Location: This north-western African country faces the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic and is bordered by Algeria and Western Sahara
Area: 458,730 sq km
National composition: Arabs and Berbers, some Europeans
Official language: Arabic
Currency: Moroccan dirham = 100 centimes
Administrative divisions: In Morocco, the 75 second-level administrative subdivisions are 13 prefectures and 62 provinces.
Other major cities: Casablanca, Marrakech, Fez
Highest elevation: Toubkal (4,165 m) in the High Atlas Mountains
Chief rivers: Moulouya, Sebou, Sous
Climate: Mediterranean; cooler in the mountains; arid and desert type in the east
The littoral is quite flat, while the hinterland is mountainous. The south-eastern sector of the country is occupied by fringes of the Sahara Desert. Rainfall occurs mainly in winter and at higher altitudes, so the lowlands must be irrigated to permit farming.
The typical vegetation of the Mediterranean coast is composed of cork oaks, cedars, etc. Esparto grass (known as alfa or halfa in northern Africa) is used to make ropes, sails and mats.
Moroccan farmers grow cereals, grapes, dates, olives and citrus fruits. Goats and sheep predominate in the animal husbandry, but camels, mules and horses are also bred. Coastal fishing is a major activity.
The most important sector of Moroccan economy is mining. The leading minerals are phosphates, coal, uranium, manganese, lead, zinc, cobalt and other ores. There are considerable oil and natural gas reserves.
Food-processing and textiles are traditional and also the best developed of Moroccan industries, although the production of chemicals, petro-chemicals and engineering products is rising. In-land transport uses roads, railways and air routes. Cargo is also transported in bulk by coastal shipping. Morocco is an important refueling point on international air routes which link Europe and Latin America. The busiest airports are Casablanca and Rabat.