Morocco is a country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco has a mixture of Berber, Arabian and European influences. It is a top tourist destination in Africa with rich Muslim impacts.
Along with other African countries experiencing poverty, people would think Morocco is poor. The living standards in Morocco is rated as low.
It is by international standards that Morocco is considered a poor country. Global Finance Magazine has ranked it as one of the poorest countries in the world.
A considerable number of Moroccans are living below the poverty line. Out of the 35.2 million population of the country in 2018, some of them are poor and at risk of poverty. It is ranked as the fourth most impoverished country in the Arab world in 2013. The government is organized after Mauritania, Sudan and even Yemen.
Poverty in the country is associated with three factors. They are illiteracy, financial inequality, and economic volatility. All these elements contributed to the slow economic development of Morocco. It leaves almost nine million of its population on the poverty line.
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How much of Morocco is in poverty?
As much as 19% of the population in Morocco are living in poverty. There is widespread poverty in the country where people live below $4 a day.
Morocco is not the wealthiest county in the Arab world. It is one of the poorest. In the country, poverty is widespread up until today. It is more observable in rural areas than in urban areas. In figures, almost 36% of people living in rural areas are in poor living conditions. In the urban zones, 24% are living on the poverty line.
Like other developing countries, there is also a massively unequal distribution of wealth. The so-called affluent class enjoys the country’s wealth. They have a better standard of living.
You can see this unequal distribution of wealth in the country’s regional zones. The Casablanca area is wealthier, wherein the government investment is flowing. If you compare it near the Western Sahara region, this area seemed to be neglected.
In the northern provinces of Morocco, like the Rif Mountains, poverty is visible. Government neglect in the region is observable as well. Yet, there are foreign aid and assistance given to the country to develop these regions as well.
Yet, even though foreign aid in the country did not stop the rural-urban migration. Such activity contributed to the uneven development in Morocco. It forced people to seek other employment activities in other countries as well.
Does Morocco have a good economy?
We all know that the most significant contributing factor to a nation’s wealth is its economy. It is the same way in Morocco. The wealth of the population is much determined by how well its economy performs.
Morocco does not have a good performing economy. Based on the World Bank reports, the economy of Morocco has slow growth in 2019. It is because its economy massively relies upon agriculture.
The agriculture sector of Morocco is very volatile. It is making it is economy extremely vulnerable to change as well. According to the 2018-2019 data, the agriculture sector in Morocco exhibited slow growth. It is very weak because it is highly dependent on the changing season.
The agriculture sector of Morocco’s economy accounts for 19% of its GDP. It also provides almost 40% of jobs in the country. Since it is volatile and heavily relies on changing seasons, Morocco cannot trust agri alone. It would help if you also considered that only 18 percent of the country is arable. It cannot sustain jobs in the future as well.
As long as its economy relies upon agriculture, it will continue to operate below its potential. Thus, the government of Morocco works on its non-agriculture sector. It improves phosphate, chemicals and even textile production. It is another way to boost the country’s economy.
What is the main source of income in Morocco?
Morocco is heavily dependent on agriculture. The main source of income for Moroccans is agriculture. Even today, agriculture still accounts for almost 41% of employment in the country.
As a breakdown, almost half of employment comes from the agriculture sector. Then the industry sector employs 22% of workers, while the rest is in the services.
The source of income of the Moroccan economy aside from agriculture are the following:
Morocco has a considerable phosphate reserve that accounts for almost 75% of the world. It is the top exporter and third-biggest producer of phosphate. This area consistently grows in the country.
Moreover, the mining sector in the country also includes the following minerals:
- iron ore
The textile industry in Morocco is also growing. The manufacturing sector in Morocco established a good partnership in the EU and France. The government is importing 27.6% ready-to-wear, 46% hosiery and 28.5 raw textiles.
Other manufacturing industries booming in the country are fertilizers, construction materials, and cars. They also have an export-oriented enterprise that hugely focuses on food and beverages.
Is it hard to find a job in Morocco?
Like other developing countries, income opportunities in Morocco are limited. Moroccans chose to leave their county for greener pastures. They are seeking jobs in other countries like those in the Middle East to survive.
Jobs in Morocco are hard to find. Having to look for a full-time job in the country is very difficult. There is a limited job opportunity in both the private and government sectors.
In Morocco, being unemployed is usually the norm. Plenty of university graduates who studied for several years are unemployed.
There are massive protests from this demography seeking employment from the government. Some of them reached the age of 30 and still not having a stable job. Most of them chose to find work outside Morocco.
If you are an ex-pat or a foreigner, looking for a job in this country is also problematic. Since jobs for Moroccans are limited, this also applies to foreigners. It would be best if you got certificates and language training to use them legally in the country.
It would be best if you had conversational and written fluency in Arabic, French or Spanish. Fluency in these languages will give you an edge when seeking a job.
Some jobs that you can find in the country are in the teaching profession. Some schools hire teachers to teach English to students. Yet, training certificates might be required.
If these do not work, you can still work remotely in the country. You can get an online and freelance job while staying in Morocco. Many ex-pats have this tactic while in Morocco.
Another option for you if you chose to stay longer is to start a business. You can apply for a license to operate your business in Morocco legally. There is a huge chance to have a stable income when you build your business there.
Instead of competing for limited job opportunities, having a business is viable. It would help if you had the patience and hard work to make your business a huge success.
As an ex-pat, here are some things to consider when you want to stay longer in Morocco or live there long term:
- Social Security
- Labors Laws
- Business Culture
Spending more than 183 days, you are then required to pay taxes. People who reached the allowable 183-day tax-free are now full-time residents. You should pay income tax in the country based on the worldwide income data.
As part of the labour force, you will be enrolled in the Moroccan social security system. The contributions are mandatory and will be split among employers and employees. The said contribution will be deducted from your paycheck and can provide benefits as well. You are entitled to sickness, disability allowances, maternity leave and retirement pensions.
There is a 40-hour workweek in the country when you are working full time. You are also entitled to 18 days of paid annual leave that can increase incrementally as well. Moreover, there will be 13 days of paid holidays annually for you to enjoy.
The French business culture has a substantial impact on Moroccan business culture. You can observe some level of formality and courtesy as well. It would help if you established rapport among associates before securing a business deal. Business cards are translated into Arabic and French in Morocco.
How much money do you need to live in Morocco?
You need as much as $1000 a month to be able to live comfortably in Morocco. This accounts for basic needs like food, shelter, health and entertainment.
If you chose to stay long term, here are the factors you need to consider in Morocco.
- Medical Care
- Language Classes
Food is affordable in Morocco. It is much cheaper in Morocco than in other western countries. You can eat sandwiches for $2. You can also dine out at a very reasonable price.
Part of living comfortably in a foreign country is health security. Health care in Morocco can be expensive, especially when you do not have insurance. A basic blood check can cost you around $45 already. Even medicines can cost you more in Morocco compared to other countries in the world.
To survive in Morocco, the long term means you need to learn the local’s language. There are private classes in the country where you can learn languages at a reasonable rate. $30 was the standard rate when you chose to take language classes to face to face.
Another factor that you should consider is rent. The shelter is a massive chunk of your living cost in Morocco. You have to allot $500-$600 for a decent stay in Morocco. It means a modern-furnished studio apartment. Compared to some European countries, rent in Morocco is more expensive.
Morocco is not a developed country, so does its transportation. Since there is no fully developed transportation system in Morocco, riding on a taxi is the norm. If you want to save money and opt not to depend on a cab, there are buses. But public buses can be expensive, especially if you earn in local currency and not a dollar.
Morocco is a Muslim country. Thus some form of entertainment is restricted. Alcohol in Morocco is costly, and it is heavily taxed. If drinking and partying is your form of entertainment, Morocco is an expensive place for you.
Morocco is a developing country. But there is a massive part of its population still living in poverty. The unequal distribution of wealth and imbalance contributes to poverty. Most of the country’s wealth is concentrated among the affluent. It means opportunities are also unequal.
You can observe exact imbalances in different sectors of the country’s economy. The agriculture sector is over-represented by low groups. This may be why many live on the poverty line, as agriculture accounts for a considerable part of its economy.