The banking and financial markets in the Arab Region are one of the fastest growing worldwide. More than 330 Arab banking and financial institutions operate in the Arab region today, with total banking assets amounting to 140% of GDP, or USD 3.4 trillion, total deposits accounting for more than USD 2.2 trillion and total loans reaching USD 1.9 trillion by the end of 2016.
Central bank assets to GDP Libya - 2016
Financial corporations to GDP ratio at constant prices Bahrain - 2016
Account ownership at a financial institution or with a mobile-money-service provider, secondary education or more, percent of population ages 15+ Comoros - 2011
By 2018, the Arab region was home to 422.7 million inhabitants representing 5.5% of the world’s population and growing by 1.9% in 2018. The three most populous countries in the region are Egypt (99.3 million), Algeria (42 million) and Sudan (41.5 million), while the population in Comoros and Djibouti is less than one million in 2018.
International migrant stock, percentage of population Yemen - 2017
The Arab region has registered a remarkable trend of growing gains in educational attainment and more equitable access to formal education since the beginning of the millennium, with impressive progress towards gender parity across all stages of education. Gross primary enrolment reached 98.9% in 2016, up from 90.5% in 2000 and gross tertiary enrollment increased to 73.5% in 2016 up from 61% in 2000. Adult literacy rate also increased from 65% to 75.3% between 2000 and 2016.
Proportion of students in Grade 2 or 3 achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in reading, did not speak the language of the test at home Kuwait - 2011
Illiteracy rate Tunisia - 2014
Proportion of students at the end of lower secondary education achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in mathematics Jordan - 2015
The Arab region is one of the world’s richest regions in terms of oil and natural gas resources. According to recent estimates, 42% of the world proven oil reserves and 29% of the world’s proven natural gas reserves are located in the Arab region. Electricity production in the region relies heavily on conventional fuel sources, with a production amounting to 1,050 TWh in 2014, of which only 40 TWh were produced using renewable sources. The electrification rate in 15 Arab countries was above the World average of 85 percent in 2012, with 6 countries reaching 100 percent electrification rate.
The Arab region comprises one of the largest deserts in the world making up around 18% of the total surface area of the Arab region. The region is characterized by an arid and semi-arid climate. The rapidly growing population and high urbanization rates exert increasing pressures on the available natural resources.
Forest area as a proportion of total land area Saudi Arabia - 2016
PM2.5 pollution, population exposed to levels exceeding WHO Interim Target-2 value, percent of total Syria - 2017
Forest area as a proportion of total land area Comoros - 2016
By 2017, women made up almost half of the total Arab population and 22.6% of the total labor force in the region. With significant improvements made in health and education over the last 15 years, gender-based disparities continue in the labor markets and the political space remains the most challenging for women.
Women in ministerial level positions Kuwait - 2016
Seats held by women in national parliaments Lebanon - 2010
Firms with female top manager, percent of firms Jordan - 2013
Some Arab countries have made intense efforts to make their economies more open and to improve their level of competitiveness, such as the United Arab Emirates which ranked 17th, the highest in the region, among 137 countries on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) in 2017-18, followed by Qatar, ranking 25th.
Percentage of people who think that government officials are involved in corruption Sudan - 2016
Positive public opinion about the current government’s performance in improving basic health services Saudi Arabia - 2011
Positive public opinion about the current government’s performance in improving basic health services Kuwait - 2013
The Arab region has made a clear progress in a number of health and health-related outcomes. The average life expectancy increased from 58.5 years in 1980 to 71 years in 2015. Under-fivemortality has significantly decreased from an average of 81.2 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 38 per 1000 in 2016.
Smoking prevalence among adults, percent of adults, female Algeria - 2016
Proportion of the target population with access to measles-containing-vaccine second-dose (MCV2) Lebanon - 2017
DTP3 vaccination coverage, percent of one-year-old children Qatar - 2017
Mobile-cellular subscriptions have been substituting fixed-telephone subscriptions in the Arab region. In the former has increased by around 40% between 2010 and 2018 reaching a penetration rate of 103.1% in 2018, whereas fixed-telephone subscriptions have dropped by 7% during the same period reaching a penetration rate of 7.7% in 2018. The percentage of individuals (% of total population) using the internet in the Arab Region has more than doubled in 2018 at 54.7% up from 24% in 2010, with wide variations between the different Arab countries.
Proportion of businesses using the Internet for accessing other financial services, Education Qatar - 2015
Enrolment in programmes offering internet-assisted instruction (IAI), primary Oman - 2012
Mobile-specific tax, proportion of cost of mobile ownership Morocco - 2017
The Arab countries share common labor market features and challenges. The labor force participation rate in the region is the lowest worldwide at 48.6 % in 2017, with highest rates observed in the GCC countries. The unemployment rate in the Arab region remains one of the highest in the world registering 10.2% in 2017 compared to 5.7% worldwide. This rate is especially high among youth at 26.7% in 2017.
Employment distribution by education, nationals, less than secondary Jordan - 2018
Unemployment rate by education, university and above university Egypt - 2017
Unemployment distribution by duration of unemployment, nationals, 4 to 6 months Jordan - 2016
Macroeconomic performance tends to diverge across the Arab countries between major oil and natural gas exporting countries and other countries in the region, such as those plagued by protracted crises. For the Arab region, as a whole, the GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, constant 2011 prices) leveled at Int$ 6,302.6 billion in 2016, constituting 5.6% of the world’s GDP.
Agriculture, gross value added, percentage of GDP Morocco - 2017
Inflation, year-on-year percentage change of the consumer price index, annual average Palestine - 2018
Services, gross value added, percentage of GDP Palestine - 2017
The Arab region witnessed an improvement in its Human Development Index (HDI), from 0.613 in 2000 to 0.699 in 2017, but it remained below the world average of 0.728. Despite this positive overall trend in human development, poverty remains one of the paramount challenges and major impediments to inclusive development in the region, and that’s why “Ending poverty in all its forms everywhere” was considered a top priority in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Poverty headcount ratio at national poverty line, as a percentage of the population, urban Djibouti - 2002
Proportion of population covered by the National Social Security Fund, resident Lebanon - 2007
Poverty gap at national poverty line Lebanon - 2012
Arab countries’ total share of world exports has doubled since 2000, reaching 7% in 2014. Fuel exports, representing the vast majority of exports in the oil-producing countries, amounted to 73% of the region’s merchandise in 2015. When excluding fuel, the Arab region’s non-oil exports made up 2% of the world exports in 2013 up from 1% in 2000.
In most Arab countries, water has become a critical natural resource. Most countries in the region are classified as arid or semiarid or, receiving less than 250 mm of rainfall annually. Renewable water resources per inhabitant reached 736 m3 in 2014, compared to a world average of about 6,000 m3 per inhabitant, placing 13 out of 22 Arab countries in the category of severe water scarcity at less than 500 m3 per capita.
Municipal water withdrawal, percentage of total withdrawal Sudan - 2011
Industrial water withdrawal, percentage of total withdrawal Iraq - 2000
Average dietary energy supply adequacy, 3-year average United Arab Emirates - 2016