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A Comprehensive Guide to the Governorates of Jordan

Jordan, a Middle Eastern country rich in history and culture, is divided into twelve key regions known as governorates. These governorates, each with its unique characteristics and demographic structure, play a pivotal role in the country's administrative and socio-economic framework.

The Historical Regions and Administrative Divisions

Historically, Jordan is divided into twelve regions, referred to as almanatiq altaarikhia. These regions are further divided into districts, known as liwa, and often into sub-districts or qada. These administrative divisions play a critical role in managing the diverse geography and demographics of the country.

In 1994, the Ministry of Interior introduced a reform, creating four new governorates: Jerash, Ajloun, Madaba, and Aqaba. These were carved out from existing governorates to better manage the resources and population of these areas.

Geographical Regions vs Metropolitan Areas

Geographically, the governorates are classified into three regions: the North Region, Central Region, and the South Region. These regions are not defined by area or population, but by geographical connectivity and the distance among the population centers.

The South Region is separated from the Central Region by the Mountains of Moab in Karak Governorate. Similarly, the Central and North Region are separated by the mountains of Jerash Governorate. This geographical distinction has a significant impact on the socio-economic dynamics of these regions.

In terms of metropolitan influence, the cities of Amman, Salt, Zarqa, and Madaba form a large metropolitan area where business interactions are predominantly influenced by Amman. On the other hand, Jerash, Ajloun, and Mafraq are more influenced by the city of Irbid.

Districts within the Governorates

Each of these governorates is further subdivided into districts, known as liwa. These districts serve as the administrative centers or "chief towns" within the governorates. Some of the key districts within the major governorates include:

  • Amman Governorate: Amman, Al-Jiza, Al-Muwwaqqar, Na'oor, Al-Quesmah, Sahab, Marka, Wadi al-Sayr, Al-Jami'ah
  • Balqa Governorate: Mahes & Fuhais, Albasha, As-Salt, Dair Alla, Ash-Shunah al-Janubiyah District
  • Madaba Governorate: Dhiban, Madaba
  • Zarqa Governorate: Russeifa, Az-Zarqa, Hashemiyah
  • Ajlun Governorate: Ajlun, Kofranjah

These districts, and many others within the other governorates, form the backbone of Jordan's administrative structure, enabling effective governance and resource management.
In conclusion, the administrative divisions of Jordan, its governorates, and districts play a pivotal role in maintaining the country's socio-economic balance. Each governorate, with its unique characteristics, contributes to the rich cultural and historical tapestry of Jordan.

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