Chronicle of the Middle East and North Africa

Population in the Middle East & North Africa

A general view of al-Atba district of the Egyptian capital Cairo on February 11, 2020. Egypt’s population had reached 100 million in 2020, highlighting the threat of overpopulation in a poverty-stricken country where many live in crowded megacities. Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP


The population in the Middle East and North Africa, amounting to around 547 million people in 2020 ( World Bank ), is very diverse in terms of ethnic, religious and demographic composition.

The distribution of population in the region varies widely: Egypt, Turkey and Iran are the most populous, while Gulf states such as Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain are the least populated. The narrow Gaza Strip remains the most densely populated area.

The Middle East and North Africa is also known for having a high percentage of young population, with high youth unemployment. Many young people who lost hope of building a future in their home country have fled elsewhere.

Unemployment was also one of the driving forces behind the Arab uprisings, also known as the ” Arab Spring “.

Fanack’s Population file presents an analysis of demographic changes, their repercussions on each country of the region, as well as an overview of the ethnic and religious composition.

Our mission is to offer a worthwhile contribution to the publication of balanced background up-to-date information on the topic from an Arab perspective.

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