Jordan's capital, Amman, concentrates more than half of country's population and its GDP. A safe spot in the region, Jordan, was home to refugees for decades. Over 2011-2016 Amman's population rose by 44% and foreigners accounted for one-third of the population in 2015. Real GDP per capita slumped by one-quarter over the period, amid a sluggish job creation environment. The government promises incentives and stability to investors, but the crises in Syria and Iraq remain major deterrents
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Labour productivity in Amman (USD24,200 in 2016) was 31% above that in the rest of Jordan, but very low compared to other Middle Eastern metropoles: USD97,500 in Abu Dhabi, USD82,400 in Jerusalem, and USD27,700 in Tehran.
Higher labour productivity is a prime factor for Amman's 34% advantage in average household disposable income against the rest of Jordan in 2016. The labour force participation rate is low by global standards (28% in 2016), but a large average household size (4.9 occupants in 2016) compensates for this.
In line with higher disposable income, consumer expenditure per household in Amman, less housing and transport, were 35% higher than elsewhere in Jordan, in 2016. Households in Amman spent substantially more on education (6.3% of total consumer expenditures versus 4.8% elsewhere in Jordan). Food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 37% of total expenditure, albeit smaller than the 40% share elsewhere in country.
Average household expenditure on housing and transport in Amman was 64% higher than elsewhere in Jordan in 2016. Housing costs particularly more, 77% more in absolute terms. With no modern public transportation system in the city, households in Amman also spent considerably more on transport (+48%).