The People of Morocco – Cultured and Diverse People

It has often been said that the people are the pulse of a nation. The rich culture and diversity of Morocco is reflected in every inch of the vibrant nation that trade frantically and enthusiastically in the bustling streets while songs of worship ring out overhead. These people have a long and fascinating heritage and, though they've slowly started to embrace the modernizing of their world, there is a sort of captivated timelessness that still hangs over them all. Below you will find a bit about the demographics of the country as well as a little about the history of the nation.

History of the People

The Moroccan nation owes its diversity to the many cultures that have influenced it during the course of its history. Initially, the area now known as Morocco seems to have been inhabited by Libyans and Ethiopians who were collectively called Barbaroi or Berbers. They lived in tribal groups in the area during a period of sultanate dynasties. There was no subjection to a singular government in the area at the time. Slowly, various national groups started to impact on the area such as Arabs, Phoenicians, Byzantines, Romans, Spaniards, Portuguese, Turks, Europeans and the French. Much of this influence came in the form of hostilities on the Spanish coast. Over a long period of time, the area became claimed and ruled by other countries until it established its independence in 1956. Though it would seem most Berbers were once pagan worshipers, the majority (98.7%) of the country now practice Islam. The rest of the population practice Christianity or Judaism.

Most of the Moroccans today can claim both Berber and Arab ancestry, though they are generally referred to as Berbers. There is a small amount that can claim pure Arab decent and a few small groups of true Berbers which exist in the Rif Mountains, Atlas Mountains and Souss Valley and who are able to speak several ancient Berber languages. There is also a small number of Jews and black African Moroccans. The population of Morocco numbers over 30 million people and many of them are not well off. Lifestyles differ depending on the areas that people live in. People living in rural areas are often unable to get fairly basic items, such as plasters. They generally tend to grow plants or tend livestock for food. However there are far greater clusters of people in the cities, which bustle with life at all times of the day. Souks (markets) are virtually a way of life for most Moroccans and can be found in every town and city. The Majority of souks, however, are closed during the lunch period and on Fridays. Most Moroccans are friendly and hospitable and will extend warm invitations if you do not act rude or unfriendly towards them.


Population Density:
72 People per square kilometer

Age Structure
0-14yrs Males: 5,355,388; Females: 5,156,762
15-64yrs Males 10,013,466; Females: 10,112,060
65+ Males: 692,465; Females: 878,960

Ethnic Groups
Arab Berber: 99.1%
Jewish: 0.2%
Other: 0.7%

Muslim: 98.7%
Christian: 1.1%
Jewish: 0.2%

Literacy Rate:
Men: 64.1%
Woman: 39.4%

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