Morocco Morocco

Statistical Snapshot


Morocco, with an estimated population of 35.9 million, is the fifth most populous country in the Arab region.[1] The population of Morocco is aging, mainly due to a steadily decreasing fertility rate reaching 2.4 births per woman in 2018 coupled with an increase in life expectancy to 76.5 in 2018.[2] The shift is visible in the drop in the percentage of the population below 30 years from 62.6 percent in 2000 to a projected 50.7 percent in 2020.[3]


The World Bank estimates that in 2019 more than 24 percent of the population in Morocco was poor or at risk of poverty, with a considerable urban-rural gap and the highest level of income inequality in North Africa.[4]


Since 2017, Morocco’s government adopted a range of measures focusing on increasing health spending, enhancing social protection programs, job creation, and supporting businesses.[5] As per the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report, Morocco introduced a series of regulatory improvements that mostly include facilitating the obtainment of construction permits, improving access to electricity, introducing e-payment of port fees, streamlining paperless customs clearance, automating the enforcements of contracts and reducing the corporate income tax (CIT) rate applicable to the taxable income ranging below MAD 1,000,000.[1][6]

However, after the sharp decline in growth in 2016, when real GDP dropped from 4.5 percent in 2015 to 1 percent due to poor harvests, real GDP growth rate picked up in 2017 up to 4.2 percent, to decelerate again. Real GDP growth declined to 2.2 percent in 2019[5] inhibited by a volatile and water-dependent agricultural sector and a stagnating services sector.[1]

The government launched in 2008 the Moroccan Green Plan aiming to promote and modernize agriculture, stimulating exports of agricultural products and linking it more closely to industry. The implementation of the Green Plan, accompanied with favourable climatic conditions, has accelerated the rate of increase in agricultural activities from an annual average of 2.4 percent in 1998-2007 to an average of 6.3 percent in 2009-2018.[1] Nonetheless, the performance of the agricultural sector remained moderate compared to the target set by the Plan and the sector’s value added started a downward trend in 2018, registering a decline of 5.4 percent. The contribution of the sector to GDP slightly dropped to 11.5 percent according to the latest statistics by Haut Commissariat Au Plan. Similarly, the contribution of the sector to total employment also shrank between 2008 and 2018, declining from 41 percent to 34 percent, while the Plan was expected to create 125,000 jobs on average per year.[1]


The slow-down in growth was however accompanied with a growth in manufacturing exports – especially automobiles, electronics, and chemicals, and an increase of non-agricultural growth by 3.4 percent in 2019 (compared to 3 percent in 2018), mostly driven by an increase in the production of phosphates, chemicals, and textiles.[7]


Inflation remains very low, scoring 0.6 percent in 2019 and projected at about 1.0% for 2020–2021.[5] The unemployment rate declined slightly to 9.2 percent 2019 from 9.8 percent in 2018. Unemployment is particularly high among university graduates, at 17.1 percent in 2018 and the rural-urban employment divide continues to be wide: unemployment in urban areas was 14.2 percent compared to only 3.5 percent in rural areas according to the latest official statistics[1] with urban youth unemployment reaching an alarming level of 42.8 percent.[4] The current account deficit dropped to 4.3 percent of GDP in 2019 compared to 5.5 percent in 2018, mainly driven by the growth of manufacturing exports and the decline in the value of intermediate and consumers good and energy prices.[8]

According to the WHO, government health expenditure amounted to 2.23 percent of GDP, against the global 10 percent average. Consequently out-of-pocket health expenditures reached 54 percent of current health expenditure, compared to a global average of 33 percent.[9] A report by Oxfam highlights public service deficiencies in the health sector with only 6.2 doctors per 10,000 inhabitants, compared with 12 in Algeria and 37.1 in Tunisia, and with almost half of the working population lacking medical coverage.[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. The arrangement aims to safeguard Morocco against unanticipated external shocks 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 65 percent in 2019.[7]

On April 7, 2020, the Moroccan authorities drew on all available resources under the current Precautionary and Liquidity Line to cope with the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and maintain an adequate level of official reserves to mitigate pressures on the balance of payments.
In spite of the measures taken by the government to increase health spending and support businesses and households, Morocco is expected to experience a recession in 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19 and given the decline in exports, tourism revenues, remittances and the provisional freeze in economic activity. GDP growth is expected to decrease to -3.7 in 2020 and the current account deficit to widen.

Morocco stands out as a role model in renewable energy, ranking first regionally in the field of concentrated solar thermal power stations, producing around 32 percent of its electricity from renewable energy in 2019, reducing its imports of electricity by 93.5 percent[10] and making it well on track to achieve its goal of 42 percent by 2020.[11]


This overview was last updated in April 2020. Priority is given to the latest available official data published by national statistical offices and/or public institutions. 


[1] Morocco Haut-Commissariat au Plan. 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2020].
[2] The World Bank. 2020. World Development Indicators. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2020]
[3] Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. 2020. World Population Prospects. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2020].
[4] Oxfam. 2019. Press release. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 30 April 2020]
[5] International Monetary Fund (IMF). April 2020. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 April 2020].
[6] The World Bank. 2020. Doing Business 2020: Comparing Business Regulation in 190 Economies. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 22 April 2020].
[7] The African Development Bank Group. 2020. Morocco Economic Outlook. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2020].
[8] The World Bank. 2020. The World Bank in Morocco, overview. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2020].
[9] World Health Organization (WHO). April 2020. [ONLINE] Available at [Accessed 22 April 2020].
[10] Arab Union of Electricity. 2019. 28th Edition-Arab Electricity Magazine 2019. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 13 January 2020].
[11] Morocco World News. 2020. Morocco, Arab Leader in Electricity Generation from Renewable Energy. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 24 April 2020].


[1] The Moroccan CIT consequently followed a progressive rate scale of 10 to 31 percent.

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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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