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Algeria Country Guide

Explore Algeria in Africa

Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service suggests to reconsider your need to travel to this country. Take this advice seriously - check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Algeria with the capital city Algiers is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea). It covers some 2,381,741 square kilometres (slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas) with 33,739,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The topography includes mostly high plateau and desert with some mountains and narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. The average density of population is approximately 14 per km². The notable climate conditions in Algeria can be described as arid to semiarid with mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast, drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau, sirocco being a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer. Possible natural disasters include mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes or mudslides and floods in rainy season.

To reach someone in Algeria dial +213 prior to a number. There are 2,576,000 installed telephones. And there are 32,730,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".dz". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Algeria

Two equal vertical bands of green (hoist side) and white; a red, five-pointed star within a red crescent centered over the two-color boundary; the colors represent Islam (green), purity and peace (white), and liberty (red); the crescent and star are also Islamic symbols, but the crescent is more closed than those of other Muslim countries because the Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness.

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), was established in 1954 as part of the struggle for independence and has largely dominated politics since. The Government of Algeria in 1988 instituted a multi-party system in response to public unrest, but the surprising first round success of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in the December 1991 balloting led 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. Fighting escalated into an insurgency, which saw intense violence from 1992-98, resulting 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. Abdelaziz BOUTEFLIKA, with the backing of the military, won the presidency in 1999 in an election widely viewed as fraudulent. He was reelected to a second term in 2004 and overwhelmingly won a third term in 2009, after the government amended the constitution in 2008 to remove presidential term limits. Longstanding problems continue to face BOUTEFLIKA, including large-scale unemployment, a shortage of housing, unreliable electrical and water supplies, government inefficiencies and corruption, and the continuing activities of extremist militants. The Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in 2006 merged with al-Qa'ida to form al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb, which has launched an ongoing series of kidnappings and bombings targeting the Algerian Government and Western interests. The government in 2011 introduced some political reforms in response to the Arab Spring, including lifting the 19-year-old state of emergency restrictions and increasing women's quotas for elected assemblies. Parliamentary elections in May 2012 and municipal and provincial elections in November 2012 saw continued dominance by the FLN, with Islamist opposition parties performing poorly. Political protest activity in the country remained low in 2012, but small, sometimes violent socioeconomic demonstrations by disparate groups continued to be a common occurrence. Parliament in 2013 is expected to revise the constitution.


Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Niger, Western Sahara, Libya, Mauritania, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali
Capital: Algiers
Size 2,381,740 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 919,595 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly less than 3.5 times the size of Texas
Population 33,739,000
Currency Name: Dinar, Currency Code: DZD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .dz
Telephone Country Prefix +213
Mobile Phone Connections 32,730,000
Landline Phone Connections 2,576,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).

Geography

Value name Value World Rank
Area 2,381,741 (sq km) 10

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 38,087,812 34
Population growth rate 1.90 (%) 60
Birth rate 24.25 (births/1,000 population) 62
Death rate 4.31 (deaths/1,000 population) 203
Net migration rate -0.93 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 147
Maternal mortality rate 97.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 75
Infant mortality rate 22.57 (deaths/1,000 live births) 82
Life expectancy at birth 76.18 (years) 82
Total fertility rate 2.78 (children born/woman) 71
Health expenditures 4.20 (% of GDP) 163
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.10 (%) 108
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 18,000 79
HIV/AIDS - deaths 1,000 66
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 16.00 (%) 116
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 3.70 (%) 99
Education expenditures 4.30 (% of GDP) 100
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 21.5 (%) 54

Economy

Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 277,400,000,000 49
GDP - real growth rate 2.50 (%) 121
GDP - per capita (PPP) 7,600 137
Labor force 11,260,000 49
Unemployment rate 10.20 (%) 110
Distribution of family income - Gini index 35 87
Investment (gross fixed) 32.30 (% of GDP) 18
Taxes and other revenues 38.2 (% of GDP) 51
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -2.40 (% of GDP) 92
Public debt 8.80 (% of GDP) 142
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 8.50 (%) 188
Central bank discount rate 4.00 (%) 91
Commercial bank prime lending rate 8.00 (%) 115
Stock of narrow money 110,100,000,000 34
Stock of broad money 150,000,000,000 49
Stock of domestic credit 8,690,000,000 106
Industrial production growth rate -3.10 (%) 159
Current account balance 19,950,000,000 19
Exports 76,840,000,000 48
Imports 47,530,000,000 56
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 190,500,000,000 14
Debt - external 4,344,000,000 122
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 24,680,000,000 65
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 2,424,000,000 70

Energy

Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 40,220,000,000 (kWh) 59
Electricity - consumption 31,390,000,000 (kWh) 61
Electricity - exports 405,000,000 (kWh) 63
Electricity - imports 369,000,000 (kWh) 81
Electricity - installed generating capacity 10380000 (kW) 55
Electricity - from fossil fuels 97.3 (% of total installed capacity) 62
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 2.7 (% of total installed capacity) 133
Crude oil - production 1,885,000 (bbl/day) 16
Crude oil - exports 697,500 (bbl/day) 20
Crude oil - imports 8,152 (bbl/day) 79
Crude oil - proved reserves 12260000000 (bbl) 18
Refined petroleum products - production 447,100 (bbl/day) 34
Refined petroleum products - consumption 316,400 (bbl/day) 41
Refined petroleum products - exports 446,500 (bbl/day) 18
Refined petroleum products - imports 11,700 (bbl/day) 130
Natural gas - production 84,610,000,000 (cu m) 11
Natural gas - consumption 28,820,000,000 (cu m) 30
Natural gas - exports 55,790,000,000 (cu m) 7
Natural gas - proved reserves 4,502,000,000,000 (cu m) 11
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 110,900,000 (Mt) 39

Communications

Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 3,059,000 50
Telephones - mobile cellular 35,616,000 32
Internet hosts 676 178
Internet users 4,700,000 49

Transportation

Value name Value World Rank
Airports 142 41
Railways 3,973 (km) 44
Roadways 113,655 (km) 39
Merchant marine 38 76

Military

Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 4.30 (% of GDP) 23

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Al Qal'a of Beni Hammad
In a mountainous site of extraordinary beauty, the ruins of the first capital of the Hammadid emirs, founded in 1007 and demolished in 1152, provide an authentic picture of a fortified Muslim city. The mosque, whose prayer room has 13 aisles with eig ...
1980
Djémila
Situated 900 m above sea-level, Djémila, or Cuicul, with its forum, temples, basilicas, triumphal arches and houses, is an interesting example of Roman town planning adapted to a mountain location. ...
1982
Kasbah of Algiers
The Kasbah is a unique kind of medina, or Islamic city. It stands in one of the finest coastal sites on the Mediterranean, overlooking the islands where a Carthaginian trading-post was established in the 4th century BC. There are the remains of the c ...
1992
M'Zab Valley
A traditional human habitat, created in the 10th century by the Ibadites around their five ksour (fortified cities), has been preserved intact in the M’Zab valley. Simple, functional and perfectly adapted to the environment, the architecture of M ...
1982
Tassili n'Ajjer
Located in a strange lunar landscape of great geological interest, this site has one of the most important groupings of prehistoric cave art in the world. More than 15,000 drawings and engravings record the climatic changes, the animal migrations and ...
1982
Timgad
Timgad lies on the northern slopes of the Aurès mountains and was created ex nihilo as a military colony by the Emperor Trajan in AD 100. With its square enclosure and orthogonal design based on the cardo and decumanus, the two perpendicular routes ...
1982
Tipasa
On the shores of the Mediterranean, Tipasa was an ancient Punic trading-post conquered by Rome and turned into a strategic base for the conquest of the kingdoms of Mauritania. It comprises a unique group of Phoenician, Roman, palaeochristian and Byza ...
1982