Demographics of Morocco

2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: African Geography

Most Moroccans are Sunni Muslims of Arab, Berber, or mixed Arab-Berber stock. The Arabs invaded Morocco in the 7th and 11th centuries and established their culture there. There is also a small population of Haratin, black Moroccans who are the descendants of ancestors from the Sahel region. Morocco's Jewish minority has decreased significantly and numbers about 7,000 (See History of the Jews in Morocco). Most of the 100,000 foreign residents are French or Spanish; many are teachers, technicians and businessmen.

There is no significant genetic differences between Moroccan Arabs and Moroccan non-Arabs (ie Berbers and Saharawis). Thus, it is likely that Arabization was mainly a cultural process without genetic replacement.. However, and according to the European Journal of Human Genetics, North-Western Africans were genetically closer to Iberians and to other Europeans than to African Americans. .


Ethnolinguistic Groups in Morocco
Ethnolinguistic Groups in Morocco

Arabic is Morocco's official language (it is the "classical" Arabic of the Qur'an, literature and news media). The country has a distinctive dialect known as Moroccan-Arabic.

Approximately 15 million Moroccans speak Berber --which exists in Morocco in three different dialects ( Tarifit, Tashelhit, and Tamazight)--either as a first language or bilingually with the spoken Arabic dialect. French, which remains Morocco's unofficial third language, is taught universally and still serves as Morocco's primary language of commerce and economics; it also is widely used in education and government. Morocco is a member of La Francophonie. Amazigh ( Berber) activists have struggled for half a century for the recognition of their language as the official language of Morocco in the Moroccan constitution. They also demand that this language is taught in all Moroccan schools.

About 20,000 Moroccans in the northern part of the country speak Spanish. English, while still far behind French and Spanish in terms of number of speakers, is rapidly becoming the foreign language of choice among educated youth. As a result of national education reforms entering into force in late 2002, English will be taught in all public schools from the fourth year on.

Main populated areas

Most people live west of the Atlas Mountains, a range that insulates the country from the Sahara Desert. Casablanca is the centre of commerce and industry and the leading port; Rabat is the seat of government; Tangier is the gateway to Morocco from Spain and also a major port; "Arab" Fez is the cultural and religious centre; and "Berber" Marrakech is a major tourist centre.


Education in Morocco is free and compulsory through primary school (age 15). Nevertheless, many children--particularly girls in rural areas--still do not attend school. The country's illiteracy rate has been stuck at around 50% for some years but reaches as high as 90% among girls in rural regions. In July 2006, Prime minister Driss Jettou announced that illetracy rate has dropped by 39% while two million people have attended literacy courses during the past four years

Morocco has about 230,000 students enrolled in 14 public universities. The oldest and in some ways the most prestigious is Mohammed V in Rabat, with faculties of law, sciences, liberal arts, and medicine. University of Karueein, in Fez, has been a centre for Islamic studies for more than 1,000 years. Morocco has one private university, Al Akhawayn University, in Ifrane. Al-Akhawayn, founded in 1993 by King Hassan II and King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, is an English- medium, American-style university comprising about 1,000 students.



33,241,259 (July 2006 est.)

  • Berbers 45% (of which Arabized 24%)
  • Arab 44%
  • Moors 10%
  • other 1% (2000)

Age structure

0-14 years: 35% (male 5,372,393; female 5,175,114)

15-64 years: 60% (male 9,021,259; female 9,163,548)

65 years and over: 5% (male 632,698; female 757,338) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate


Birth rate

21.0 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate

5.6 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate

-1.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 1 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate

49.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: ±69.7 years

male: 67.5 years

female: 72.1 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.4 children born/woman (2004 est.)


noun: Moroccan(s)

adjective: Moroccan

Category:Moroccan people

Ethnic groups

Arab-Berber 99.1%, other 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%

Category:Ethnic groups in Morocco


Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%.

Category:Religion in Morocco


Arabic (official), Spanish, Berber dialects (Morocco does not recognise them as languages but as dialects of a Berber language), French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy.

Category:Languages of Morocco


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 43.7%

male: 56.6%

female: 31% (1995 est.)

Category:Education in Morocco
Demographics of Morocco, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.
Demographics of Morocco, Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

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