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Morocco Geography and Population

Morocco - geography

Morocco Geography

The landscape is dominated by the Atlas Mountains, which cut through the country from southwest to northeast and continue into Algeria. In Morocco are the three parallel chains, Anti Atlas, High Atlas (Toubkal 4165 m) and Middle Atlas. To the north are the Rif Mountains, which delimit the narrow coastal plain to the Mediterranean. Together, actual mountain areas cover more than two-thirds of the area, and the country's average. altitude is 800 m. West of the Atlas Mountains are coastal plains with fertile agricultural land and the majority of the country's population. South of the capital, Rabat, the coastal plain is separated from the Atlas Mountains by the Moroccan Plateau, a 400-700 m high plateau intersected by river valleys. Between the High Atlas and the Anti Atlas lies the river valley around the Oued Sous with its outlet at Agadir. East of the Atlas and Rif Mountains is a semi-arid lowland around the Oued Moulouya, Morocco's largest river, and on the border with Algeria lies the Eastern Moroccan Plateau. Farthest to the south and southeast, the landscape turns into the Sahara desert.

Climate. Along the coasts there is a typical Mediterranean climate with winter rain and summer drought. The interior of the country has more continental climate, in the mountains with cold, snowy winters and to the south and east with very hot summers. Along the coast and especially to the north, the precipitation is quite large, but the long, dry summers mean that the natural vegetation is almost everywhere drought-prone. To the south, precipitation decreases towards the actual desert climate, but in the mountains much more rain can fall, and here most of Morocco's forest is found.

Population

The majority of the population can be described as Arabized Berbers, but many still have Berber as their main language. approximately 75% of the residents live in the coastal areas and on the plateaus, where you will also find the larger cities. The rural population has traditionally been settled farmers, but there are also semi-nomadic tribes. Just over 55% of the population now live in cities, and there is a particularly large influx of people to Casablanca. The highlands are inhabited especially by Berbers. The mountain villages often have a fortress-like character; they cling to a mountainside or mountaintop, and larger flat field areas are rare. Some groups live as semi-nomads who move with their animals (sheep and goats) between summer and winter camps, transhumance. The small population in the desert areas to the south are descendants of both Berbers and peoples from sub-Saharan Africa. Most are now permanent residents of old natural and new well-watered oases. In the past, nomadic camel breeding was an important economic activity and a source of high status; today, this way of life has largely disappeared. Before Morocco's independence in 1956, there were large French and Spanish minorities, but most left the country around independence. The Moroccan Jews have emigrated to Israel and France in particular.

Population growth has in recent years fallen to around 1.6% per year (2006). Unemployment is estimated at around 18%, but is probably higher in rural areas. Between five and seven million. Moroccans are believed to have emigrated, primarily to Europe; Opportunities for emigration have been severely limited in recent years.

Morocco Population

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Industries

Morocco's economy is relatively differentiated with agriculture, mining, industry and service. Over 9 million ha is cultivated, there are significant mineral resources and a great potential for tourism, but GDP is still low.

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute almost 16% of GDP, but employ a much larger share of the labor force. A significant portion of the best land is owned by the king and operated as a large-scale state farm. With irrigation, citrus fruits and vegetables for export. However, the majority of the land is operated as a family farm with wheat, barley, fruit and vegetables as important crops. Both in the lowlands and in the mountains there is a large livestock with cattle, sheep and goats, and in the southern oases dates are grown. Agricultural production is particularly limited by water problems and the country is not self-sufficient in food; most years, a third of the grain requirement must be imported. On the other hand, exports of fruit and vegetables are significant, and efforts are being made to increase sugar and cotton production. With state support are several irrigationsprojects under development.

The potential for fishing is great, but both the fishing fleet and the onshore processing facilities have too little capacity to make full use of the rich fish banks in the upwelling areas off the Atlantic coast, and some fishing quotas are sold to EU fishermen. The main fishing ports are Casablanca, Agadir, Safi and Essaouira, and tuna and sardines in particular are caught.

Mining. Morocco is the world's largest exporter and has the largest reserves of crude phosphate used in the production of fertilizers. Iron, lead, zinc and manganese are extracted to a lesser extent, and there is less coal production. No significant oil or gas deposits have yet been found, but high hopes are being set for oil discoveries off the Atlantic coast. So far, a lot of energy has to be imported. Hydropower is only of marginal importance, but there are good opportunities for development on several rivers. However, the long summer drought means that the economy of hydropower projects can be problematic.

Industry employs 16% of the workforce but contributes 25% of GDP. The most important sector is the state-controlled processing of raw phosphate into fertilizers. The rest of the industry is characterized by smaller companies within e.g. food, textiles, leather and building materials, including cement factories. In addition, there is the widespread and still living tradition of artisanal production of carpets, ceramics and wood and leather goods.

For both agriculture and fisheries, Morocco suffers from EU quotas on important Moroccan exports.

Infrastructure. Morocco's road network is well developed in the densely populated areas, and many roads are of good quality, not least in the coastal areas. It's about. 1900 km railway. Tangier is a regional traffic hub with ferry routes to Europe; other important ports are Agadir and Casablanca. There are several international airports, among others to serve the many tourists.

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Morocco - language

Official language is standard Arabic. Moroccan (Maghreb) Arabic is spoken by approximately 60% (2005) and Berber of approximately 40% of the population. Berber includes the main dialects Tashelhit/Shleuh (Southern Moroccan), Tamazight/Imazighen (Central Moroccan) and Tarifit or Rif/Ruafa (Northern Moroccan). Arabic has since 600-t. slowly displaced Berber. French is still widely used as a second language and in teaching; Spanish is spoken by a minority to the north and in the Sahara.

Morocco - religion

Islam is Morocco's official religion, and approximately 98% of Morocco's population are Muslims. Islamic law is the basis of legislation in all family law matters. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Foundations ensures that the Islamic tradition is upheld and a large number of imams at the country’s mosques are employed by the ministry. The Moroccan royal house claims to be descended from the family of the Prophet Muhammad. In the country's struggle for independence from France, the Islamic traditions of the population were strongly emphasized, and the tradition has played an important role throughout the country's independence both as legitimacy through the royal house's symbolic use of Islam and as a starting point for criticism of the political system.

 
 
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