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Flag of Algeria

Background Information

  • After more than a century of rule by France, Algerians fought through much of the 1950s to achieve independence in 1962.
  • Algeria's primary political party, the National Liberation Front (FLN), has dominated politics ever since. Many Algerians in the subsequent generation were not satisfied, however, and moved to counter the FLN's centrality in Algerian politics.
  • The surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting spurred the Algerian army to intervene and postpone the second round of elections to prevent what the secular elite feared would be an extremist-led government from assuming power.
  • The army began a crackdown on the FIS that spurred FIS supporters to begin attacking government targets. The government later allowed elections featuring pro-government and moderate religious-based parties, but did not appease the activists who progressively widened their attacks. The fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense fighting between 1992-98 and which resulted in over 100,000 deaths - many attributed to indiscriminate massacres of villagers by extremists.
  • The government gained the upper hand by the late-1990s and FIS's armed wing, the Islamic Salvation Army, disbanded in January 2000. However, small numbers of armed militants persist in confronting government forces and conducting ambushes and occasional attacks on villages.
  • The army placed Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA in the presidency in 1999 in a fraudulent election but claimed neutrality in his 2004 landslide reelection victory.
  • Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA in his second term, including the ethnic minority Berbers' ongoing autonomy campaign, large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing - although significantly degraded - activities of extremist militants.
  • Algeria must also diversify its petroleum-based economy, which has yielded a large cash reserve but which has not been used to redress Algeria's many social and infrastructure problems.


Capital Algiers
Currency 1 Algerian Dinars = 100 centimes
Major Ethnic Groups                     Arab-Berber 99%,
European less than 1
Main Languages Arabic (official),
Berber dialects (main one is Kabylie)
Geography: Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

Total Area: 2,381,740 sq km

Natural Resources: Petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, uranium, zinc and lead
Communications Telephones: 2.3 Million landlines and 33 500 cellular phones
Internet: 20 000 subscribers
Television Sets: 3.,1 Million sets
Radio Sets: 7,1Million receivers


Religious Breakdown                  Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%
Population 31.7 million (60% urban) 
Growth Rate : 1,8%pa
Birth rate: 17.11 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death Rate : 4.62 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate 0.1%; note - no country specific models provided (2001 est.)
People Living with HIV/AIDS 9,100 (2003 est.)
Deaths less than 500 (2003 est.)
Literacy – Definition : Age 15 and over that can read or write
Total Population 61,6%
Male 73,9%
Female 49%


Government Multi-party democratic republic
Constitution 8 September 1963; revised 19 November 1976, effective 22 November 1976; revised 3 November 1988, 23 February 1989, and 28 November 1996
Legal System                                                                                                               Socialist, based on French and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials, including several Supreme Court justices; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Chief of State President Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA (since 28 April 1999)
Head of Government Prime Minister Abdelaziz BELKHADEM
Elections President elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 8 April 2004 (next to be held in April 2009); Prime minister appointed by the president
Cabinet Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president

Banking And Business

GDP Purchasing Power Parity $249.8 billion (2006 est.)
Projected GDP Growth: 3,9%
Per Capita $7,600 (2006 est.)
Increase in CPI: 2,6%

Private consumption - 51.3%,
government consumption 17%,
Imports 2,3%
Composition By Sector                               Agriculture: 11.4%
Industry: 41.1%
Manufacturing: 9,64%
Services: 37.9% (2006 est.)
Labour Labour Force 9.1 million (2006 est.)
Labour Force by occupation
Agriculture 14%,
Industry 13.4%,
Construction and public works 10%,
Trade 14.6%,
Government 32%,
Other 16% (2003 est.)
Electricity Electricity Production 
21,38 billion generated
Electricity Production production by source:
Fossil Fuel 99.7%
Hydro 0.3%
Nuclear 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity Consumption 19,882 Billion kWh
Exports 230 million kWh (2004 est.)
Imports 300 million kWh (2004 est.)
Export $19.6 Billion
Export Commodities Petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%
Export Partners US 26.6%, Italy 16.6%, Spain 9.1%, France 8.5%, Canada 7.9%, Brazil 6.5%, Belgium 4.4% (2006)
Imports $9.2 Billion
Imports Commodities Capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods
Imports Partners France 22.1%, Italy 8.6%, China 8.5%, Germany 5.9%, Spain 5.6%, US 4.8%, Turkey 4.5% (2006)
Transportation Airports: 142 (2006)
International Airport: 
Houari Boumediene Airport (Algiers), El-Senaia Airport (Oran), Zenata-Messali El-Hadj Airport (Tlemcen)
Heliports: 1 (2006)

15,7 Million mt landed, 63,1 million mt shipped
Ports: Algiers, Annaba, Arzew, Bejaia, Beni Saf, Dellys, Ghazaouet, Jijel, Monstaganem, Oran, Skikda and Tenes

71 656 km paved roads: 104 000 km total roads, 2,5 million motor vehicles

Pipelines: Crude oil 6612 km, petroleum products 298 km, natural gas 2948 km

Railways total: 4820 km, 2077 million passengers per km, 2082 million fr-t-km

Schooling And Holidays

Public Holidays                        

1 January New Year's Day
9 February Ashura
8 March Revolution Day
17 April Evacuation Day
1 May Labour Day
6 May Martyrs’ Day
19 June Commemoration Day
5 July Independence Day
23 July Egypt’s Revolution Day
1 September Union of Syria, Egypt, and Libya
6 October The beginning of the 1973 October War
1 November Anniversary of the Revolution
16 November National Day
25 December Christmas Day



Tv Stations

  • RTA (F, Arabic and French)
  • ENTV (Arabic, Berber and French)

Radio Stations

  • ENRS - (Arabic, Berber and French)
  • Arabic - ENRS (Arabic)
  • Berber - ENRS (Berber)
  • French - ENRS (French)
  • Radio Algiers - (Arabic and French)
  • Radio Algiers - International (Arabic, E, F and Spanish)
  • Cultural Radio - (French)



  • Daily:
    • Al Acil - (Arabic)
    • El Alam Essiyassi - (Arabic)
    • L' Authentique - (French)
    • Al-Badil - (Arabic)
    • Ech Chaab - (Arabic)
    • Al-Djeza'ir El-Youm - (Arabic and English)
    • El Khabar -(Arabic)
    • Horizons - (French)
    • La Jeune Independent - (French)
    • Al Joumhouriya -(Arabic)
    • Liberte - (French)
    • El Massa - (Arabic)
    • Le Matin - (French)
    • El Moujahid - (Arabic and French )
    • An Nasr - (Arabic)
    • Quotidien d'Oran - (French)
    • Le Soir d'Algerie - (French)
    • La Tribune - (French)
    • El Watan - (Arabic and French)
    • El Youm - (Arabic)
  • Weekly:
    • Algerie-Actualite (French)

Outdoor Media

Country Data