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Western Sahara vs. Algeria

Introduction

Western SaharaAlgeria
BackgroundWestern Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania's withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco's sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (favored by the Polisario Front) or integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never took place due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. The 2,700 km- (1,700 mi-) long defensive sand berm, built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and running the length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. Local demonstrations criticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodic ethnic tensions between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants. Morocco maintains a heavy security presence in the territory.
After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962. Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has since largely dominated politics. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting led the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power. The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists. The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s, and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000.
Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent and won subsequent elections in 2004, 2009, and 2014. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies, while also increasing subsidies to the populace. Since 2014, Algeria’s reliance on hydrocarbon revenues to fund the government and finance the large subsidies for the population has fallen under stress because of declining oil prices.

Geography

Western SaharaAlgeria
LocationNorthern Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Mauritania and Morocco
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia
Geographic coordinates24 30 N, 13 00 W
28 00 N, 3 00 E
Map referencesAfrica
Africa
Areatotal: 266,000 sq km
land: 266,000 sq km
water: 0 sq km
total: 2,381,741 sq km
land: 2,381,741 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeabout the size of Colorado
slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas
Land boundariestotal: 2,049 km
border countries (3): Algeria 41 km, Mauritania 1,564 km, Morocco 444 km
total: 6,734 km
border countries (7): Libya 989 km, Mali 1,359 km, Mauritania 460 km, Morocco 1,900 km, Niger 951 km, Tunisia 1,034 km, Western Sahara 41 km
Coastline1,110 km
998 km
Maritime claimscontingent upon resolution of sovereignty issue
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 32-52 nm
Climatehot, dry desert; rain is rare; cold offshore air currents produce fog and heavy dew
arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer
Terrainmostly low, flat desert with large areas of rocky or sandy surfaces rising to small mountains in south and northeast
mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 256 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Sebjet Tah -55 m
highest point: unnamed elevation 805 m
mean elevation: 800 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Chott Melrhir -40 m
highest point: Tahat 3,003 m
Natural resourcesphosphates, iron ore
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, zinc
Land useagricultural land: 18.8%
arable land 0%; permanent crops 0%; permanent pasture 18.8%
forest: 2.7%
other: 78.5% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 17.3%
arable land 3.1%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 13.8%
forest: 0.6%
other: 82% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land0 sq km (2012)
5,700 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardshot, dry, dust/sand-laden sirocco wind can occur during winter and spring; widespread harmattan haze exists 60% of time, often severely restricting visibility
mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes; mudslides and floods in rainy season
Environment - current issuessparse water and lack of arable land
soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices; desertification; dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, and other industrial effluents is leading to the pollution of rivers and coastal waters; Mediterranean Sea, in particular, becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertilizer runoff; inadequate supplies of potable water
Geography - notethe waters off the coast are particularly rich fishing areas
largest country in Africa
Population distributionmost of the population lives in the two-thirds of the area west of the berm (Moroccan-occupied) that divides the territory; about 40% of that populace resides in Laayoune
the vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast

Demographics

Western SaharaAlgeria
Population587,020
note: estimate is based on projections by age, sex, fertility, mortality, and migration; fertility and mortality are based on data from neighboring countries (July 2016 est.)
40,263,711 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 37.54% (male 111,389/female 108,958)
15-24 years: 19.57% (male 57,855/female 57,049)
25-54 years: 34.14% (male 98,659/female 101,733)
55-64 years: 4.95% (male 13,552/female 15,490)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 9,823/female 12,512) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 29.06% (male 5,991,164/female 5,709,616)
15-24 years: 15.95% (male 3,287,448/female 3,136,624)
25-54 years: 42.88% (male 8,737,944/female 8,526,137)
55-64 years: 6.61% (male 1,349,291/female 1,312,339)
65 years and over: 5.5% (male 1,027,126/female 1,186,022) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 21.1 years
male: 20.7 years
female: 21.6 years (2016 est.)
total: 27.8 years
male: 27.5 years
female: 28.1 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate2.76% (2016 est.)
1.77% (2016 est.)
Birth rate29.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
23 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate8.2 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
4.3 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 53.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 58.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 20.3 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 21.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 63 years
male: 60.7 years
female: 65.4 years (2016 est.)
total population: 76.8 years
male: 75.5 years
female: 78.2 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate3.93 children born/woman (2016 est.)
2.74 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.04% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Sahrawi(s), Sahraoui(s)
adjective: Sahrawi, Sahrawian, Sahraouian
noun: Algerian(s)
adjective: Algerian
Ethnic groupsArab, Berber
Arab-Berber 99%, European less than 1%
note: although almost all Algerians are Berber in origin (not Arab), only a minority identify themselves as Berber, about 15% of the total population; these people live mostly in the mountainous region of Kabylie east of Algiers; the Berbers are also Muslim but identify with their Berber rather than Arab cultural heritage; Berbers have long agitated, sometimes violently, for autonomy; the government is unlikely to grant autonomy but has offered to begin sponsoring teaching Berber language in schools
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
8,800 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim
Muslim (official; predominantly Sunni) 99%, other (includes Christian and Jewish) <1% (2012 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesStandard Arabic (national), Hassaniya Arabic, Moroccan Arabic
Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber or Tamazight (official); dialects include Kabyle Berber (Taqbaylit), Shawiya Berber (Tacawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)
Urbanizationurban population: 80.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.27% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 70.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.77% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities - populationLaayoune 262,000 (2014)
ALGIERS (capital) 2.594 million; Oran 858,000 (2015)
Demographic profileWestern Sahara is a disputed territory; 85% is under Moroccan control. It was inhabited almost entirely by Sahrawi pastoral nomads until the mid-20th century. Their traditional vast migratory ranges, based on following unpredictable rainfall, did not coincide with colonial and later international borders. Since the 1930s, most Sahrawis have been compelled to adopt a sedentary lifestyle and to live in urban settings as a result of fighting, the presence of minefields, job opportunities in the phosphate industry, prolonged drought, the closure of Western Sahara’s border with Mauritania from 1979-2002, and the construction of the defensive berm separating Moroccan- and Polisario-controlled (Sahrawi liberalization movement) areas. Morocco supported rapid urbanization to facilitate surveillance and security.
Today more than 80% of Western Sahara’s population lives in urban areas; more than 40% live in the administrative center Laayoune. Moroccan immigration has altered the composition and dramatically increased the size of Western Sahara’s population. Morocco maintains a large military presence in Western Sahara and has encouraged its citizens to settle there, offering bonuses, pay raises, and food subsidies to civil servants and a tax exemption, in order to integrate Western Sahara into the Moroccan Kingdom and, Sahrawis contend, to marginalize the native population.
Western Saharan Sahrawis have been migrating to Europe, principally to former colonial ruler Spain, since the 1950s. Many who moved to refugee camps in Tindouf, Algeria, also have migrated to Spain and Italy, usually alternating between living in cities abroad with periods back at the camps. The Polisario claims that the population of the Tindouf camps is about 155,000, but this figure may include thousands of Arabs and Tuaregs from neighboring countries. Because international organizations have been unable to conduct an independent census in Tindouf, the UNHCR bases its aid on a figure of 90,000 refugees. Western Saharan coastal towns emerged as key migration transit points (for reaching Spain’s Canary Islands) in the mid-1990s, when Spain’s and Italy’s tightening of visa restrictions and EU pressure on Morocco and other North African countries to control illegal migration pushed sub-Saharan African migrants to shift their routes to the south.
For the first two-thirds of the 20th century, Algeria’s high fertility rate caused its population to grow rapidly. However, about a decade after independence from France in 1962 the total fertility rate fell dramatically from 7 children per woman in the 1970s to about 2.4 in 2000, slowing Algeria’s population growth rate by the late 1980s. The lower fertility rate was mainly the result of women’s rising age at first marriage (virtually all Algerian children being born in wedlock) and to a lesser extent the wider use of contraceptives. Later marriages and a preference for smaller families are attributed to increases in women’s education and participation in the labor market; higher unemployment; and a shortage of housing forcing multiple generations to live together. The average woman’s age at first marriage increased from about 19 in the mid-1950s to 24 in the mid-1970s to 30.5 in the late 1990s.
Algeria’s fertility rate experienced an unexpected upturn in the early 2000s, as the average woman’s age at first marriage dropped slightly. The reversal in fertility could represent a temporary fluctuation in marriage age or, less likely, a decrease in the steady rate of contraceptive use.
Thousands of Algerian peasants – mainly Berber men from the Kabylia region – faced with land dispossession and economic hardship under French rule migrated temporarily to France to work in manufacturing and mining during the first half of the 20th century. This movement accelerated during World War I, when Algerians filled in for French factory workers or served as soldiers. In the years following independence, low-skilled Algerian workers and Algerians who had supported the French (harkis) emigrated en masse to France. Tighter French immigration rules and Algiers’ decision to cease managing labor migration to France in the 1970s limited legal emigration largely to family reunification.
Not until Algeria’s civil war in the 1990s did the country again experience substantial outmigration. Many Algerians legally entered Tunisia without visas claiming to be tourists and then stayed as workers. Other Algerians headed to Europe seeking asylum, although France imposed restrictions. Sub-Saharan African migrants came to Algeria after its civil war to work in agriculture and mining. In the 2000s, a wave of educated Algerians went abroad seeking skilled jobs in a wider range of destinations, increasing their presence in North America and Spain. At the same time, legal foreign workers principally from China and Egypt came to work in Algeria’s construction and oil sectors. Illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Malians, Nigeriens, and Gambians, continue to come to Algeria in search of work or to use it as a stepping stone to Libya and Europe.
Since 1975, Algeria also has been the main recipient of Sahrawi refugees from the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara. An estimated 90,000 Sahrawis live in five refugee camps in southwestern Algeria near Tindouf.
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 40.2
youth dependency ratio: 36.1
elderly dependency ratio: 4.1
potential support ratio: 24.4 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 52.6
youth dependency ratio: 43.6
elderly dependency ratio: 9.1
potential support ratio: 11 (2015 est.)

Government

Western SaharaAlgeria
Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Western Sahara
former: Rio de Oro, Saguia el Hamra, Spanish Sahara
etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the territory's western location on the African continent's vast desert
conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
conventional short form: Algeria
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
local short form: Al Jaza'ir
etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Algiers
Government typelegal status of territory and issue of sovereignty unresolved - territory contested by Morocco and Polisario Front (Popular Front for the Liberation of the Saguia el Hamra and Rio de Oro), which in February 1976 formally proclaimed a government-in-exile of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), near Tindouf, Algeria, was led by President Mohamed ABDELAZIZ until his death in May 2016; current President Brahim GHALI elected in July 2016; territory partitioned between Morocco and Mauritania in April 1976 when Spain withdrew, with Morocco acquiring northern two-thirds; Mauritania, under pressure from Polisario guerrillas, abandoned all claims to its portion in August 1979; Morocco moved to occupy that sector shortly thereafter and has since asserted administrative control; the Polisario's government-in-exile was seated as an Organization of African Unity (OAU) member in 1984 - Morocco between 1980 and 1987 built a fortified sand berm delineating the roughly 80 percent of Western Sahara west of the barrier that currently is controlled by Morocco; guerrilla activities continued sporadically until a UN-monitored cease-fire was implemented on 6 September 1991 (Security Council Resolution 690) by the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)
presidential republic
CapitalLaayoune (administrative center)
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in April; ends last Sunday in September
name: Algiers
geographic coordinates: 36 45 N, 3 03 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsnone officially; the territory west of the Moroccan berm falls under de facto Moroccan control; Morocco claims the territory of Western Sahara, the political status of which is considered undetermined by the US Government; portions of the regions Guelmim-Es Smara and Laayoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, as claimed by Morocco, lie within Western Sahara; Morocco also claims Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, another region that falls entirely within Western Sahara
48 provinces (wilayas, singular - wilaya); Adrar, Ain Defla, Ain Temouchent, Alger, Annaba, Batna, Bechar, Bejaia, Biskra, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bouira, Boumerdes, Chlef, Constantine, Djelfa, El Bayadh, El Oued, El Tarf, Ghardaia, Guelma, Illizi, Jijel, Khenchela, Laghouat, Mascara, Medea, Mila, Mostaganem, M'Sila, Naama, Oran, Ouargla, Oum el Bouaghi, Relizane, Saida, Setif, Sidi Bel Abbes, Skikda, Souk Ahras, Tamanrasset, Tebessa, Tiaret, Tindouf, Tipaza, Tissemsilt, Tizi Ouzou, Tlemcen
Suffragenone; (residents of Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara participate in Moroccan elections)
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchnone
chief of state: President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
head of government: Prime Minister Abdel Madjid TEBBOUNE (since 25 May 2017)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (2-term limit reinstated by constitutional amendment in February 2016); election last held on 17 April 2014 (next to be held in April 2019); prime minister nominated by the president from the majority party in Parliament
election results: Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA reelected president for a fourth term; percent of vote - Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (FLN) 81.5%, Ali BENFLIS (FLN) 12.2%, Abdelaziz BELAID (Future Front) 3.4%, other 2.9%
Political pressure groups and leadersPolisario Front
Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights or LADDH [Noureddine BENISSAD]
SOS Disparus [Nacera DUTOUR]
Youth Action Rally or RAJ
International organization participationAU, CAN (observer), WFTU (NGOs)
ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AMF, AMU, AU, BIS, CAEU, CD, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAS, MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OAPEC, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OPEC, OSCE (partner), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the USnone
chief of mission: Ambassador Madjid BOUGUERRA (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 2118 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-2800
FAX: [1] (202) 986-5906
consulate(s) general: New York
Diplomatic representation from the USnone
chief of mission: Ambassador Joan A. POLASCHIK (since 22 September 2014)
embassy: 05 Chemin Cheikh Bachir, El Ibrahimi, El-Biar 16030 Algieria
mailing address: B. P. 408, Alger-Gare, 16030 Algiers
telephone: [213] (0) 770-08-2000
FAX: [213] (0) 770-08-2064

Economy

Western SaharaAlgeria
Economy - overviewWestern Sahara has a small market-based economy whose main industries are fishing, phosphate mining, and pastoral nomadism. The territory's arid desert climate makes sedentary agriculture difficult, and Western Sahara imports much of its food. The Moroccan Government administers Western Sahara's economy and is a key source of employment, infrastructure development, and social spending in the territory.

Western Sahara's unresolved legal status makes the exploitation of its natural resources a contentious issue between Morocco and the Polisario. Morocco and the EU in December 2013 finalized a four-year agreement allowing European vessels to fish off the coast of Morocco, including disputed waters off the coast of Western Sahara.

Oil has never been found in Western Sahara in commercially significant quantities, but Morocco and the Polisario have quarreled over who has the right to authorize and benefit from oil exploration in the territory. Western Sahara's main long-term economic challenge is the development of a more diverse set of industries capable of providing greater employment and income to the territory. However, following King MOHAMMED VI’s November 2015 visit to Western Sahara, the Government of Morocco announced a series of investments aimed at spurring economic activity in the region, while the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises announced a $609 million investment initiative in the region in March 2015.
Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy.

Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 30% of GDP, 60% of budget revenues, and nearly 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world and is the sixth-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in oil reserves. Hydrocarbon exports enabled Algeria to maintain macroeconomic stability and amass large foreign currency reserves while oil prices were high. In addition, Algeria's external debt is extremely low at about 2% of GDP. However, Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. Declining oil prices since 2014 have reduced the government’s ability to use state-driven growth to distribute rents and fund generous public subsidies. Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves have declined by more than 40% since late 2013 and its oil stabilization fund has decreased from about $75 billion at the end of 2013 to about $7 billion in 2017, which is the statutory minimum.

Algiers has strengthened protectionist measures since 2015 to limit its import bill and encourage domestic production of non-oil and gas industries. Since 2015, the government has imposed additional regulatory requirements on access to foreign exchange for imports and import quotas for specific products, such as cars, to limit their importation. Meanwhile, Algeria has not increased non-hydrocarbon exports, and hydrocarbon exports have declined because of field depletion and increased domestic demand.

With declining revenues caused by falling oil prices, the government has been under pressure to reduce spending. A wave of economic protests in February and March 2011 prompted Algiers to offer more than $23 billion in public grants and retroactive salary and benefit increases, moves which continue to weigh on public finances. In 2016, the government increased taxes on electricity and fuel, resulting in a modest increase in gasoline prices, and in 2017 raised by 2% the value-added tax on nearly all products, but has refrained from directly reducing subsidies, particularly for education, healthcare, and housing programs.

Long-term economic challenges include diversifying the economy away from its reliance on hydrocarbon exports, bolstering the private sector, attracting foreign investment, and providing adequate jobs for younger Algerians.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$906.5 million (2007 est.)
$609.4 billion (2016 est.)
$588.4 billion (2015 est.)
$566.3 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rateNA%
3.6% (2016 est.)
3.9% (2015 est.)
3.8% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,500 (2007 est.)
$15,000 (2016 est.)
$14,700 (2015 est.)
$14,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: 40% (2007 est.)
agriculture: 13.2%
industry: 38.4%
services: 48.4% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty lineNA%
23% (2006 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 26.8% (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)NA%
5.9% (2016 est.)
4.4% (2015 est.)
Labor force144,000 (2010 est.)
11.78 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 50%
industry and services: 50% (2005 est.)
agriculture: 30.9%
industry: 30.9%
services: 58.4% (2011 est.) (2011 est.)
Unemployment rateNA%
9.9% (2016 est.)
11.2% (2015 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA
revenues: $42.69 billion
expenditures: $66.45 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesphosphate mining, handicrafts
petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing
Industrial production growth rateNA%
0.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsfruits and vegetables (grown in the few oases); camels, sheep, goats (kept by nomads); fish
wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle
Exports$NA
$27.5 billion (2016 est.)
$33 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesphosphates 62% (2012 est.)
petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97% (2009 est.)
Imports$NA
$44.6 billion (2016 est.)
$50.7 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfuel for fishing fleet, foodstuffs
capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Debt - external$NA
$6.301 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesMoroccan dirhams (MAD) per US dollar -
9.929 (2016 est.)
9.7351 (2015 est.)
9.7351 (2013)
8.3803 (2013)
8.6 (2012)
Algerian dinars (DZD) per US dollar -
110.1 (2016 est.)
100.691 (2015 est.)
100.691 (2014 est.)
80.579 (2013 est.)
77.54 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
GDP (official exchange rate)$NA
$168.3 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenuesNA%
25.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)NA%
-13.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

Energy

Western SaharaAlgeria
Electricity - production90 million kWh (2014 est.)
60 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption83.7 million kWh (2014 est.)
49 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports0 kWh (2013 est.)
900 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
700 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.37 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
2,920 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
1.146 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
12 billion bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
4.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production0 cu m (2013 est.)
83.29 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption0 cu m (2013 est.)
37.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
40.8 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity58,000 kW (2014 est.)
16 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
98% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
1.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
505,900 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption1,700 bbl/day (2014 est.)
430,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
435,400 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports1,702 bbl/day (2013 est.)
108,800 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy300,000 Mt (2013 est.)
128 million Mt (2013 est.)

Telecommunications

Western SaharaAlgeria
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: sparse and limited system
domestic: NA
international: country code - 212; tied into Morocco's system by microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and satellite; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) linked to Rabat, Morocco (2015)
general assessment: privatization of Algeria's telecommunications sector began in 2000; three mobile cellular licenses have been issued and, in 2005, a consortium led by Egypt's Orascom Telecom won a 15-year license to build and operate a fixed-line network in Algeria
domestic: a limited network of fixed lines with a teledensity of less than 10 telephones per 100 persons has been offset by the rapid increase in mobile-cellular subscribership; in 2015, mobile-cellular teledensity was roughly 116 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 213; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 fiber-optic submarine cable system that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia; microwave radio relay to Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Tunisia; coaxial cable to Morocco and Tunisia (2015)
Internet country code.eh
.dz
Broadcast mediaMorocco's state-owned broadcaster, Radio-Television Marocaine (RTM), operates a radio service from Laayoune and relays TV service; a Polisario-backed radio station also broadcasts (2008)
state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations (2009)

Transportation

Western SaharaAlgeria
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Ad Dakhla, Laayoune (El Aaiun)
major seaport(s): Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Djendjene, Jijel, Mostaganem, Oran, Skikda
LNG terminal(s) (export): Arzew, Bethioua, Skikda
Airports6 (2013)
157 (2016)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
total: 64
over 3,047 m: 12
2,438 to 3,047 m: 29
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 93
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 39
under 914 m: 34 (2013)

Transnational Issues

Western SaharaAlgeria
Disputes - international"many neighboring states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; several states have extended diplomatic relations to the ""Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic"" represented by the Polisario Front in exile in Algeria, while others recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara; approximately 90,000 Sahrawi refugees continue to be sheltered in camps in Tindouf, Algeria, which has hosted Sahrawi refugees since the 1980s
"
Algeria and many other states reject Moroccan administration of Western Sahara; the Polisario Front, exiled in Algeria, represents the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic; Algeria's border with Morocco remains an irritant to bilateral relations, each nation accusing the other of harboring militants and arms smuggling; dormant disputes include Libyan claims of about 32,000 sq km still reflected on its maps of southeastern Algeria and the National Liberation Front's (FLN) assertions of a claim to Chirac Pastures in southeastern Morocco

Source: CIA Factbook