Algeria has known many empires and dynasties starting with the ancient Numidians (3rd century B.C.), Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, over a dozen different Arab and Berber dynasties, Spaniards, and Ottoman Turks. It was under the latter that the Barbary pirates operated from North Africa and preyed on shipping beginning in roughly 1500, peaking in the early to mid-17th century, until finally subdued by the French capture of Algiers in 1830. The French southward conquest of the entirety of Algeria proceeded throughout the 19th century and was marked by many atrocities. The country was heavily colonized by the French in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A bloody eight-year struggle culminated in Algerian 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 since largely dominated politics. 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 legislative elections 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 that was boycotted by several candidates protesting alleged fraud, and won subsequent elections in 2004, 2009, and 2014. 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, while also increasing subsidies to the populace. Since 2014, Algeria’s reliance on hydrocarbon revenues to fund the government and finance the large subsidies for the population has fallen under stress because of declining oil prices. Protests broke out across the country in late February 2019 against President BOUTEFLIKA’s decision to seek a fifth term. BOUTEFLIKA resigned on 2 April 2019, and the speaker of the upper house of parliament, Abdelkader BENSALAH, became interim head of state on 9 April. BENSALAH remained in office beyond the 90-day constitutional limit until Algerians elected former Prime Minister Abdelmadjid TEBBOUNE as the country's new president in December 2019.



28.0° N, 3. 0° E
Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia


2,381,740 sq km
2,381,740 sq km
0 sq km

land boundaries

6,734 km


998 km


arid to semiarid; mild, wet winters with hot, dry summers along coast; drier with cold winters and hot summers on high plateau; sirocco is a hot, dust/sand-laden wind especially common in summer


mostly high plateau and desert; Atlas Mountains in the far north and Hoggar Mountains in the south; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain


800 m
lowest point
Chott Melrhir
-40 m
highest point
2,908 m

natural resources

  • petroleum
  • natural gas
  • iron ore
  • phosphates
  • uranium
  • lead
  • zinc

land use

arable land
3.1 %
permanent crops
0.4 %
permanent pasture
13.8 %
0.8 %
81.8 %

population distribution

the vast majority of the populace is found in the extreme northern part of the country along the Mediterranean Coast



  • 42,972,878
  • 35
    global rank


  • Algerian(s)
  • Algerian

ethnic groups

99 %
European less than
1 %


  • Arabic
  • French
    lingua franca
  • Berber or Tamazight ; dialects include Kabyle Berber
    official; Taqbaylit
  • Shawiya Berber
  • Mzab Berber
  • Tuareg Berber


99 %
1 %

birth rate

  • 20
    per 1,000 population
  • 76
    global rank

death rate

  • 4.4
    per 1,000 population
  • 208
    global rank

urban population

73.7 %

major urban areas

  • Algiers
    pop. 2,768,000
  • Oran
    pop. 899,000

life expectancy

  • 77.5
    total population
  • 77
    global rank

adult obesity rate

  • 27.4%
    percent of adults
  • 38
    global rank


country name


  • People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
    long form
  • Algeria
    short form


  • Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah
    long form
  • Al Jaza'ir
    short form

government type

presidential republic


36.45 N, 3.3 E


national holidays

  • Independence Day
    5 July
  • Revolution Day
    1 November

legal system

mixed legal system of French civil law and Islamic law; judicial review of legislative acts in ad hoc Constitutional Council composed of various public officials including several Supreme Court justices

age of suffrage


flag description

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 Algerians believe the long crescent horns bring happiness

national colors

  • green
  • white
  • red

national anthem

"Kassaman" (We Pledge)



Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy, pursuing an explicit import substitution policy. Hydrocarbons have long been the backbone of the economy, accounting for roughly 30% of GDP, 60% of budget revenues, and nearly 95% of export earnings. Algeria has the 10th-largest reserves of natural gas in the world - including the 3rd-largest reserves of shale gas - and is the 6th-largest gas exporter. It ranks 16th in proven oil reserves. Hydrocarbon exports enabled Algeria to maintain macroeconomic stability, amass large foreign currency reserves, and maintain low external debt while global oil prices were high. With lower oil prices since 2014, Algeria’s foreign exchange reserves have declined by more than half and its oil stabilization fund has decreased from about $20 billion at the end of 2013 to about $7 billion in 2017, which is the statutory minimum. Declining oil prices have also reduced the government’s ability to use state-driven growth to distribute rents and fund generous public subsidies, and the government has been under pressure to reduce spending. Over the past three years, the government has enacted incremental increases in some taxes, resulting in modest increases in prices for gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, and certain imported goods, but it has refrained from reducing subsidies, particularly for education, healthcare, and housing programs. Algiers has increased protectionist measures since 2015 to limit its import bill and encourage domestic production of non-oil and gas industries. Since 2015, the government has imposed additional restrictions on access to foreign exchange for imports, and import quotas for specific products, such as cars. In January 2018 the government imposed an indefinite suspension on the importation of roughly 850 products, subject to periodic review. President BOUTEFLIKA announced in fall 2017 that Algeria intends to develop its non-conventional energy resources. Algeria has struggled to develop non-hydrocarbon industries because of heavy regulation and an emphasis on state-driven growth. Algeria has not increased non-hydrocarbon exports, and hydrocarbon exports have declined because of field depletion and increased domestic demand.


630,000,000,000 USD

agriculture products

  • wheat
  • barley
  • oats
  • grapes
  • olives
  • citrus
  • fruits
  • sheep
  • cattle

poverty level



  • 54,150,000,000
    revenue (USD)
  • 70,200,000,000
    expenditures (USD)



    fixed lines

  • 4,200,919
    total subscriptions
  • 34
    global rank

    mobile cellular

  • 47,154,264
    total subscriptions
  • 32
    global rank

broadcast media

state-run Radio-Television Algerienne operates the broadcast media and carries programming in Arabic, Berber dialects, and French; use of satellite dishes is widespread, providing easy access to European and Arab satellite stations; state-run radio operates several national networks and roughly 40 regional radio stations


country code


  • 24,819,531
  • 59.58
    % of population
  • 31
    global rank


electricity access



air transport

    national system

  • 4
    registered air carriers
  • 5,910,835
    annual passenger traffic


  • 149
  • 67


3,973 km
total length


104,000 km
total length



expenditures here

service age