Jerash Governorate

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The Zarqa River passing in the mountains of Jerash
Jerash Governorate (محافظة جرش)
Landscape of Jerash Governorate in winter (Sakib area)
Country Jordan
Cities Sakib, Kufr Khall, Souf
Capital Jerash
Area 410 km2 (158 sq mi)
Population 237,000 (2015)
Density 578/km2 (1,497/sq mi)
Timezone GMT +2
 - summer (DST) +3
Area code +(962)2
Urban 62.6%
Rural 37.4%
Location of Jerash Governorate in Jordan
The mountains of Jerash Governorate in Sakib constitute the end of the Houran Plateau

Jerash (Arabic: جرش‎‎) is one of the governorates of Jordan; it is located north of Amman, Jordan's capital. It carries the name of its capital and largest city, Jerash City.

Jerash Governorate has the smallest area of the 12 governorates of Jordan, yet it has the second highest density in Jordan after Irbid Governorate. Jerash Governorate is ranked 7th by population.[1]


The city of Jerash is the capital of Jerash Governorate
The town of Sakib in Jerash Governorate
The town of Souf in Jerash Governorate

Jerash is a hilly region with fertile lands, the province is bordered by Irbid Governorate to the north, Ajlun Governorate to the west, Mafraq Governorate and Zarqa Governorate to the east, and Balqa Governorate from the south. The average yearly rainfall in Jerash governorate is in the range of 400–500 mm considered among the highest in the country.[2] The elevation range of the province is 300 to 1300 m above sea level with fresh water streams and the Zarqa River flowing through it, surrounderd by fertile plains, hills and mountains with a mild mediterranean climate.


In the first century of the Christian era this insignificant city (then Gerasa) experienced a fast ascent under Roman rule and the Pax Romana. It became part of the Decapolis and grew increasingly competitive with the older Petra as a commercial town. The inhabitants won ore in the nearby Ajlun mountains. Starting in the middle of the 1st century, this upswing led to active building and a rich abundance of architectural monuments, still impressive today. In the 2nd century, the Roman expansion wars in Asia led to further gains. Well-made roads were built to Pella, Philadelphia (now Amman), Dion and to the provincial capital Bos(t)ra. Emperor Hadrian visited the city in the winter of 129-130. In the following centuries the political situation in this region changed fundamentally and the city's means declined. During this time also Christianity was on the ascendant and many churches were built. Gerasa had its own bishop—still today it is a Titularbistum—and bishop Placcus (or Plancus) participated in the Council of Chalcedon. The mathematician Nicomachus of Gerasa came from this city.


The national census of 2015 shows that the population of Jerash Governorate was 237,059,[3] making up 2.49% of the population of Jordan. This number is an increase by 54% on the population of the governorate in 2004, which was 153,602. Jordanian nationals made up 70.7% of the population in 2015. The foreign nationals who reside in Jerash Governorate made up only 2.38% of the foreign nationals in Jordan. The population in 2004 was distributed as follows:

Jerash Governorate (2004) Jordan (2004)
1 Total population 153, 602 5,350,000
2 Growth rate 2.06% 2.3%
3 Male to female ratio 51.48 to 48.52 51.5 to 48.5
4 Ratio of Jordanians to foreign nationals 87.1 to 12.9 93 to 7
5 Persons per household 5.9 5.3
6 Urban population 51% 78.30%
7 Population 15 years of age or older 52% 55.8%

The next census is scheduled in 2014.

Industry and agriculture[edit]

Jerash is known for its ample olive groves and fruit orchards; almost one-fourth of the total area of the province is covered with olive groves some dating back to Roman times. Estimates put the number of olive trees in Jerash at 2 million. Jerash Governorate has a total annual production of 6500 tons of olives and 1300 tons of olive oil.[6]

The capital city of the province, Jerash, is equidistant from the three largest cities in Jordan; 48 km from Amman, 40 km from Irbid, and 50 km from Zarqa. This proximity has made it difficult for the city to attract investments, as investors tend to invest in one of those cities instead.

Farms in Jerash Governorate
Nahia of Jerash


According to the national census of 2004, about half of the population of Jerash Governorate were 15 years of age or older. 0.55% held a master's of science degree (the national average was 0.8%) and 0.3% held a PhD degree. Jerash Private University is the only university in Jerash Governorate.


Aside from the city that gives the governorate its name, Jerash Governorate comprises 22 villages: Sakib, El-Kitté, Souf, Al-Haddadé, Bellila, Kufranjé, El-Hseiniat, Deir Il-Liyat, Al-Mastaba, Nahlé, Il-Kfeir, Bani Irsheid, Raimoun, An-Nabi Houd, Burma, Al-Jazzazah, Jubbah, Mirse', Muqbila, Al-Msheirfeh,and Qafqafa.

Refugee camps[edit]

There are two Palestinian refugee camps in Jerash Governorate, Souf camp and Jerash camp.


Coordinates: 32°16′37″N 35°54′20″E / 32.2769°N 35.9056°E / 32.2769; 35.9056