Jordan Ethnic Groups

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

One of the most strategically important countries in the Middle East, Jordan has a surprising amount of ethnic diversity that goes back centuries, but shows the effects of today's conflicts.

Crucial Country of the Middle East

Few countries of the Middle East have the strategic value of Jordan. It has the longest border with Israel, a major U.S. ally in the region, and Jordan is an American ally in its own right. It also represents an area of stability in the otherwise unstable arena of Middle Eastern foreign affairs.

Bedouin and Urbanites

The majority of the population of Jordan is Arab. Well over 90% of all Jordanians are Arabs. However, there are some significant differences within that Arab population that would constitute completely different demographic groups in other regions. Most Jordanian Arabs descend from longstanding families that have settled the older cities of the country, or from the nomadic Bedouin who still live with tents and camels in the desert. In some situations, long standing rivalries between tribes or neighborhoods still simmer today, although these are mostly swept under the rug. That said, while most Jordanians live in urban areas today, a small number of Bedouin still live out in the desert.

Palestinians

There is one other group of Arabs that has lived for decades in sizable numbers in Jordan, and those are the Palestinians. Due to its proximity to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, when Palestinians decide to leave in favor a new country, Jordan is an obvious choice. Approximately 40% of the country is made up of Palestinians, and while they have been offered citizenship by the Jordanian government, some have refused to give up hope that they will be allowed back to their ancestral homes.

Smaller Groups

Given the fact that Jordan was a crucial stop on trade routes for years, it's no surprise that a number of Middle Eastern ethnicities can still be found in small numbers throughout Jordan. The largest non-Arab group to be found in Jordan are Circassians, who originated in the Caucasus region. They are highly regarded by the other ethnicities of the country.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support