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.
Deposit rate on savings at commercial banks Yemen - 2014
Average lending rate on medium term loans in local currency Iraq - 2017
Maximum lending rate on consumer loans in local currency Kuwait - 2016
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.
Rate of natural population increase Algeria - 2016
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.
Expenditure per student, secondary, percentage of GDP per capita Tunisia - 2015
Net enrollment rate, vocational, female Egypt - 2017
Expenditure per student, primary, percentage of GDP per capita Morocco - 2013
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.
Percentage of economic establishments by wastewater disposal method: wastewater network Palestine - 2017
Proportion of water abstracted, households Palestine - 2005
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 Saudi Arabia - 2016
Appointed in high administrative positions, percentage of total employees, female Egypt - 2012
Women in ministerial level positions Tunisia - 2016
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.
Public health spending as percentage of government expenditure Sudan - 2014
HepB3 vaccination coverage (percent of one-year-old children) Mauritania - 2015
Measles vaccination coverage, percent of children ages 12-23 months Mauritania - 2012
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.
Communications, computer, etc as percentage of service exports, BoP Iraq - 2016
Trust in Non-government websites and apps Oman - 2018
Enrolment in programmes offering internet-assisted instruction (IAI), secondary, male Egypt - 2012
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.
Unemployment rate by education, without education Morocco - 2014
Employment distribution by economic activity, education sector Oman - 2010
Unemployment rate, rural United Arab Emirates - 2009
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.
Inflation, year-on-year percentage change of the consumer price index, annual average Djibouti - 2016
Inflation, year-on-year percentage change of the consumer price index, annual average Morocco - 2018
GDP annual growth rate, constant prices Comoros - 2016
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.
Extreme poverty rate, according to household monthly consumption Palestine - 2017
Poverty gap at $1.90 a day, PPP Sudan - 2009
Poverty gap at national poverty line, urban Iraq - 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.
High-technology exports, percentage of manufactured exports Bahrain - 2016
High-technology exports, percentage of manufactured exports Algeria - 2017
Transport services, percentage of commercial service imports Algeria - 2017
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.
Agricultural land, percentage of land area Saudi Arabia - 2016
Industrial water withdrawal, percentage of total withdrawal Mauritania - 2005
Food imports, percentage of total merchandise exports, 3-year average Iraq - 2011