Demography in Jordan is totally different to the demography in France, UK or US! By the way , what does “demography” stand for? This word is an inheritage from the ancient greeks: “demos” is the people, and “graphy” is related to the act of writing. In short, it deals with describing the people living in a place! Nowadays, it has more to do with statistics, but no worries, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to undestand most of its subtleties. 🙂

Here are the key figures: 9.8 Millions of inhabitants for 92 000 km², which is thus very much alike to France: 6.5 less inhabitants, for a territory 6 times smaller than ours.

Amongst those 9.8 millions, 3 to 4 millions are actually foreigners (that is to say : they actually have an other nationality than the Jordanian one), which represents more than 30% of the population (kind reminder :  only 6 % of foreigners in France…).

  • 40% syrians (mainly beause of the war in Levant)
  • 20% egyptians (remember that almost all the doormen/waiters/gardeners are egyptian !). Official numbers now evoke 800 000+ egyptians in Jordan)
  • 20% palestinians ( which is not that much, granted the fact that Jordan and Palestine actually have a common history. Remember the “Trans-Jordan !)
  • 5% Irakis
  • then, the yemenis, the Libyans, the Lebanese…
  • 7% “others” (including europeans and americans, but also east-asians, bacause most of the housekeepers come from Philippines or Sri-Lanka).

Around 50 %  of those 9.8 millions live in Amman or its surroundings (Zarqa, Marka…).

The annual population growth is estimated to +5% on the 2004-2015 period, which totalize an impressive increase of 80% of the population in 10 years (+4 millions). If the demography is France had followed the same evolution, we would have risen from 60 millions inhabitants…to more than 100 millions .Ouch.

On the other hand, the average size of the families decreased from 6.7 people in each familiy in 1979 to 4.5 in 2015 (respectively 2.9 and 2.3 for the same period in France). 2 explanations to this major difference: a higher rate of mono-parental families in France, and a much older population (see below) with subsequently, alone persons and couples only (retired for most of them).

50% of the inhabitants (including the foreigners) actually are protected by a welfare system. This number increases up to the 2/3rd of the jordanian-only population.

Let’s get back to the age difference between Jordanian and French populations: the median age (i.e. : the exact age where the population is exactly split into 2, the olders and the youngers) is 22.5 years in Jordan, compared to… 41 in France …

Nowadays, 55% of the population is under 24 years old, against 30% in France. And 8% is more than 55 years old ( 31 % in France). This actually means that Jordan will soon face big issues, because all those youngsters  will soon demand a job… Same in France, but to take care of the elderlies, and this step hasn’t been reached by Jordan yet.

Life expectancy in 2017 lays around 74.5 years old (82 years old in France).

That was a short glance at Jordanian demography. Every figure can be discussed. Between official numbers and the reality, there might be a difference, but it is still interesting to get an idea of the rough numbers.

The sources I used are mostly issued from official demography statistics websites, and articles taken from the Jordan Times (January 2016). If some of you have other numbers , please feel free to comment ! 🙂


Une famille qui découvre la Jordanie et le Monde. Suivez notre blog sur la Jordanie : nature, voyage, culture et rencontres sont tout ce qu'on aime !

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