Balqa Governorate

Balqa' (Arabic: البلقاء Al Balqā’) is one of the governorates of Jordan. It is located northwest of Amman, Jordan's capital.

Balqa Governorate
محافظة البلقاء
The city of Al-Salt is the capital of Balqa Governorate
The city of Al-Salt is the capital of Balqa Governorate
Balqa Governorate in Jordan
Balqa Governorate in Jordan
 • GovernorNayef Al-Hidayat
 • Total1,120 km2 (430 sq mi)
 • Total428,000
 • Density380/km2 (990/sq mi)
Time zoneGMT +2
 • Summer (DST)+3
Area code+(962)5
HDI (2017)0.734[1]
high · 4th

The governorate has the fourth largest population of the 12 governorates of Jordan, and is ranked 10th by area. It has the third highest population density in the kingdom after Irbid Governorate and Jerash Governorate.


The "Balqa" historically referred to the entire area of the eastern plateau of the Jordan Valley as early as the 7th century when Heraclius' brother Theodore fought an early campaign against the Arabs on the approaches to southern Syria.[2] During biblical times, the southern part of Balqa was known as the Plains of Moab.[citation needed]

During World War I, the British army led by General Edmund Allenby entered Salt on 24 March 1918, in the Battles for Amman campaign, marking the end of a 500-year Ottoman rule.[citation needed]

On March 21, 1968, the town of Karameh near Shouna al-Janubiyya was the site of Battle of Karameh, between Israel on one side, and Jordan and Palestinian forces (Fatah, PLO) on the other side. It was one of the largest military confrontations of the War of Attrition, in the period between the Six-Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

Ottoman prisoners near al-Salt town, during the First Battle of the Jordan in World War I

Administrative divisionsEdit

The capital of the Balqa' Governorate is Salt. Other cities and towns in the governorate are Mahis, Fuhais and Ain Al-Basha.

Departments of Balqa Governorate by population (2004)[3]
Department Arabic name population (2004) Administrative Center
1 Capital Department (Al-Qasaba) لواء قصبة اﻟﺴﻠﻂ 109,877 Salt
2 Ash-Shunah al-Janubiyah District [ar] ﻟﻮاء اﻟﺸﻮﻧﺔ اﻟﺠﻨﻮﺑﻴﺔ 38,757 Shuna al-Janubiyya
3 Deir Alla District ﻟﻮاء دﻳﺮ ﻋﻼ 46,481 Deir Alla
4 Ain Al Basha District ﻟﻮاء ﻋﻴﻦ اﻟﺒﺎﺷﺎ 128,949 Ain Al-Basha
5 Mahis and Fuheis District ﻟﻮاء ﻣﺎﺣﺺ واﻟﻔﺤﻴﺺ 22,290 Mahis


The population of districts according to census results:[4]

District Population
(Census 1994)
(Census 2004)
(Census 2015)
Balqa Governorate 276,082 346,354 491,709
'Aīn al-Bāshā ... 128,949 176,726
Ash-Shūnah al-Janūbīyah 33,598 38,757 52,714
Dīr 'Allā 39,538 46,481 73,477
Māḥeṣ & al-Fuḥaīṣ ... 22,290 36,670
Qaṣabah as-Salṭ ... 109,877 152,122


Due to its fertile mountains, the governorate's economy is based on agriculture, as well as industry, such as the cement factory in Fuheis, run by Jordan Cement Factories Ltd - Lafarge, and pharmaceutical companies including the Arab Pharmaceutical Manufacturing company.

There are two universities in the governorate: Balqa Applied University (BAU), located near the Salt ring road, and Al-Ahliyya Amman University (AAU) located on the main highway between Amman and Salt. It is also home to the SESAME facility, the first research facility of its type in the Middle East.



  1. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ Howard-Johnston, James, Witnesses to a World Crisis: Historians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 373
  3. ^ 2004 Census Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Jordan: Administrative Division, Governorates and Districts". Retrieved 25 December 2016.