Morocco: People & Society#

Population33,655,786 (July 2016 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Moroccan(s)
adjective: Moroccan
Ethnic groupsArab-Berber 99%, other 1%
LanguagesArabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy)
ReligionsMuslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha'i); note - Jewish about 6,000 (2010 est.)
Demographic profileMorocco is undergoing a demographic transition. Its population is growing but at a declining rate, as people live longer and women have fewer children. Infant, child, and maternal mortality rates have been reduced through better health care, nutrition, hygiene, and vaccination coverage, although disparities between urban and rural and rich and poor households persist. Morocco’s shrinking child cohort reflects the decline of its total fertility rate from 5 in mid-1980s to 2.2 in 2010, which is a result of increased female educational attainment, higher contraceptive use, delayed marriage, and the desire for smaller families. Young adults (persons aged 15-29) make up almost 26% of the total population and represent a potential economic asset if they can be gainfully employed. Currently, however, many youths are unemployed because Morocco’s job creation rate has not kept pace with the growth of its working-age population. Most youths who have jobs work in the informal sector with little security or benefits. During the second half of the 20th century, Morocco became one of the world’s top emigration countries, creating large, widely dispersed migrant communities in Western Europe. The Moroccan Government has encouraged emigration since its independence in 1956, both to secure remittances for funding national development and as an outlet to prevent unrest in rebellious (often Berber) areas. Although Moroccan labor migrants earlier targeted Algeria and France, the flood of Moroccan "guest workers" from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s spread widely across northwestern Europe to fill unskilled jobs in the booming manufacturing, mining, construction, and agriculture industries. Host societies and most Moroccan migrants expected this migration to be temporary, but deteriorating economic conditions in Morocco related to the 1973 oil crisis and tighter European immigration policies resulted in these stays becoming permanent. A wave of family migration followed in the 1970s and 1980s, with a growing number of second generation Moroccans opting to become naturalized citizens of their host countries. Spain and Italy emerged as new destination countries in the mid-1980s, but their introduction of visa restrictions in the early 1990s pushed Moroccans increasingly to migrate either legally by marrying Moroccans already in Europe or illegally to work in the underground economy. Women began to make up a growing share of these labor migrants. At the same time, some higher-skilled Moroccans went to the US and Quebec, Canada. In the mid-1990s, Morocco developed into a transit country for asylum seekers from sub-Saharan Africa and illegal labor migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia trying to reach Europe via southern Spain, Spain’s Canary Islands, or Spain’s North African enclaves, Ceuta and Melilla. Forcible expulsions by Moroccan and Spanish security forces have not deterred these illegal migrants or calmed Europe’s security concerns. Rabat remains unlikely to adopt an EU agreement to take back third-country nationals who have entered the EU illegally via Morocco. Thousands of other illegal migrants have chosen to stay in Morocco until they earn enough money for further travel or permanently as a "second-best" option. The launching of a regularization program in 2014 legalized the status of some migrants and granted them equal access to education, health care, and work, but xenophobia and racism remain obstacles.
Age structure0-14 years: 26.08% (male 4,459,511/female 4,319,538)
15-24 years: 17.22% (male 2,882,145/female 2,913,917)
25-54 years: 42.24% (male 6,874,144/female 7,341,892)
55-64 years: 7.89% (male 1,318,302/female 1,337,192)
65 years and over: 6.56% (male 995,620/female 1,213,525) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 50.1%
youth dependency ratio: 40.9%
elderly dependency ratio: 9.3%
potential support ratio: 10.8% (2015 est.)
Median agetotal: 28.9 years
male: 28.3 years
female: 29.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.99% (2016 est.)
Birth rate18 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate4.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Population distributionthe highest population density is found along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts; a number of densely populated agglomerations are found scattered through the Atlas Mountains
Urbanizationurban population: 60.2% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.26% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - populationCasablanca 3.515 million; RABAT (capital) 1.967 million; Fes 1.172 million; Marrakech 1.134 million; Tangier 982,000 (2015)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.94 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Maternal mortality rate121 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 22.7 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 26.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.9 years
male: 73.8 years
female: 80.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.12 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate67.4% (2010/11)
Health expenditures5.9% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density0.62 physicians/1,000 population (2009)
Hospital bed density0.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 98.7% of population
rural: 65.3% of population
total: 85.4% of population
urban: 1.3% of population
rural: 34.7% of population
total: 14.6% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 84.1% of population
rural: 65.5% of population
total: 76.7% of population
urban: 15.9% of population
rural: 34.5% of population
total: 23.3% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.12% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS24,300 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths900 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.7% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight3.1% (2011)
Education expenditures5.3% of GDP (2009)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 68.5%
male: 78.6%
female: 58.8% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 12 years
male: 13 years
female: 12 years (2012)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 500,960
percentage: 8% (2007 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 20%
male: 20.3%
female: 19.1% (2014 est.)