In 2019, Jordan had an average population density of 112 residents per km2, but since about 90 percent of the country’s area consists of desert, the geographical distribution is very uneven. The northwestern parts, where the water supply is relatively good, are the most densely populated areas. The urbanization rate is high (90 percent) and is accelerated by a large relocation from the countryside. About 15 percent of the population lives in the capital Amman.
According to Countryaah data, Jordan, in 1988, formally renounced its territorial claims to the West Bank occupied by Israel, thereby reducing its population by 0.8 million Palestinians. But even after this measure, the Palestinian share of Jordan’s population amounts to 60 percent.
At independence in 1946, Jordan was a state with a predominantly Bedouin population. This was changed by the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, which led to Jordan incorporating the West Bank and its Palestinian peasant population, and receiving a large number of Palestinian refugees from Israel. Nearly 2 million Iraqi refugees have come to Jordan during the 2000s.
The distinction between original Jordanians and people of Palestinian origin is an important domestic political issue. Despite the dominance of the latter, most of the leading positions are occupied by Jordanians. The population also consists of minor minorities of tares, Armenians, Drusians, Turkmen and Bahai. The number of Bedouins has decreased drastically.
The official language is Arabic. Dominant spoken languages are different varieties of New Arabic, especially southern Latin Arabic. The largest minority language is Cherkessian.
According to thesciencetutor, about 90% of Jordan’s population is Muslims, of which over 80% are Sunnis. There are small groups of Shiites, Drusians and Baha’is. A Christian minority of 5-6% of the population belongs to various oriental churches (Armenian-Orthodox, Syrian-Orthodox, Coptic) or United Churches (Melkite or Greek-Catholic, Syrian-Catholic), but also Roman-Catholic, Greek-Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran churches are represented in the country.
Islam is state religion. Jordan is not an Islamic state, but religion plays an important role for citizens’ identity and in many areas of society. Each religious group has its own rules and courts regarding family law cases (succession law, marriage, etc.). The Muslim Brotherhood has been able to operate relatively openly in Jordan compared to many neighboring countries, where the organization has been banned. It is registered as a religious and philanthropic organization but has indirectly exercised political influence by its members taking seats in parliament as representatives of the political party Islamic Action Front (IAF) or as independent candidates. Other militant Islamist organizations, including the Islamic Liberation Party, are not allowed.
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Jordan is a Hashimite kingdom, which means that the king is considered to be descended from the same family clan, Hashim, as the Prophet Muhammad. He therefore has the right to bear the title of sharif (Arabic, ‘noble’, ‘exalted’). Relationship is a factor that contributes to the king’s legitimacy.
Demography and economic geography. – State of Southwest Asia. Regional disputes weigh on Jordan due to the very high number of refugees, Iraqis (55,000), Palestinians (2,000,000) and, recently, Syrians (600,000). As a result, about one third of the population (7,504,812, according to an estimate by UNDESA, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, of 2014) is of foreign origin. The natural growth rate is sustained (3.2 children per woman), implemented by the good conditions of Jordanian health care, which takes up around 8.2% of GDP. The economy employs human resources mainly in the tertiary sector (79.9%), with a significant role of tourism, which increased admissions by 25% between 2008 and 2013. Jordan receives large amounts of funding from abroad, mainly from United States, which allows it to keep the budget deficit high, so as to support the social assistance machine and guarantee a certain internal stability.