POPULATION6,508,887 (July 2012 est.)
GDP PER CAPITA$6,000 (2011 est.)
RELIGIONSSunni Muslim 92% (official), Christian 6% (majority Greek Orthodox, but some Greek and Roman Catholics, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Protestant denominations), other 2% (several small Shia Muslim and Druze populations) (2001 est.)
AT THE CENTER
Jordan has played an integral role in Christian, Jewish, and Islamic history. Islam has been a powerful force in Jordanian politics and society since the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th century CE, and Jordan remained under the purview of the caliphate through the First World War (1914-18). A constitutional monarchy controlled by the Hashemite family since 1920, Jordan has retained its strong Muslim and Arab identities, and Sunni Islam remains the official state religion. Jordan’s indigenous Christian community enjoys a greater degree of political and religious freedom than is perhaps typical for the region, although decades of Christian emigration has reduced Jordan’s religious diversity. Jordan plays an important role in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict as one of only two Arab states that have normalized relations with Israel; estimates suggest that as much as 70% of Jordan’s population is comprised of Palestinian refugees and their descendants.