Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the Arab region with an area of 2,381,741 km2. With a total population estimated at 42 million persons, of which 52.8% is under the age of 30, Algeria is the second most populous country in the Arab region in 2018.[1] The Algerian population is growing at a natural rate of 2.17 percent and the life expectancy at birth is 77.6 years.[2]  


In tandem with an increase in youth literacy rate from 90% in 2002 to 97% in 2015, education attainment in Algeria has been on the rise, resulting in a more educated younger generation. [3] The gross enrollment ratio increased from 105% in 2000 up to 113.6% in 2016 in primary education, and from 16% in 2001 to 42.7% in 2016 in tertiary education. [4] 


Algeria is ranked among the upper-middle-income countries,[5] where the GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, 2011 constant prices) increased from Int$ 318 billion in 2000 up to Int$ 574.9 billion in 2017.[4] The GNI per capita (Purchasing Power Parity) leveled at Int$ 15,050 in 2017, compared to an average GNI per capita of Int$ 16,794 in the Arab region in 2016.[4] The annual GDP growth rate of the Algerian economy averaged at 3.0%  in 2018.[6] The growth rate dropped from 3.8% in 2014 to 2% in 2017[6] with the drop of international oil prices dropped from 97 USD/bbl in 2014 down to 52 USD/bbl in 2017.[7]

Over the last 16 years, Algeria reduced its public debt from 62% of GDP in 2000 to around 34.8% in 2018, with its external debt dropping from 48.9% of GNI in 2000 down to 2.1% of GNI in 2018, with an inflation rate of 7.4% in 2018.[6]


Algeria is a leading natural gas and oil producer in Africa and one of the largest gas suppliers to Europe. Exports of fuel and other lubricants represented 94% of Algeria’s exports to the world in 2016.[2] In 2015, natural gas exports leveled at 36,992 thousand ton oil equivalent and crude oil at 30,601 thousand ton oil equivalent.


Algeria’s trade balance has been declining in the past decade and valued at –1,877,060.4 million Algerian Dinar in 2016. The EU absorbs half of its exports, making it Algeria’s main trading partner. However, Algeria’s trade balance with the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) has been declining and has recorded a deficit of 166,974.7 million Algerian Dinar, mainly due to the decline in oil prices.[2]


On employment, Algeria witnessed a significant drop in its unemployment rate from 29.8% in 2000 to 11.7% in 2017. That said, the Algerian public sector continues to assume an important role in absorbing the labor force, employing 42% of the total employed people in 2017.[2]The Algerian women labor force has significantly improved throughout the previous decade, increasing from 13.9% in 2009 to 17% in 2017. In parallel, the women unemployment rate reached 20.7% in 2017, down from 28.71% in 2000. Nonetheless, the female youth unemployment rate remains high at 45.7%, compared to a rate of 24.8% for male youth in 2017.[2] However, women have been outpacing men in tertiary education, with a gender parity index rising from 1.08 in 2000 to 1.56 in 2015.[4]



This overview has been drafted by the ADP team based on most available data as of 24 December 2018. 



[1] World Population Prospects, Population Division, United Nations

[2] National Office of Statistics (ONS)

[3] United Nations Statistical Division

[4] The World Bank, World Development Indicators

[5] The World Bank, Country and Lending Groups

[6] International Monetary Fund (IMF)

[7] Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

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Data Highlighted

  • education attainment in Algeria has been on the rise, resulting in a 37% tertiary gross enrollment ratio in 2015. 

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