Provinces of Jordan

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On 2015-11-27, ISO announced an update that changes the spelling of six governorate names. It just uses a different method of transliteration from Arabic script.

Update 18 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2014-12-31. It changes the name of Amman province to Al `Āşimah.

As of 2013-12-20, Jordan has changed its standard time from UTC+3 to UTC+2. This follows an earlier change in the same year, when it changed its standard time from UTC+2 to UTC+3, and stopped observing DST. It plans to remain on standard time for the near future.

ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. Most of the changes are merely to the sort order of the list of provinces. There are some minor spelling changes as well.

Country overview: 

Short nameJORDAN
ISO codeJO
LanguageArabic (ar)
Time zone+2


The area now in Jordan was once part of the vilayet of Syria, in the Ottoman Empire. Some eastern desert parts of Jordan were in Nejd (Arabia), but the border between Syria and Nejd was indeterminate. During World War I, the British and French defeated the Turks and divided up the southern part of their empire. Britain created several colonies, including Transjordania, which was established on 1922-09-01. The name was changed to Transjordan ~1935. Transjordan became independent on 1946-06-17, changing its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The West Bank was annexed by Jordan on 1950-04-24. Iraq and Jordan joined together to form the Arab Federation for a few months in 1958. The West Bank was occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War (1967-06-05 to 1967-06-10). Since then, it has been mainly under Israeli administration. It is currently included in "Palestinian Territory, Occupied".

Other names of country: 

  1. Arabic: al Mamlaka al Urduniya al Hashemiyah (formal)
  2. Danish: Jordan
  3. Dutch: Jordanië, Hasjemistisch Koninkrijk Jordanië (formal)
  4. English: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (formal)
  5. Finnish: Jordania
  6. French: Jordanie f
  7. German: Jordanien n
  8. Icelandic: Jórdanía
  9. Italian: Giordania f
  10. Norwegian: Det hasjimittiske kongerike Jordan (formal) (Bokmål), Det hasjimittiske kongeriket Jordan (formal) (Nynorsk), Jordan
  11. Portuguese: Jordánia, Jordânia (Brazil), Reino m Hashemita da Jordánia f (formal)
  12. Russian: Иордан (variant), Иордания, Иорданское Хашимитское Королевство (formal)
  13. Spanish: Jordania, Reino m Hachemita de Jordania (formal)
  14. Swedish: Jordanien
  15. Turkish: Ürdün Haşimi Krallığı (formal)

Origin of name: 

Land of the Jordan River

Primary subdivisions: 

Jordan is divided into twelve muhafazat (sing. muhafazah: provinces).

Ajlun JO.AJJO20 118,72594,548 412 159
Amman JO.AMJO161,942,0661,576,2388,231 3,178
Aqaba JO.AQJO21 102,09779,839 6,583 2,542
Balqa JO.BAJO02 346,354276,082 1,076 415
Irbid JO.IRJO18 928,292751,634 1,621 626
Jarash JO.JAJO22 153,602123,190 402 155
Karak JO.KAJO09 204,185169,770 3,217 1,242
Ma`an JO.MNJO19 94,25379,670 33,16312,804
Madaba JO.MDJO23 129,960107,321 2,008 775
Mafraq JO.MAJO15 244,188178,914 26,43510,207
TafilahJO.ATJO12 75,26762,783 2,114 816
Zarqa JO.AZJO17 764,650639,469 4,080 1,575
12 provinces 5,103,6394,139,45889,34234,494
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods
    are replaced by hyphens, these are the same as the province
    codes from ISO standard 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
  • Pop-2004: 2004-10-01 census (source [1]).
  • Pop-1994: 1994-12-10 census.
  • Capitals have the same name as their province, except
    for As Salt, the capital of Balqa.

Postal codes: 

Jordan uses five-digit postal codes.

Further subdivisions:

See the Sub-districts of Jordan page.

Territorial extent: 

The UN LOCODE page  for Jordan lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.

Origins of names: 

  1. Amman: from Ammon, patriarch of the Ammonites
  2. Aqaba: Arabic for obstacle

Change history: 

  1. 1946-06-17: Jordan was composed of the provinces of Al Balqa', Al Karak, `Ajlun, and Ma`an, plus unorganized land in the east known as Desert.
  2. 1950-04-24: Jordan annexed the area of former Palestine between Israeli-held territory and the Jordan River, dividing it into the provinces of Hebron (Al-Khalil), Jerusalem (Al-Quds), and Nablus (Nabulus). Here are the divisions of Jordan in the 1952 census (source [2]).
`Ajlun 213,877
Amman 190,499
Balqa 92,892
Hebron 125,651
Karak 60,556
Ma`an 29,061
Nablus 315,236
8 districts1,329,174
  • Population: 1952-09-08 census.
  1. ~1955: Al `Asimah province split from Al Balqa'.
  2. ~1964: Name of `Ajlun province changed to Irbid.
  3. 1964: Jenin and Zarqa districts created.
  4. 1965-12-16: Jordan reorganized. It had previously been divided into two governorates (Amman and Al Quds), eight liwas (districts), and the Desert Administration (legally part of Amman). The status of six districts (Al Balqa, Al Karak, Al Khalil, Irbid, Ma'an, and Nabulus) was changed to governorate. Jenin district merged with Nabulus; Zarqa district merged with Amman.
  5. 1972: When the first FIPS standard appeared, it showed the following divisions of Jordan. (Names are as given on the CIA map dated 1967-11. Districts in the West Bank are named after the Arabic fashion, but their capitals are shown with the corresponding English names.)
Al `ĀşimahJO01`Ammān
Al Balqā JO02As Salţ
Al Karak JO03Al Karak
Al Khalīl JO04Hebron
Al Quds JO05Jerusalem
Irbid JO06Irbid
Ma`ān JO07Ma`ān
Nābulus JO08Nābulus
  1. 1967-06-10: West Bank (Al-Khalil, Al-Quds, and Nabulus governorates) came under control of Israel.
  2. ~1988: Al Karak split into three parts, which became Al Karak, At Tafilah, and part of Ma`an provinces; Irbid split into Irbid and part of Al Mafraq province; Al `Asimah split into `Amman, Az Zarqa', and the other part of Al Mafraq.
  3. 1996-01-01: Ajlun and Jarash provinces split from Irbid, Aqaba split from Ma`an, Madaba split from Amman. A strip of land in the northeastern part of Amman was transferred to Zarqa.

Other names of subdivisions: 

These names are written originally in the Arabic alphabet. There are many ways to transliterate from Arabic to Roman letters. The article may be omitted.

  1. Ajlun: Ajloan, Ajloun, `Ajlun (variant)
  2. Amman: Al `Āşimah, `Ammān (variant); Amã (Portuguese); Ammán (Spanish)
  3. Aqaba: Al `Aqabah (variant)
  4. Balqa: Al Balqā', Balka, Belqa (variant)
  5. Karak: Al Karak, Kerak (variant)
  6. Ma`an: Ma`ān (variant)
  7. Madaba: Mādabā (variant)
  8. Tafilah: Aţ Ţafīlah, Tafiela, Tafileh (variant)
  9. Zarqa: Az Zarqā' (variant)


  1. [1] Jordan Department of Statistics: Population and Housing Census 2004 . Table 3.1, Distribution of Population by Category, Sex, Nationality, Administrative Statistical Divisions and Urban - Rural (retrieved 2007-10-20). Census 1994 figures come from the same site (retrieved 2004-12-01).
  2. [2] Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1957 edition.
  3. [3] Jordan in Figures 2001.
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