After winning independence from France in 1962, the north African nation of Algeria was led by the National Liberation Front for three decades. The election of 1991 led to an insurgency that lasted until 1998, causing the deaths of more than 100,000 people. Since then, the Algerian government has been plagued with extensive unemployment (12.4 percent), a housing shortage, unstable infrastructures, and widespread corruption. Some 65 percent of the population is urbanized, and the economy is heavily dependent on industry (62.5 percent). With a per capita income of $7,100, almost a fourth of the population lives in poverty.

There is neither ethnic nor religious diversity-99 percent of the population is Arab-Berber, and the state religion is Sunni Muslim (99 percent). The Algerian constitution stipulates that women ...

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