National Profiles > > Regions > Northern Africa > Algeria
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Region: Northern Africa
2012 Population1: 38,481,705
Total Area (sq. miles)1: 919,595
Life Expectancy at Birth1: 71.0
Gross National Income Per Capita (PPP 2012 US $)1: $12,860
Official Religion(s) Or Church(es) 2: Islam

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Largest Religious Groups (Algeria)


Government Regulation of Religion Index: Average government regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Government Favoritism of Religion Index: Average government favoritism score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less favoritism) Social Regulation of Religion Index: Average social regulation score over ARDA researchers' coding of 2003, 2005 and 2008 U.S. Department of State's International Religious Freedom Reports (0-10, lower means less regulation) Religious Persecution: Average number of people physically abused or displaced due to their religion according to U.S. Department of State's 2005 and 2008 International Religious Freedom Reports (as coded by ARDA researchers). 0 = None; 1 = 1-10; 2 = 11-20; 3 = 21-100; 4 = 101-500; 5 = 501-1000; 6 = 1001-5000; 7 = 5001-10000; 8 = 10001-50000; 9 = 50001-100000; 10 = greater than 100000.


Algeria, officially People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast. Its capital and most populous city is Algiers. With a total area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), 90% of which is desert, Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in Africa (following the partition of Sudan) and on the Mediterranean. The country is bordered in the northeast by Tunisia, in the east by Libya, in the west by Morocco, in the southwest by Western Sahara, Mauritania, and Mali, in the southeast by Niger, and in the north by the Mediterranean Sea. The territory of today's Algeria was the home of many prehistoric cultures, including Aterian and Capsian and the Proto-Berber cultures. Its area has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Fatimids, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Ottomans and the French colonial empire. In recent decades, Algeria has experienced increased identity recognition demands, in response to which, Tamazight, the language of their 13,000 year old people, has been constitutionalized as a national language. Algeria is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1541 communes. With a population of 37.9 million, it is the 35th most populated country on Earth. Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been the President of Algeria since 1999 and has won four consecutive elections. Algeria's economy is largely based on hydrocarbons, due to which manufacturing has suffered from Dutch disease. The country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe, and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. According to OPEC Algeria has the 17th largest reserves of oil in the world, and the second largest in Africa, while it has the 9th largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa. Algeria has the second largest military in North Africa with the largest defence budget in Africa. Algeria has had a peaceful nuclear program since the 1990s. Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, and the United Nations, and is a founding member of the Arab Maghreb Union.



Note: All country histories and flags were obtained from, 2015. (

1.  Relying on agencies from each country, as well as a synthesis of data from United Nations divisions, Eurostate Demographic statistics, the U.S. Census international database, and its own data collection, the World Bank’s Open Data site offers free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.

2.  The U.S. State Department's International Religious Freedom Report is submitted to Congress annually by the Department of State in compliance with Section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) of 1998. This report supplements the most recent Human Rights Reports by providing additional detailed information with respect to matters involving international religious freedom. It includes individual country chapters on the status of religious freedom worldwide. A dataset with these and the other international measures highlighted on the country pages can be downloaded from this website. These State Department reports are open source.

3.  The article by Brian Grim and Roger Finke describes the coding of the U.S. State Department’s International Religious Freedom reports. The 2003, 2005, and 2008 reports were coded by researchers at the Association of Religion Data Archives. The GRI, GFI and SRI values reported on the National Profiles are averages from the 2003, 2005, and 2008 International Religious Freedom reports, while the Religious Persecution measure is an average from the 2005 and 2008 reports. All other measures derived from the International Religious Freedom reports were coded from the reports 2008. A data file with all of the 2008 coding, as well as data files with other cross national collections are available for preview and download from the data archive on this site. Used with permission.

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