Population and society
Morocco has about 33 million residents, divided into almost 60% of the urban population and 40.3% who live in the rural areas of the country. The growth rate of the Moroccan population from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s was around 2% per year, while in the following decade it recorded a significant slowdown, especially when compared with the levels of the other countries in the area. However, the Moroccan population has more than doubled since 1970. The fertility rate has dropped significantly since the late 1970s, when it was 5.9 children per woman, to the current 2.7. The population of Morocco is still very young, with a median age of 26.3 years, but progressively aging, since the percentage of Moroccans under 24, which in 1970 was 64, 3%, in 2010 it was around 47.7%. Almost two million Moroccans have emigrated over the years, mostly headed for Europe (especially in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands).
Islam is the state religion and almost the entire population is Sunni. However, freedom of religion is guaranteed and protected in the country. The 2011 constitutional reform recognized Tamazight as the official language together with Arabic, spoken by about one third of the ethnic Berber population. French is the de facto second, unofficial language and is widely used in national media, higher education and administration. For Morocco society, please check homosociety.com.
Although education spending has come to cover nearly one-fifth of government spending and education and literacy rates are rising sharply, Morocco remains in the region for statistics on the sector, especially in rural areas. Access to school services is also very differentiated by gender: the female population registers illiteracy rates twice as high as that of men. In general, only 67% of the total population is literate and this data places Morocco in the last positions among all the countries of the Maghreb and Middle Eastern area. The country is experiencing a boom in the spread of the internet, which between 2013 and 2014 alone saw its users grow by almost 60% and reach around 8 million people.
Economy and energy
Traditionally, the Moroccan economy has a highly developed agricultural sector which, although its weight on GDP is constantly decreasing, still employs about half of the national workforce and proves to be particularly vital. The agri-food sector is also able to attract significant foreign investments, especially for oil mills, sugar refineries and canneries. Fishing is also important.
The mining sector is particularly strategic: Morocco is the world’s leading exporter of phosphates, of which the territory abounds. The manufacturing sector, which has also grown in recent years, is concentrated on textile production, clothing and mechanical and electronic companies; of particular value are the processing of leather and the production of carpets.
The tertiary sector is constantly expanding and increasingly important, with a weight on GDP of more than 55%: within it, tourism stands out, on which the attention and efforts of the governments in office are concentrated. In 2013 (latest data available) the country was visited by more than 10 million tourists, for a total income of almost seven billion dollars, corresponding to more than 6% of the total GDP. For the further development of the sector, a plan was launched for the decade 2010-20, with the aim of doubling both the number of tourists and the accommodation capacity of hotels and create about 500,000 jobs.
The main economic policy objective pursued by Moroccan governments over the last twenty years has been the diversification of the economy from the primary and extractive sectors. To do this, it was necessary to modernize the infrastructures and attract new investments, thanks to the liberalization of the market and the privatization of assets. strategic nationals (transport, infrastructure, provision of public services, energy sector). The hope is to bring about a significant acceleration in growth rates, necessary to create new jobs that are able to absorb chronic levels of unemployment (especially among young people in urban areas), and to improve the standard of living of a a population that, in a still significant percentage (just under 15%), lives on less than two dollars a day and registers a strong disparity between the urban elites and the rural population.
The growth trends of the last decade are good, even if the last few years have led to a significant reduction in growth due to the negative effects of the economic crisis in Europe. Nonetheless, the country, which remains the most competitive in the entire North African area, has proven to have a solid economy and GDP is expected to grow by around 5% in the coming years.
The main trading partners of Morocco are the countries of the European Union, in particular France, Spain and Italy, in the first three places for the overall volume of trade. To highlight the most recent partnerships of Morocco with the main emerging economies, primarily with China, Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Morocco has no energy resources and is therefore dependent on imports from abroad. Oil is still the most important source: it contributes 68.8% of the total to the energy mix. To underline the efforts made by the Moroccan government in recent years for the development of renewable energies, especially solar and wind energy. Approximately 13 billion dollars have been allocated for the construction of the largest wind farm on the African continent, near Tangier, and for new installations for the production of solar energy in Ouarzazate and Salé. The goal is to produce 42% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The projects have attracted the interest of many foreign investors, especially from Germany and France, but also of organizations such as the World Bank.