Geography of Jordan
Jordan is located between 29° and 34° north latitude and 35° and 39° east longitude. It has access to the Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba), the length of the coastline is 26 km. It borders on Syria in the north, Iraq in the northeast, Saudi Arabia in the east and south, and the Palestinian Authority and Israel in the west.
About 4/5 of the territory is located on a plateau with a relative height of 600-1500 m, which is a continuation of the Arabian Plateau. Its western part has a hilly relief, cut by the valleys of the Yarmuk, Zarka, Mujib, Khasa rivers, which flow into the Jordan River and the Dead Sea, as well as the channels of temporary streams filled with water after rains. In the southern part of the plateau is the highest point in Jordan – Jebel Rum (1734 m).
In the west of the country, a rift valley stretches from north to south – a continuation of the Great African Rifts system. Its length is 375 km, width – up to 22 km. In the northern part of the depression is the Jordan Valley, in the central part is the Dead Sea depression, which lies 407 m below the level of the World Ocean and is the lowest place on the land surface. The Dead Sea is a closed body of water approx. 80 km and a width of up to 16 km. 1 liter of sea water contains up to 370 g of various salts, so there is no organic life in the Dead Sea.
South of the Dead Sea, up to the coast of the Red Sea, the Wadi al-Arab depression stretches.
The eastern part of the territory of Jordan is occupied by deserts with a flat relief, lying at the junction of the Syrian and North Arabian deserts.
According to Bridgat, Jordan’s climate is tropical Mediterranean with dry, hot summers and cooler, wet winters. The average annual precipitation varies within 300-650 mm on the plateau, decreases to 50-200 mm in the Jordan Valley, and in the eastern deserts it is less than 50 mm. In summer temperatures rise to +30–40°C, in winter they drop to +15°C, and in deserts to +4°C. The prevailing winds are western and southwestern, from the deserts before the onset of summer the hot khamsin wind often blows.
The country’s main river, the Jordan, begins in the mountains of Anti-Lebanon at an altitude of 3000 m and flows into the Dead Sea. Its length in Jordanian territory is 152 km. The main tributary of the Jordan is the Yarmuk River (40 km long).
The most fertile soils – red soils – are found in the north-west of the country. Deserts are characterized by poor gray soils. Alluvial soils favorable for agriculture predominate in the river valleys.
Natural vegetation is represented by forests of oak, pine, which occupy approx. 130 thousand hectares. In drier areas, shrubs are common, as well as herbs with a predominance of sagebrush. The fauna includes more than 70 species of mammals, 73 species of reptiles. There are 20 species of fish in the rivers.
Phosphorite reserves in the northwestern part of the country (Ruseyfa, Wadi al-Abyad, Al-Khasa, Ash-Shidiya) are estimated at 990 million tons. The waters of the Dead Sea contain up to 43 billion tons of various salts – compounds of potassium, bromine, magnesium, sodium. There are deposits of chalk, limestone, gypsum, granite, marble. To the south of the Dead Sea, copper ores with a copper content of 2-3% have been found. Oil shale reserves in Central Jordan are estimated at 30 billion tons, incl. at the exploited Lajun field – 1.2 billion tons. There are small deposits of natural gas (Er-Risha) and oil (Khamza).
Population of Jordan
Jordan’s population was 3.2 million in 1990 and 5.3 million in 2002. (grade).
Natural population growth for 1997-2000 decreased from 25 to 23‰. This was the result of a reduction in the birth rate from 30 to 28‰, while the death rate remained at 5‰. Infant mortality 26 people per 1000 newborns. The average life expectancy for men is 70 years, for women 73 years (2000). In Jordan, the male population predominates, the proportion of men on average is 51.7%. In the age structure of the population, 36.6% are children and adolescents under 14, 31.4% are young people aged 15–29, 28.6% are aged 30–64, and 3.4% are people 65 years of age and older.
The average population density is 56.4 people. per 1 km2 (2002). OK. 90% of the population is concentrated in the northwest of the country. 78.6% of Jordanians live in cities, the largest of which are Amman, Ez-Zarqa (more than 600 thousand people), Irbid (about 400 thousand people) (2001).
Between 1990 and 2000, the level of illiteracy in the country decreased: among men from 10 to 4.9%, among women from 28.9 to 16.1%.
98% of the population are ethnic Arabs, approx. 1% are Armenians who migrated from Turkey, another 1% are Circassians, people from the Caucasus. The Chechen community numbers approximately 2,000 people, but its influence is very strong in government and military circles. Languages: Arabic, English is widely spoken. Circassians, Armenians and Chechens kept their languages.
92% of Jordanians profess Sunni Islam, another 6% are Christians (adherents of the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Roman Catholic and other churches), the remaining 2% belong to Shiite and Druze Muslims.