Nationality: Noun and adjective–Moroccan(s).
Population (July 2009 est.): 34,859,364. (The population of disputed territory Western Sahara is 385,000.)
Annual population growth rate (2009 est.): 1.479%. Birth rate (2009 est.)–20.96 births/1,000 population. Death rate (2009 est.)–5.45 deaths/1,000 population.
Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%.
Religions: Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%.
Languages: Arabic (official), several Berber dialects; French functions as the language of business, government, and diplomacy.
Education: Years compulsory–9. Literacy (definition–age 15 and over can read and write)–total population 52.3%; male 65.7%; female 39.6% (2004 census).
Health: Infant mortality rate (2009 est.)–36.88/1,000. Life expectancy at birth (2009 est.)–71.8 years total population; 69.42 years male; 74.3 years female.
Work force (2010 est.): 11.62 million.
Unemployment rate (July 2010 est.): 8.6%.
Most people live west of the Atlas Mountains, a range that insulates the country from the Sahara Desert. Casablanca is the center of commerce and industry and the leading port; Rabat is the seat of government; Tangier is the gateway to Spain and also a major port; “Arab” Fes is the cultural and religious center; and “Berber” Marrakech is a major tourist center.
Moroccans are predominantly Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber ancestry. The Arabs brought Islam, along with Arabic language and culture, to the region from the Arabian Peninsula during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Today, a small Jewish community remains as well as a largely expatriate Christian population; both enjoy religious freedom and full civil rights. Morocco is also home to a 300-500-person Baha’i community which, in recent years, has been able to worship free from government interference.