Morocco is a densely populated country with an estimated population of 35.5 million in 2019, making it the fifth most populous country in the Arab region.[1] At an urbanization rate of 62.5 percent in 2018, Morocco continues to be among the most rural in the Arab region.[2] The population of Morocco has been aging in the last two decades, mainly due to a slightly decreasing fertility rate hovering at around 2 coupled with an increase in life expectancy that reached 76.1 in 2017.[1] This can be seen in the drop in the percentage of the population below 30 years from 62.6 percent in 2000 to 53.5 percent in 2015 and is projected to further decrease to 50.6 percent by 2020.[2]


After a sharp decline in 2016 at 1.2 percent due to poor harvests, real GDP growth rate has picked up again in 2017 at 4.1 percent but has been steadily decreasing reaching 3 percent in 2018 and expected to register 2.9 percent in 2019. This trend is mainly due to delays in implementing key structural reforms and the sharp slowdown in agricultural value added growth from 14.8 percent in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018 due to the weakening of agricultural value added growth.[3] The current account deficit has slightly widened in 2018 at 4.2 percent of GDP, up from 3.5 percent of GDP in 2017, even though export growth has slightly increased from 6.5 percent in 2017 to 7.2 percent of GDP in 2018.[4]


By the end of 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved financing the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) two-year arrangement for Morocco worth 2.97 Billion US Dollars. The arrangement aims to safeguard Morocco against unanticipated external shocks, like spikes in oil prices, and supporting the economy’s resilience and pushing for more inclusive growth.[5] In addition, fiscal reforms are key to help lower public debt, aiming at reducing it to 60 percent of GDP by 2021, down from 64.4 in 2017.


Despite being characterized by diversification, the Moroccan economy is trying to comprise its dependence on agriculture, which makes up 40 percent of the workforce[6], in order to reach improved levels of sustainable growth in different areas such as education, governance, business environment and renewable energy.[7]

In tandem with Morocco’s diversification drive, the Kingdom produced 35 percent of its electricity in 2018 from renewable energy, and the generation is expected to increase to 42 percent by 2020 and 52 percent by 2030.[8][9] In order to reach the said target, Morocco built a complex, the Noor Ouarzazate, of 3 thousand hectares in area, which is said to be equivalent to 3,500 football fields. The complex provides 580 megawatts, enough energy to power double the size of Marrakech city in Morocco.[8]


The Moroccan economy created over 110,000 jobs in the services, agriculture and construction sectors between the period of 2017 and 2018. The labor market, in turn, has witnessed a decrease in the unemployment level at the national level from 10.2 percent in 2017 to 9.8 percent in 2018. The created jobs have mainly benefited youth and women, whereby their unemployment rates decreased by 0.8 and 0.7 percent, respectively, during the same period. But unemployment remained high among university graduates, at 17.1 percent in 2018. The rural-urban divide continues to be wide, where unemployment continues to be higher in urban areas; registering 14.2 percent compared to only 3.5 percent in rural areas in 2018.[1]

This overview was last updated in February 2019. Priority is given to the latest available official data published by national statistical offices and/or public institutions. 


[1] Morocco Haut-Commissariat au Plan. 2019. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 8 February 2019].
[2] Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. 2018. World Population Prospects. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 8 February 2019].
[3] The World Bank. 2018. The World Bank in Morocco, overview. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 February 2019].
[4] International Monetary Fund. October 2018. World Economic Outlook Database. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 February 2019].

[5]International Monetary Fund. December 2018. IMF executive board approves $2.97 billion for Morocco under the precautionary and liquidity line. [ONLINE] Available at:  [Accessed 18 February 2019].
[6] The World Bank. 2019. World Development Indicators. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 February 2019].
[7] Morocco media. 2019. National and international news. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 11 February 2019].
[8] Ministry of Culture and Communication. 2019. CNN: Morocco on track to generate 42% of its electricity from renewable energies by 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 February 2019].
[9] Morocco World News. 2019. 35% of Moroccan electricity came from renewable sources in 2018. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18 February 2019].


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Data Highlights

  • The tertiary enrollment noticeably increased from 10.2% in 2000 to 28.14% in 2015.

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