Country Quick facts
Location and Geography. Jordan has an area of about 35,475 square miles (91,900 square kilometers). It lies in the center of the Middle East, sharing its northern border with Syria, eastern border with Iraq, it's southern and eastern borders with Saudi Arabia, and western border with the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and Israel. Its only seaport is the port of Aqaba. Jordan has barren deserts, fertile valleys, and colorful rock and sand mountains. It contains the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea, and the Great Rift Valley, which was created twenty million years ago when tectonic plates shifted, stretching from Lake Tiberius south through Jordan and into eastern Africa.
Demography. In 1946, the population was about 400,000; in 1997, it reached 4.6 million, a figure twice that of 1981. After the 1967 war with Israel and Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, there were sudden and massive influxes of refugees, who now make up more than two-thirds of the population. In 1996, 1,359,000 Palestinian refugees living in Jordan were registered with United Nations; 250,000 Palestinians continue to live in ten refugee camps. Nomadic people, predominantly Bedouin, account for more than 10 percent of the total population. The population is young, with a birthrate that is double the world average; 43 percent of the people are under age fifteen. By the year 2012, the population is expected to double.
Linguistic Affiliation. Arabic is the official language. English is taught to all students and is widely spoken.
Symbolism. The flag has black, white, and green horizontal stripes with a red triangle on the hoist side bearing a white seven-pointed star. The flag of the Palestinian people is identical but does not have the white star.