Algeria (/ (listen) JEER-ee-ə) is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. The capital and most populous city is Algiers, located in the far north of the country on the Mediterranean coast. With an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), Algeria is the tenth-largest country in the world, and the largest in the African Union and Arab World. With an estimated population of over 42 million, it is among the ten most populous states in Africa. Algeria is bordered to the northeast by Tunisia, to the east by Libya, to the west by Morocco, to the southwest by the Western Saharan territory, Mauritania, and Mali, to the southeast by Niger, and to the north by the Mediterranean Sea. It is a semi-presidential republic consisting of 48 provinces and 1,541 communes (counties).
Pre-1962 Algeria has known many empires and dynasties, including ancient Numidians, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Idrisid, Aghlabid, Rustamid, Fatimids, Zirid, Hammadids, Almoravids, Almohads, Zayyanids, Spaniards, Ottomans and, finally, the French colonial empire.
Algeria is a regional and middle power. It has the highest human development index of all non-island African countries and one of the largest economies on the continent, based largely on energy exports. Algeria has the 16th largest oil reserves in the world and the second largest in Africa, while it has the ninth largest reserves of natural gas. Sonatrach, the national oil company, is the largest company in Africa, supplying large amounts of natural gas to Europe. Algeria has one of the largest militaries in Africa and the largest defence budget. It is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, the United Nations, and the Arab Maghreb Union, of which it is a founding member.
Other forms of the name are: Arabic: الجزائر, romanized: al-Jazāʾir, Algerian Arabic: الدزاير, romanized: al-dzāyīr; French: Algérie). It is officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria (Arabic: الجمهورية الجزائرية الديمقراطية الشعبية, romanized: al-Jumhūriyya al-Jazāʾiriyya ad-Dīmuqrāṭiyya aš-Šaʿbiyya, French: République algérienne démocratique et populaire, abbreviated as RADP).
The country's name derives from the city of Algiers which in turn derives from the Arabic al-Jazāʾir (الجزائر, "The Islands"), a truncated form of the older Jazāʾir Banī Mazghanna (جزائر بني مزغنة, "Islands of the Mazghanna Tribe"), employed by medieval geographers such as al-Idrisi.