Jordan gained independence from Britain in 1946. King Hussein ruled the country from 1953 to 1999, when his son, King Abdullah II, took over.

From the end of the 1980s, King Hussein initiated political liberalizations, including legalization of political parties in 1992, and King Abdullah II followed with economic and political reforms.

In the beginning of 2011, several thousand Jordanians demonstrated in Amman and other cities to push for political and social reform. In response, King Abdallah replaced his prime minister and set down two commissions to suggest political reforms and constitutional amendments.

In June 2012, the parliament passed a new electoral law at King Abdullah’s urging. Many regime opponents, including the Islamic Action Front (IAF), criticized the law. Critics said that the new law continues to encourage voting based on tribal ties, rather than political and ideological affiliation, by allocating relatively few seats based on proportional representation.

Women enjoy equal political rights but face legal discrimination in matters involving inheritance, divorce, and child custody, which fall under the jurisdiction of Sharia’a (Islamic law) courts.

Facts

   

Total population

7,505,000 (2014)

Female population

3,654,935  (2014)

Total 0-14 years (female)

1,400,926

Total 15-64 years (female)

2,445,964

Total 64 years and over (female)

   

Life expectancy at birth 

76 years (2013)

Fertility rate

3.16 children born/woman (2012)

Total literacy rate

99.22% (2015)

Total literacy rate among females

92.9 % (2015 est.)

School life expectancy ( primary to tertiary education)

14 years (2012)

Female enrolment at higher education*

52%

*Higher education is the degree after achieving the high-school diploma.