PT 1.1%, Progressive Republican Party 0.8%, Union for Democracy and Liberty 0.3%, Social Liberal Party 0.3%, independents 2.8%; seats by party - RND 155, MSP 69, FLN 64, Nahda Movement 34, FFS 19, RCD 19, PT 4, Progressive Republican Party 3, Union for Democracy and Liberty 1, Social Liberal Party 1, independents 11; Council of Nations - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - RND 79, FLN 12, FFS 4, MSP 1 (remaining 48 seats appointed by the president, party breakdown NA)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders:Democratic National Rally or RND [Ahmed OUYAHIA, chairman]; Islamic Salvation Front or FIS (outlawed April 1992) [Ali BELHADJ and Dr. Abassi MADANI (imprisoned), Rabeh KEBIR (self-exile in Germany)]; Movement of a Peaceful Society or MSP [Mahfoud NAHNAH, chairman]; National Liberation Front or FLN [Boualem BENHAMOUDA, secretary general]; Progressive Republican Party [Khadir DRISS]; Rally for Culture and Democracy or RCD [Said SAADI, secretary general]; Renaissance Movement or EnNahda Movement [Lahbib ADAMI]; Social Liberal Party or PSL [Ahmed KHELIL]; Socialist Forces Front or FFS [Hocine Ait AHMED, secretary general (self-exile in Switzerland)]; Union for Democracy and Liberty [Mouley BOUKHALAFA]; Workers Party or PT [Louisa HANOUN]
note: a party law banning political parties based on religion was enacted in March 1997

International organization participation: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-15, G-19, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO (pending member), ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OAU, OIC, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNAVEM III, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIH, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Idriss JAZAIRY
chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX : [1] (202) 667-2174

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Janet A. SANDERSON
embassy : 4 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, Algiers
mailing address: B. P. Box 549, Alger-Gare, 16000 Algiers
telephone: [213] (2) 69-11-86, 69-12-55
FAX: [213] (2) 69-39-79

Flag description: two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white with a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent; the crescent, star, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam (the state religion)


Economy - overview: The hydrocarbons sector is the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 60% of government revenues,30% of GDP, and almost all export earnings; Algeria has the fifth-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the second largest gas exporter; and it ranks fourteenth for oil reserves. Algiers' efforts to reform one of the most centrally planned economies in the Arab world began after the 1986 collapse of world oil prices plunged the country into a severe recession. In 1989, the government launched a comprehensive, IMF-supported program to achieve economic stabilization and to introduce market mechanisms into the economy. Despite substantial progress toward economic adjustment, in 1992 the reform drive stalled as Algiers became embroiled in political turmoil. In September 1993, a new government was formed, and one priority was the resumption and acceleration of the structural adjustment process. Buffeted by the slump in world oil prices and burdened with a heavy foreign debt, Algiers concluded a one-year standby arrangement with the IMF in April 1994. Following a Paris Club debt rescheduling in 1995, a robust harvest, and elevated oil prices, the economy experienced a strong recovery and key economic improvements. Recent and planned investments in developing hydrocarbon resources are likely to increase growth and export earnings.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $171 billion (2000 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 5% (2000 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $5,500 (2000 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 11%
services: 52% (1999 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index: 2% (2000 est.)

Labor force:
total: 7.8 million (1996 est.)
by occupation: ggovernment 29%, agriculture 25%, construction and public works 15%, industry 11%, other 20% (1996 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1999 est.)

revenues :$15.8 billion
expenditures:expenditures: $16 billion, including capital expenditures of $5.3 billion (2001 est.)

Industries: petroleum, light industries, natural gas, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing

Industrial production growth rate:7% (1999 est.)

Electricity - capacity: 6.01 million kW (1994)

Electricity - production: 23.215 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 583 kWh (1995 est.)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle

total value:$19.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: petroleum and natural gas 97%
partners:Italy 22%, US 15%, France 12%, Spain 11%, Brazil 8%, Netherlands 5% (1999)

total value :$9.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.)
commodities: capital goods, food and beverages, consumer goods
partners:France 30%, Italy 9%, Germany 7%, Spain 6%, US 5%, Turkey 5% (1999)

Debt - external:$25 billion (2000 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA,$100 million (1999 est.)

Currency: 1 Algerian dinar (DA) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Algerian dinars per US dollar - 74,813 (January 2001), 75.260 (2000), 66.574 (1999), 58.739 (1998), 57.707 (1997), 54.749 (1996)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones:2.3 million (1998)

Telephone system:
domestic: good service in north but sparse in south; domestic satellite system with 12 earth stations (20 additional domestic earth stations are planned)
international: 5 submarine cables; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia; participant in Medarabtel; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik, and 1 Arabsat

Radio broadcast stations: AM 25, FM 1, shortwave 8 (1999)

Radios: 67.1 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 46 (plus 216 repeaters) (1995)

Televisions: 3.1 million (1997)


total : 4,820 km
standard gauge: 3,664 km 1.435-m gauge (301 km electrified; 215 km double-track)
narrow gauge: 1,156 km 1.055-m gauge

total: 104,000 km
paved : 71,656 km (including 640 km of expressways)
unpaved: 32,344 km (1996 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 6,612 km; petroleum products 298 km; natural gas 2,948 km

Ports and harbors: Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Beni Saf, Dellys, Djendjene, Ghazaouet, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda, Tenes

Merchant marine:
total : total: 73 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 896,911 GRT/1,047,991 DWT
ships by type: bulk 9, cargo 25, chemical tanker 7, liquefied gas 10, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 13, short-sea passenger 4, specialized tanker 1 (2000 est.)

Airports: 135 (2000 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 51
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m : 24
1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 1 (2000 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 84
2,438 to 3,047 m : 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 23
914 to 1,523 m:18 (2000 est.)

Heliports: 1 (2000 est.)


Military branches: National Popular Army, Navy, Air Force, Territorial Air Defense, National Gendarmerie

Military manpower - military age: 19 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,794,622 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males: 5,383,770 (2001 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 388,939 (2001 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.87 billion (FY99)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.1% (FY99)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: part of southeastern region claimed by Libya; land boundary dispute with Tunisia settled in 1993

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