Jordan is an almost landlocked country with a population of 9.9 million in 2018, increasing from 5.1 million from 2000,[1] at an annual growth rate of 5.3%. Jordan is highly urbanized with more than 91% of its population living in urban areas in 2018. With a constant fertility rate of 3.3 births and increasing life expectancy reaching 74 years in 2015,[2] the country’s population below 24 years of age has been shrinking, reaching 55.2% in 2015.[1]

According to the latest human development report in 2018, 1.3% of the Jordanian population was multi-dimensionally poor, while an additional of 1.0% lived near multidimensional poverty.[3]

Jordan recorded the highest adult literacy rate among the Arab countries in 2015, averaging at 98%. According to latest available data for gross enrollment rates, which date to 2014, the primary enrollment rate declined from 102.5% in 2000 to 97.3% in 2014, while the tertiary enrollment rate increased from 28.3% to 36.3% between 2000 and 2016. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) at the primary and tertiary levels were 1.0 and 1.1 respectively in 2016.[4] 


Jordan is an upper-income-country[5] with a GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, constant 2011 prices) of Int$ 80.8 billion and a GNI per capita (Purchasing Power Parity) of Int$ 9,110 in 2017.[4] Contributing around 17.6% to Jordan’s GDP, the finance, insurance, real estate and business services were the main drivers of growth in the economy in 2015.[2]


The GDP growth rate averaged 2.5% in 2018. Due to declines in fuel and transportation prices, inflation went down to -0.9% in 2015 but ascended to 1.5% in 2018. At the fiscal level, the cash deficit narrowed from 5.3% of GDP in 2015 to 0.4% of GDP in 2018.[6] Notably, foreign grants, as a percentage of total revenues, went up from 12.5% in 2013 to 20.5% in 2014.[7] Jordan remains burdened with its public debt, which increased from 55.1% of GDP in 2008 to a high of 86.8% of GDP in 2018.[6]


Over the last two decades, external trade’s magnitude in the Jordanian economy has been relatively stable, with international trade to GDP ratio scoring 92.6%.[4]


Men’s labor force participation in Jordan decreased over the last 16 years from 66.1% in 2000 to 58.7% in 2016, while that of women increased from 12.3% in 2000 to 13.2% in 2016.[2] High youth unemployment in Jordan remains a serious economic and social problem, at 51.2% in 2016. Unemployment rate registered 18.5% in 2017, 13.3% for men and 24.1% for women, of which 48.3% of the unemployed belonged to the age group 15-24 years in 2015 and 41.1% for the age group 25-39 years.[2]


This overview has been drafted by the ADP team based on most available data as of 26 December 2018.



[1]  World Population Prospects, Population Division, United Nations

[2]  Department of Statistics (DOS), Jordan

[3]  UNDP Human Development Report 2018

[4]  World Development Indicators, The World Bank

[5]  The World Bank

[6]  International Monetary Fund (IMF)

[7]  UNESCO Institute for Statistics

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Data Highlighted

  • Jordan recorded the highest adult literacy rate among the Arab countries in 2012, averaging at 98%.

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