Following World War I and the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations awarded Britain the mandate to govern much of the Middle East. Britain demarcated a semi-autonomous region of Transjordan from Palestine in the early 1920s. The area gained its independence in 1946 and thereafter became The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The country's long-time ruler, King HUSSEIN (1953-99), successfully navigated competing pressures from the major powers (US, USSR, and UK), various Arab states, Israel, and a large internal Palestinian population. Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. King HUSSEIN in 1988 permanently relinquished Jordanian claims to the West Bank; in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. King ABDALLAH II, King HUSSEIN's eldest son, assumed the throne following his father's death in 1999. He implemented modest political and economic reforms, but in the wake of the "Arab Revolution" across the Middle East, Jordanians continue to press for further political liberalization, government reforms, and economic improvements. In January 2014, Jordan assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2014-15 term.

Other Information

Natural Resources

phosphates, potash, shale oil

Land Use

arable land: 1.97%
permanent crops: 0.95%
other: 97.08% (2011)


7,930,491 (July 2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 98

Ethnic Groups

Arab 98%, Circassian 1%, Armenian 1%


Muslim 97.2% (official; predominantly Sunni), Christian 2.2% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), Buddhist 0.4%, Hindu 0.1%, Jewish <.1, folk reli


Arabic (official), English (widely understood among upper and middle classes)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.9%
male: 97.7%
female: 93.9% (2011 est.)



Government Type

constitutional monarchy


25 May 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National Holiday

Independence Day, 25 May (1946)