Demography and economic geography. – State of Northwest Africa. The population of Morocco, according to the 2004 census, numbered 29,475,763 residents; in 2014, according to an estimate by UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), was 33,492,909 residents, with a growth rate, in the last ten years, of 1.4% per year, down from 2.1% in the previous decade. The approximately 4,500,000 Moroccans abroad must also be added to the residents at home. Most of the residents (60%) are concentrated in urban areas: the capital Rabat (1,932,000 residents, UNDESA 2014 estimate), Dar-el-Beida (Casablanca, 3,491,000) exceeds, or almost, one million residents. residents), Marrakech (1,100,000 residents), Fès (1,149,000 residents), Tanger (948,000 residents); and exceed 300,000 residents the cities of Safi, Kénitra, Oujda, Tétouan, Agadir, Meknès. Living conditions have progressively improved, although inequalities remain in part (between regions and urban and rural areas) and pockets of poverty (13%): life expectancy is 70.9 years (2013); literacy is 72% (compared to 57% in 2004); access to drinking water at 84%. With GDP per capita with purchasing power parity (PPA) of $ 7666 (2014), Morocco ranks among the countries with medium human development (129th place) and among those with medium-low income.
Economic conditions. – Despite the world crisis, particularly in the eurozone (which is the country’s main partners), Morocco has maintained, on average, over the last ten years, an annual growth of 4-5%, also continuing in the program of reforms undertaken on taxation, subsidies, pensions, assistance and social protection. In 2011 (year of the Arab Spring), Morocco also adopted a new Constitution. The main sector in the economy is the primary one (15% of GDP and 45% of the workforce), with agricultural activity above all, but also with livestock (mainly sheep and horses) and fishing (1,099,000 t, 2012), which benefit from specific public investments. Another important sector is manufacturing (15% of GDP and 20% of the workforce), which in recent years, with the young automotive industries (a Renault plant was inaugurated in February 2012) and aeronautics (very dynamic and diversified, with over 100 companies), it experienced export increases of 20% and 14% respectively. The export of automobiles has in fact surpassed the historical export of textiles. This sector, together with real estate, construction and leather, was significantly affected by the drop in European demand. Production in the historic phosphate sector is also decreasing, although Morocco is always among the major world producers (3rd place, with 28 million t in 2013). In the tertiary sector, telecommunications, commerce and tourism (9,375,000 admissions, 2012) above all have the highest growth rates. Remittances from Moroccans abroad are also important (7, 3% of GDP). Unemployment (9.1%, 2014) represents one of the main socio-economic problems: that among young people in urban areas reaches 35.4%.
History – Modernization piloted from above, the relentless fight against terrorism and the containment of religious fundamentalism constituted for the entire first decade of the 21st century. the leitmotif of the action of King Mohammed VI (Muḥammad VI) of Morocco. Between 2007 and 2008, while intelligence operations in the country and abroad were intensifying to avert new attacks, the electoral appointment of September 2007 recorded the victory of the Independence Party (PI, Parti de l’Istiqlal), a secular and conservative party with strong nationalist roots. For Morocco 2001, please check naturegnosis.com.
In 2011 the Morocco was just lapped by the protests of the Arab Spring and between January and February there were some demonstrations in the squares, while the demand for democracy grew in all Arab countries. To avoid the spread of the revolt, Mohammed VI decided to accelerate the internal process of democratization that had led the monarchy to start a slow but constant opening towards the opposition and a significant, albeit limited, renewal of the ruling class. While sporadic protests continued in the country, repressed by the police, in the month of March a constitutional revision was started which envisaged in the first place a limitation of the absolute powers of the sovereign and a recognition of the functions of Parliament and the prime minister.
On 1 July 2011, 73% of the electorate approved with an overwhelming majority, with a referendum, the changes introduced to the Constitution, while a part of the opposition (radical Islamists, left and independent liberals) boycotted the vote considering the innovations of little importance introduced. A few months later, the legislative elections in November were won by moderate Muslims from the Party for Justice and Development (PJD, Parti de la Justice et du Développement), who formed a new government with Istiqlal. In the summer of 2013, however, while the country was experiencing the economic crisis and unemployment, Istiqlal abandoned the executive and was replaced, after several months of crisis, by the National Group of Independents (RNI, Rassemblement National des Indépendents), a formation very close to the monarchy, the third party in the country.
During 2013 and 2014, after long years of silence, the question of Western Sahara was once again discussed, the disputed territory over which Rabat claimed its jurisdiction and in which the Frente Polisario had proclaimed the birth of the democratic Arab Republic since 1976. sahrawi. Recognized by the African Union among its member states, the Republic sought an international side to denounce the failure to implement the referendum for the self-determination of the Sahrawi people and the constant violations of human rights committed by the Moroccan forces. Worried about the possible international repercussions of this unresolved and delicate question, Morocco tried to promote on the world stage its image as a moderate country, guarantor of peace and order in the Saharan region.