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Common Operational Datasets
Administrative Boundaries


Key Figures | Reference Map | General Information | Demography | Geography | Political Background | Economy | Disaster and response preparedness measures | Humanitarian response operations | History of Disasters | Sources

Key Figures  
Total population : 42.2 Million (2018)
Area : 2,381,740 km²
Major languages
: Arabic (official), French (lingua franca), Berber or Tamazight (official); dialects include Kabyle Berber (Taqbaylit), Shawiya Berber (Tacawit), Mzab Berber, Tuareg Berber (Tamahaq)
Number of provinces : 48 provinces
GDP : $167 billion USD (2017)
GDP per capita : 4,055.25 USD (2017)
Average life expectancy : 72.2 years (2018 est.)
Human Development Index : Index - 0.754, Rank - 85
Literacy rate : 80.2%, (age 15 and over can read and write), male: 82.1%, female: 73.1% (2015 est.)
Currency : Dinar


Algeria Interactive Humanitarian Map


General information
Algeria, officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa. Ancient Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisid, Aghlabid, Rustamid, Fatimids, Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Spaniards, Ottomans and the French colonial empire. Berbers are the indigenous inhabitants of Algeria.

Algeria is inhabited mostly by Arab-Berber people, with 90% of the population living in the coastal area of the north with the people in the Sahara desert concentrated in oases. There are about 1.5 million remaining nomadic and semi-nomadic people in the country. Algeria is a young country, with 1 in 4 people under the age of 15. Interestingly, women play an important role here, making up 70% of Algeria's lawyers and 60% of its university students.

Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea.

Political background
The head of state is the president of Algeria, who is elected for a five-year term. The president was formerly limited to two five-year terms, but a constitutional amendment passed by the Parliament on 11 November 2008 removed this limitation. The next presidential election will be in April 2019. Algeria has universal suffrage at 18 years of age. The President is the head of the army, the Council of Ministers and the High Security Council. He appoints the Prime Minister who is also the head of government. The Algerian parliament is bicameral; the lower house, the People's National Assembly, has 462 members who are directly elected for five-year terms, while the upper house, the Council of the Nation, has 144 members serving six-year terms, of which 96 members are chosen by local assemblies and 48 are appointed by the president. According to the constitution, no political association may be formed if it is "based on differences in religion, language, race, gender, profession, or region". In addition, political campaigns must be exempt from the aforementioned subjects.

In 2014, the Algerian economy expanded by 4%, up from 2.8% in 2013. Growth was driven mainly by the recovering oil and gas sector and further economic expansion of 3.9% is forecast in 2015 and 4.0% in 2016. In 2012, the Algerian economy grew by 2.5%, up slightly from 2.4% in 2011. Excluding hydrocarbons, growth has been estimated at 5.8% (up from 5.7% in 2011). Inflation is increasing and is estimated at 8.9% (up from 4.49% in 2011). Despite the financial authorities’ good performance, thanks to modernisation reforms, the budget deficit widened to 3.3% of GDP in 2012 (as against 1.3% in 2011) due to the continuation of the expansionary fiscal policy initiated in 2011 to meet strong social demands in terms of purchasing power, jobs and housing. The oil and gas sector is the country's main source of revenues, generated about 70% of total budget receipts. The economy is projected to grow by 3.2% in 2013 and by 4.0% in 2014. The country's external position remained comfortable in 2012, with a trade surplus of about US$27.18 billion. The current-account surplus is estimated at 8.2% of GDP and official foreign-exchange reserves have been estimated at US$190.7 billion at end-December 2012, or the equivalent of more than three years of imports of non-factor goods and services. Oil and gas export earnings made up more than 97% of total exports.

Disaster and response preparedness measures
Algeria’s commitment to creating greater disaster resilience can be attributed to its unique geography, topography and political economy. A significant part of Algeria’s territory is exposed to earthquakes, flooding, drought, forest fires, landslides, locust and the risk of tsunamis. More than 90 per cent of the country’s population lives along a coast that accounts for only 12 per cent of the country’s landmass.
Aware of its high exposure and growing vulnerabilities, Algeria has systematically demonstrated its commitment to planning for greater disaster resilience since the early 1980s. The national authorities finalized a national construction code by 1983, adopted a disaster reduction and management plan in 1985 and dedicated technical capacities for the development and dissemination of seismic knowledge, monitoring and in-depth research by 1987. The Civil Protection Directorate is the primary actor responsible for coordinating implementation of comprehensive preparedness, response and recovery measures at the national and local levels. In fact, the Civil Protection Museum showcases the history of Algeria’s excellent response capacities and training programs.

Humanitarian response operations
Algeria has been hosting refugees from Western Sahara since 1975. These refugees are in camps in the harsh and isolated desert environment of western Algeria, where opportunities for self-reliance are limited, forcing them to depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival. The 2018 Food Security Assessment confirmed the dependence on food assistance: 30% of the population is food insecure, while 58% is vulnerable to food insecurity, and only 12% of the Sahrawi camp population is food secure. WFP currently represents the major regular and reliable source of food for the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. Upon the request of Algerian Government, WFP has been present in the camps since 1986.

History of disasters
A significant part of Algeria’s territory is exposed to earthquakes, flooding, drought, forest fires, landslides, locust and the risk of tsunamis. More than 90 per cent of the country’s population lives along a coast. As a result, dense urban settlements coupled with migration, poverty, unemployment and a housing crisis make most of the population vulnerable to a nexus of natural and socio-economic hazards. In 1980 the country was hit by El Asnam earthquake which had a devastating effect on the country. It aused 2633 deaths, 8369 injuries, 29,747 destroyed houses and made 478,949 people homeless.
Algeria was hit by numerous floods over the years. In 2018, more than 10 people have died as a result of the three floods that hit various parts of the country.


Office National des Statistiques, Central Intelligence Agency Factbook, Wikipedia, The World Bank, World Population Review, United Nations Development Program, ReliefWeb