The standard of living is low in Algeria compared to that
of other oil states and industrial nations; however, there
are significant regional differences. There is a general
shortage of goods. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of DZA and acronym for Algeria. The housing shortage is severe, and
township towns, so-called bidonvilles, have grown up around
the larger cities. About 20% of the population does not have
access to clean water.
The social insurance system guarantees old-age and
sickness pensions, child benefits and free health care for
children and the elderly. However, health care, especially
in rural areas, is unsatisfactory; there are 17 hospital
beds (2004) and twelve doctors (2007) per 10,000 residents.
However, qualified staff are available at 95% of all
deliveries. In 2009, 11% of public spending went to health
care. Infant mortality has been high, mainly due to water
scarcity and water pollution, but has gradually decreased.
The high unemployment rate has dropped from about 30% in
2000 to about 11% in 2008. However, youth unemployment is
still high, which has greatly contributed to the social
unrest that characterizes the country. Many have applied
abroad as guest workers, especially to France.
In the state of the near-civil war that has raged in
Algeria since the 1990s, large sections of the population
are living under strong pressure as a result of the attacks
and acts of terrorism by Islamist extremists, as well as
abuses and harsh methods by government troops and police.
Women have been systematically murdered, as have
journalists, teachers, artists and other carriers of
Despite the fact that gender has equal rights under the
Constitution, women are discriminated against; above all,
they are often not allowed to live modern or "western".
However, the proportion of women in working life has
increased in recent years; In 2009, 37% of adult women were
estimated to be working. Only 8% of MEPs are women. However,
just over half of all university students are women.
There are three particular factors that made Algeria occupy
a special place among developing countries for almost 30
years from 1960-90: the country's liberation from
colonialism, an anti-imperialist foreign policy and a
large-scale development model that would lead to a socialist
society. But the development of recent years has postponed
the dream indefinitely.
The pre-colonial period
The kingdoms formed in ancient times in Algeria were
linked to two political centers in the region: Tunis from
the Carthensian period (year 1000 BCE) and Morocco from the
Arab conquest of the Iberian peninsula (711 AD). The
country's middle position made it possible to gather the
people who were dissatisfied with the tax discrimination
between the Muslims who had long been converted and the
newly converted. That later led to joining the Jaryites
sect. This religious direction advocated for principles of
equality. It believed that the caliph does not have to
descended from Muhammad or his relatives. Thus, every
Muslim regardless of race, color or social status should
have the opportunity to advance to the Caliph. This attitude
was particularly suited to the social reality of the Berbers
as inferior to the Arabs, numerically reduced but
politically hegemonic. Variants of this doctrine enjoyed
widespread use among the Berbers and formed the basis of the
North African empires.
When the Almohad empire came into crisis, the Yaglimorass
ibn Ziane formed a new state along the coast of Algeria that
enjoyed economic and cultural flourishing: the nomads became
settled and the borders consolidated. The Zianids ruled the
country during the period 1235-1518 and had to withstand
Spanish invasions that resulted in the establishment of
support points such as Oran, after Christian Spain in 1492
ended 7 century Muslim domination.