Morocco Population, Politics and Economy
Population in Morocco
Between 1950 and 2017, the population of Morocco grew from 9 million to currently around 35 million people. Morocco’s population is currently growing at around 1.3% per year with an average age of 28 years. Agglomerations are the coastal areas in the north and northwest and the Sebou lowlands, while the mountains, desert steppes and desert areas are only sparsely populated. About half of Morocco’s residents are ethnic Berbers, half of whom are Arabized Berbers who no longer speak any of the Berber languages and have adapted to the Arab way of life. According to directoryaah, the Berbers in Morocco today, contrary to their originally nomadic way of life, are mainly settled farmers and concentrate more on the steppe-like south of Morocco with the center around Marrakech.
The remaining residents of the ethnically interesting travel destination Morocco consist mainly of Arabs, Moors who immigrated from Mauritania and, to a lesser extent, southern European and North African foreigners.
Moroccan Arabic is spoken by around 90% of all Moroccans, making it the most important language in the country. In addition, about half of the residents speak various Berber languages, such as Mazir, Ghomara or Taschelhit.
French is used throughout the country as a commercial and educational language. In addition, Spanish is spoken in Northern Morocco, Western Sahara and around Sidi Ifni. English is becoming more and more important for the educated youth. When traveling through Morocco, depending on the region, you can communicate quite well with French, English or Spanish.
Politics and economics in Morocco
Even after several changes to the 1992 constitution, Morocco has a constitutional monarchy as a system of government in which the king has extensive competencies and powers with only a limited separation of powers compared to European kingdoms. The king is not only commander-in-chief of the armed forces but also appoints the prime minister as well as the individual ministers and must agree to the formation of the entire cabinet. He also has the right to dissolve Parliament at any time and to impose a state of emergency.
After a constitutional reform confirmed by a referendum in 2011, however, the king is relinquishing some of his previous rights to parliament and prime minister and undertakes to select the head of government from the party with the most parliamentary seats. Morocco now has a bicameral system made up of the National Assembly, whose members are directly elected every five years, and the Senate. A total of 395 parliamentary seats are allocated, 305 of which are from party lists in 92 electoral districts and 90 further seats are selected from a national list. 60 seats are reserved for women and 30 seats for young MPs under 40 years of age. Morocco’s system of government, which is only partially free, has both democratic and authoritarian elements, which should be kept in mind when traveling to Morocco.
According to ebizdir, agriculture and mining are considered to be the pillars of the Moroccan economy. The raw materials extracted are mainly phosphate (approx. 75% of the world market), crude oil and natural gas, coal, salt, iron ore, lead, silver, gold, copper, zinc, manganese, nickel and cobalt, with others in the disputed territory of Western Sahara Store phosphate deposits and larger oil and natural gas reserves are suspected. However, Morocco can only cover 13% of its energy needs with its own resources. In order to become less dependent on fossil energy imports, the country is investing in the expansion of wind and solar energy. By the year 2030, half of the electricity is to be generated with sun, wind and hydropower plants.
Although agriculture only accounts for 17% of the gross domestic product in Morocco, it is regarded as the most important branch of the economy, as over 40% of the working population are farmers. Grain (wheat, barley, maize, millet, rice), legumes, sugar beet, dates, sunflowers, peanuts, olives, citrus fruits (mainly oranges), cotton, wine, almonds, apricots are grown on the arable land, which makes up around 18% of the country, Strawberries, new potatoes, asparagus, artichokes and tobacco are grown. In addition, cannabis is also grown and processed into hashish in Morocco, with around 200,000 farmers and their families making a living from growing cannabis.
For some time now, Morocco has been trying to attract foreign investors in order to promote industrialization.
Transport network in Morocco
The north-west of Morocco in particular has good roads that can easily be used with normal cars when traveling. Morocco as a travel destination has a total of 62,000 km of roads, around 30,000 km of which are paved and around 1,450 km have been developed as a motorway. In the metropolitan area, the roads are partly congested due to the high volume of traffic. Towards the south, in the mountains and in the desert regions, the road network becomes significantly thinner and off-road vehicles are required for adventure trips away from the main roads.
The backbone of the Moroccan railway network with approx. 2100 kilometers of rail forms the route from Oujda on the Algerian border via Fes and Casablanca to Marrakech, from which several branch lines branch off to important locations. Half of the rail lines are electrified. In addition to passenger transport, the mining products, especially phosphate products, are transported by rail to the seaports on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
With 15 international airports, various destinations in Morocco are easy to reach for travelers from abroad. After the largest airport in Casablanca, Agadir Airport is the most important tourism hub for travel in and to Morocco.
In addition to the seaports of Casablanca, Safi and Agadir, one of the largest port projects in the Mediterranean region was implemented in Tangier with a deep-water container terminal and terminals for bulk goods, general cargo, oil and gas as well as a ferry port for 5 million passengers and 500,000 vehicles.