Algeria Algeria


Statistical Snapshot


Algeria has an estimated population of 43 million and is characterized by a high urbanization rate: 73 percent of the population in 2018 lived in urban areas, compared to 60 percent in 2000.[1] This was accompanied with an increase in life expectancy from 70 years to 76 years over the last two decades and a drop in under-five mortality rates from 40 to 23.5 per 1,000 births.[2] Human Development Index (HDI) in Algeria was reported at 0.75 in 2018, ranking 82nd out of 189 countries, placing it in the high human development category. When adjusted for inequality, the country loses 20 percent of its HDI value largely due to inequality in education.[3]

Algeria has almost achieved universal primary education with a primary net enrolment rate of 97 percent. Algeria reached gender parity at the primary level while the Gender Parity Index at the tertiary level is 1.6, exceeding the regional average rate of 1.1, in favor of girls.[4] Primary gross enrolment rate reached 109.8 percent in 2018, while the gross enrolment ratio in tertiary education considerably increased from 16 percent in 2000 to 51 percent in 2018, also exceeding the regional average of 32 percent.[5]


Despite reforms to encourage economic diversification and boost private sector development and foreign investment, the government continues to play a central role. Algeria’s economy highly depends on the hydrocarbons sector, which makes up 96 percent of total exports and almost one third of government revenues.[6]


The drop in global oil prices since 2014 has led to large twin deficits in the fiscal and current accounts. The budget deficit rose to 15.7 percent of GDP in 2015.  Owing to significant savings in its hydrocarbon stabilization fund, Algeria managed to cushion the impact of declining oil prices in 2015 and 2016, with economic growth holding up at 3.7 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.[7] In 2017, the government adopted fiscal consolidation to contain the budget deficit and growth subsequently slowed to 1.3 percent, reaching  0.7 percent in 2019.[8] The budget deficit then improved to 8.6 percent and 7 percent in 2017 and 2018 respectively. In 2019, the budget deficit increased to 9.3 percent and is projected to reach 20 percent in 2020.[8]


Gross government debt has increased significantly since 2014, reaching 27 percent of GDP by the end of 2017 and reaching 37 percent in 2019.[7] Within the framework of decelerating economic growth, inflation declined from 6.4 percent in 2016 to 5.6 percent in 2017 and reached 2 percent in 2019, as per the IMF estimates.


The outbreak of COVID–19 pandemic has led to economic and social turmoil and further constraint in investment and the business climate, and the latter was already suffering according to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report, where Algeria ranks 157th out of 190 countries in terms of the ease of doing business.[2] According to ILO’s estimates, unemployment reached 11.7 percent in 2019, but is much higher among youth at 29.5 percent and women at 21 percent.[9]

Algeria has recently adopted policy measures to contain the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Algeria’s government announced its intention to cut spending by 50 percent, while paying a temporary premium to health workers, increasing a one-off payment to poor households , and suspending collection of several taxes. The Bank of Algeria decreased the Reserve Requirement Ratio (RRR) from 10 percent to 8 percent in March 2020.[10] The decision particularly aims to support banks and financial institutions lending to SMEs and hard-hit sectors.[11]


This overview was last updated in May 2020. Priority is given to the latest available official data published by national statistical offices and/or public institutions.

[1] Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. 2019. World Population Prospects. [ONLINE] Available at:
[Accessed 19 May 2020].
[2] The World Bank. 2020. World Development Indicators. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[3] United Nations Development Programme. 2019. Inequalities in Human Development in the 21st century. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed19 May 2020].
[4] United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2019. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[5] The World Bank. 2019. Algeria Overview. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[6] The World Bank. April 2020. Algeria’s Economic Outlook. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[7] International Monetary Fund (IMF). April 2020. World Economic Outlook Database. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[8] International Monetary Fund. 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[9] International Labour Organization. 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[10] International Monetary Fund (IMF). 2020. Policy Responses to COVID-19. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].
[11] Bank of Algeria. 2020. Comité des Opérations de Politique Monétaire (COPM). [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19 May 2020].

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Data Highlights

  • education attainment in Algeria has been on the rise, resulting in a 37% tertiary gross enrollment ratio in 2015. 

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