The Kingdom of Morocco or "Morocco" for short, is a North African country bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean sea between the Republic of Algeria and the Western Sahara (Morocco administers most of the disputed regions of the Western Sahara). Morocco is a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament.The King of Morocco holds vast executive and legislative powers including the power to dissolve the parliament.
Officially, the Kingdom of Morocco has a total land area of about 446,550sq.km (about 250sq.km of which is covered by water) with about 1,835km of coastline. About 19% of the total land area of Morocco is arable (land good for farming). Please note: With the disputed regions of the Western Sahara added, Morocco has a total land area of about 710,850sq.km.
The Kingdom of Morocco remains the only African country not a member of the African Union formerly known as the "Organization of African Unity" or O.A.U. Morocco unilateral withdrew from O.A.U on November 12, 1984 over the admission of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) in 1982 by the African Union as a full member without the organization of a referendum of self-determination in the disputed territory of the Western Sahara.
The Kingdom of Morocco has an "estimated" population of 35.5 million people with the population growth rate hovering around 1.22%. About 58% of the total population of Morocco lives in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Casablanca (a major city with a population of about 3.3 million people), Rabat (the capital town of Morocco. Rabat has a total population of about 1.8 million people), Fes (a major city with a population of about 1.1 million people), Marrakech (a major town with a population of about 1 million people), Tangier (another major town with a population of about 768,000 people).
Although there are several people of different colors and racial groups living in Morocco today, the Arab-Berbers make up about 99% of the total population with the other groups forming the remaining 1%. Just like in most other North African countries, Islam remains the dominant religion in Morocco today with about 99% of the total population being Muslims. Christians, Jews, and other religious groups make up the remaining 1% of the total population. Although Arabic and Berber languages such as Tamazight remain official languages in Morocco today, French remains the language often used for business, government, and diplomatic communications.
Just like its neighboring countries, the Kingdom of Morocco is blessed with abundance of natural resources including phosphates, iron ore, manganese, zinc, salt, fish, lead, etc.
Despite the abundance of natural resources and the beauty of Morocco, Morocco just like most other north African countries today faces so many economic, social, developmental, and environmental challenges including poor education, poor healthcare, corruption, environmental pollution, etc.
The Kingdom of Morocco has a literacy rate of about 56.1% for the total population with the female literacy rate hovering around 43.9%. In other words, just about 43.9% of the total population of females above the age 15 can read and write in Morocco today which is very bad compared to most other African countries. Although Morocco has a GDP per capita income of about $5,100 (which is better than in most other African countries), several Moroccans (more than 15% of the total population) were living below poverty line in 2007 with many of them living on less than $1 a day.
Obesity remains a major health problem in Morocco today. In 2009, several Moroccans (about 16% of the total population) were found to be severely obese. Although Morocco has an HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of just 0.1%, about 26,000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 with about 1,200 deaths recorded within the same year.
Land degradation (the gradual deterioration of the land caused mainly by soil erosion resulting from farming of marginal areas, overgrazing, destruction of vegetation, industrial and agricultural runoffs, etc.), desertification, improper sewage disposals (water supplies contaminated by raw sewage), siltation of reservoirs, oil pollution of coastal waters (mostly caused by industrial waste materials), etc. remain some of the major environmental problems facing Morocco today.