Demographics of the Arab League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Population density of the League members

The Arab League (League of Arab States) is a social, cultural and economic grouping of 22 Arab states in the Arab world. As of January 1, 2007, the combined population of all the Arab states was around 340 million people.

The most populous Arab League member state is Egypt, with a population of 92 million residents. Djibouti is the least populated, with around 500,000 inhabitants.

Population growth

The population of the Arab League as estimated by the CIA in July, 2014 was around 357,000,000. No exact figures of the League's annual population growth, fertility rate, or mortality rate are known to exist.

Most of the Arab League's population is concentrated in and around major urban areas.[1]

Muhammad's Islamic Ummah, Christianity and Judaism were all reportedly founded in or near areas that are now Arab League countries. Consequently, the majority of the Arab League's citizens are either Muslims, Christians or Jews. The countries of the Arab League host several holy cities and other religiously significant locations, including Alexandria, Mecca, Medina, Kirkuk, Arbil, and Baghdad. Sunni Muslims constitute the majority of the Arab League's residents. However, large numbers of Shi'a Muslims make up the majority in areas of Lebanon, Iraq, and Bahrain.

Christianity is the second largest religion in the League, with over 20 million Christians living in countries such as Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Kuwait and Jordan. There are smaller Jewish populations living mainly in the western part of the Arab league. Places such as Bahrain, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, Tunisia, Syria, Egypt and Iraq all have Jewish populations. However, most Arab Jews emigrated from the Arab states to Israel after its founding in 1948.[2] Other minor religions such as Druze religion, the Bahá'í Faith, Mandeanism, Yazdanism, Zoroastrianism, Shabak religion and Yarsan are practiced on a much smaller scale.

The holiest place in Islam, the Kaaba, is located in Saudi Arabia.

Religious percentages of the Arab League

N Country Muslims Christians Others
_  Arab League 90% 6% 4%
1  Algeria 98% 1% 1%
2  Bahrain 70% 15% 15%
3  Comoros 98% 2% n/a
4  Djibouti 94% 6% n/a
5  Egypt 90% 10% n/a
6  Iraq 95% 4.3% 0.7%
7  Jordan 92% 6% 2%
8  Kuwait 85% 7% 8%
9  Lebanon 54% 41% 5%
10  Libya 97% 2.4% 0.6%
11  Mauritania 99% 0% 0%
12  Morocco 98.7% 1.1% 0.2%
13  Oman 85.9% 6.5% 7.6%
14  Qatar 67.9% 13.8% 18.5%
15  Palestine 90% 9.8% 0.2
16  Saudi Arabia 97% 1.3% 1.7%
17  Somalia 99% 0% 0%
18  Sudan 97% 1.5% 1.5%
19  Syria 87% 10% 3%
20  Tunisia 98% 1% 1%
21  United Arab Emirates 76% 9.0% 15%
22  Yemen 99% 0% 0%

Language

Major languages of the Arab League (the map is not precise)
An overview of the different Arabic dialects

Arabic is the Arab League's official language, but additional languages are often used in the daily lives of some of the League's citizens. Currently, three major languages other than Arabic are used widely: Kurdish in northern Iraq and parts of Syria, Berber in North Africa, and Somali in the Horn of Africa.

There are several minority languages that are still spoken today, such as Afar, Armenian, Hebrew, Nubian, Persian, Aramaic, Mandic, Syriac, and Turkmen. Arabic is a non-native language to 20% of the Arab League's population, with the Somali, Berber and Kurdish languages considered the most widely used after Arabic.

On the other hand, Arabic is divided into over 27 dialects. Almost every Arab state has at least one local dialect of its own. they can be divided into 5 major branches, the Peninsula Arabic, which is the Arabic used in the Arabian peninsula, with around 9 main dialects, Arabic of the Nile Valley, which includes the Masri, Saedi, Sudanese and Chadic Arabic, the Arabic of the Fertile Crescent, which includes the Bedawi, Levant Arabic, Iraqi Arabic and North Mesopotamian Arabic, the Magharbi Arabic, which includes the Dialects used in Mauritania, Morocco, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia, also another category of Arabic is the other isolated dialects of Arabic, like the Judeo-Arabic, Mediterranean Arabic, Nubi Arabic, and the juba Arabic, which have greatly been affected by these communities' own pronunciation, culture and native tongue.

Arab League populations

According to the League of Arab States, the Arab League is an organization of independent Arab States in North and Northeast Africa and Southwest Asia.[3] Member nations are in turn bound by the Charter of the Arab League.[4]

Many Arab countries in the Persian Gulf have sizable (10–30%) non-Arab populations. Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman have a Persian speaking minority. The same countries also have Hindi-Urdu speakers and Filipinos as sizable minority. Balochi speakers are a good size minority in Oman. Additionally, countries like Bahrain, UAE, Oman and Kuwait have significant non-Arab and non-Muslim minorities (10–20%) like Hindus and Christians from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines.

Many non-Arab countries bordering the Arab states have large Arab populations, such as in Chad, Israel, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Turkey.

The table below shows the distribution of populations in the Arab world and Israel, as well as the official language(s) within the various Arab states.

Country Population Official language(s) Notes
 Algeria 38,700,000[5] Arabic co-official language with Berber
 Bahrain 1,314,089[6] Arabic official language
 Comoros 766,865[7] Arabic co-official language with Comorian and French
 Djibouti 810,179[8] Arabic co-official language with French
 Egypt 86,895,099[9] Arabic official language
 Iraq 32,585,692[10] Arabic co-official language with Kurdish
 Jordan 7,930,491[11] Arabic official language
 Kuwait 4,156,306[12] Arabic official language 60% of Kuwait's population is Arab (including Kuwaitis and Arab expatriates).
 Lebanon 5,882,562[13] Arabic official language
 Libya 6,244,174[14] Arabic official language
 Mauritania 3,516,806[15] Arabic official language
 Morocco 32,987,206[16] Arabic co-official language with Berber
 Oman 3,219,775[17] Arabic official language
State of Palestine Palestine 4,225,710 Arabic official language Gaza Strip: 1,763,387, 100% Palestinian Arab,[18] West Bank: 2,676,740, 83% Palestinian Arab and other[19]
 Qatar 2,123,160[20] Arabic official language
 Saudi Arabia 27,345,986[21] Arabic official language
 Somalia 10,428,043[22] Arabic co-official language with Somali
 Sudan 35,482,233[23] Arabic co-official language with English
 Syria 17,951,639[24] Arabic official language
 Tunisia 10,937,521[25] Arabic official language
 United Arab Emirates 8,264,070[26] Arabic official language
 Yemen 26,052,966[27] Arabic official language

Armenians

Armenian refugees after the Hamidian massacres. A lot of them settled in Syria, Lebanon and Egypt

The Arab world has between 400,000 and 500,000 Armenians inhabiting its geographical area. Armenians are largely concentrated in countries such as Lebanon 150,000 - 250,000 and Syria 100,000 to 150,000 and to a lesser degree Egypt and Iraq, but Armenians can also be found in countries like Qatar and the UAE. These Armenians are economic migrants from Lebanon and Syria.

Most Armenians are Christians mainly following the Orthodox Armenian Apostolic Church. The church has one of its two headquarters in Antelias, Lebanon, called The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia (the other being in Armenia called Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin). There are also Armenian Catholics. The world headquarters of the Armenian Catholic Church is also located in Beirut, Lebanon (and historically in Bzoummar, Lebanon). There are also a minority Armenian Evangelical Protestants. The Middle East headquarters of the Armenian Evangelical Church is in Beirut called Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East.

Assyrians

Assyrians (also known as Chaldo-Assyrians) can be found in Iraq, north eastern Syria, and to a lesser degree north western Iran and south eastern Turkey. They are an ancient Semitic people who retain Aramaic as a spoken language. They are exclusively Christian and are descendants of the ancient pre Arab Assyrians/Mesopotamians. Almost all Christians in Iraq are ethnic Assyrians, where they number approximately 800,000. Numbers in Syria are harder to identify, because they are often included in with the general Christian population, however the Christians of the Tur Abdin and Al Hasakah regions in the north east are predominantly Assyrians.

Berbers

The town of Aït Benhaddou is a typical desert Amazigh town; the Berbers (Amazigh) are the largest non-Arab ethnicity in the Arab League.

Berbers are an ethnic group indigenous to North Africa. They are distributed in an area stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River. Historically, they spoke Berber languages, which together form the Berber branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. Since the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the seventh century, a large number of Berbers inhabiting the Maghreb have acquired different degrees of knowledge of varieties of Maghrebi Arabic.

Circassians

Circassians are a people who originate in the North Caucasus. They are predominantly Muslim, and can be found in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon in relatively small numbers.

Copts

Egyptian Copts are an ethno-religious group who do not identify themselves as Arab. They place heavy emphasis on the Egyptian aspect of their identity and their Christian heritage. Their numbers are heavily disputed but are estimated to compromise roughly 10% of the Egyptian population. They are mainly followers of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, there are however a minority among them who are members of the Coptic Catholic Church, and an even smaller group who belong to the Coptic Evangelical Church. The Coptic language, which directly descends from the Egyptian spoken in ancient Egypt, continues to be used as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

Jews

The Jewish tribes of Arabia were Arabian tribes professing the Jewish faith that inhabited the Arabian Peninsula before and during the advent of Islam. It is not always clear whether they were originally Israelite in ancestry, genealogically Arab tribes that converted to Judaism, or a mixture of both. In Islamic tradition the Jewish tribes of the Hejaz were seen as the offspring of the ancient Israelites.[28]:4–5 According to Muslim sources, they spoke a language other than Arabic, which Al-Tabari claims was Persian. This implies they were connected to the major Jewish center in Babylon.[28]:5 Certain Jewish traditions records the existence of nomadic tribes such as the Rechabites that converted to Judaism in antiquity. The tribes collapsed with the rise of Islam, with many either converting or fleeing the Arab peninsula. Some of those tribes are thought to have merged into Yemenite Jewish community, while others, like the residents of Yatta consider themselves Islamized descendants of Khaybar, a Jewish tribe of Arabia.

Jews from Arab countries – included in the Mizrahi Jewish communities– are not categorized as, and do not consider themselves to be, Arabs, as Jews are a separate nation from Arabs, with different history and culture.[29] However, sometimes the term Arab Jews is used to describe Jews from Arab countries, though the term is highly controversial. Sociologist Sammy Smooha stated "This ("Arab Jews") term does not hold water. It is absolutely not a parallel to 'Arab Christian'".[30] Those who dispute the historicity of the term make the claim that Middle Eastern Jews are similar to Assyrians, Berbers, and other Middle Eastern groups who live in Arab societies as distinct minority groups with distinct identity and therefore are not categorized as Arabs.

Kurds

In the northern regions of Iraq (15-20%) and Syria (10%) live the Kurds, an Indo-European ethnic group who speak Kurdish, a language closely related to Persian and using Persian alphabet (In Turkey, Kurds use Latin alphabet). The majority of Kurds are Sunni Muslim, others are Alevi Muslim, with Christian and Yarsan minorities. The nationalist aspiration for self-rule or for a state of Kurdistan has created conflict between Kurdish minorities and their governments in Iraq, Iran (20-28%), Syria and Turkey (25-30%).

Mandaeans

Mandaeans, sometimes also called Sabians, are a people found mainly in southern Iraq. Their numbers total no more than 70,000. They follow Mandaeism, a gnostic religion.

Mhallami

Mhallami are a tiny minority of the Assyrian/Syriac people who have converted to Islam but retained their Syriac culture.

Nubians

Nubians, found in Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt, are a different ethnicity from their northern and southern neighbors in Egypt and Sudan, numbering 1.7 million in Sudan and Egypt. The Nubian people in Sudan inhabit the region between Wadi Halfa in the north and Aldaba in the south. The main Nubian groups from north to south are the Halfaweyen, Sikut (Sickkout), Mahas, and Danagla. They speak different dialects of the Nubian language.

Ancient Nubians were famous for their vast wealth, their trade between Central Africa and the lower Nile valley civilizations, including Egypt, their skill and precision with the bow, their 23-letter alphabet, the use of deadly poison on the heads of their arrows, their great military, their advanced civilization, and their century-long rule over the united upper and lower Egyptian kingdoms.

Roma

Roma are to be found in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa; their numbers are unknown. They speak their own language and may loosely follow the predominant religion of the country they live in.[31]

Shabaks

Shabaks are mainly found in Iraq, they are either Muslim or follow native religions. They are also related to Kurds, but like the Yazidi, emphasise their separate identity.

Somalis

Somali and Arabic are the two official languages in Somalia, both of which belong to the Afro-Asiatic family. Article 3 of the constitution outlines the country's founding principles, establishing it as a Muslim state, and a member of the Arab and African nations.[32] About 85% of local residents are ethnic Somalis,[33] who have historically inhabited the northern part of the country.[34] Many self-identify as Somali instead of Arab despite centuries-old ties to Arabia.[35] There are also a number of Benadiris, Bravanese, Bantus, Bajunis, Ethiopians, Indians, Pakistanis, Persians, Britons and Italians.[34][36]

Djibouti, whose demographics are approximately 60% Somali and 35% Afar, is in a similar position. Arabic is one of the official languages, 94% of the nation's population is Muslim, and its location on the Red Sea places it in close proximity to the Arabian Peninsula. Somali and Afar are also recognized national languages.[37]

Turkmen and Turks

The Arab world is also home to sizeable populations of Turkmen, such as Iraqi Turkmen. These are related to the Azeri people of Iran. The vast majority of Turkmen are secular Muslim, but there are a small number of Christians also. They live predominantly in Northern Iraq, but in smaller numbers in Syria and Lebanon.

The Turks colonized many Arab countries during the rule of the Ottoman Empire; today there are Turkish minorities living in Algeria (Algerian Turks), Egypt (Egyptian Turks), Jordan (Jordan Turks), Lebanon (Lebanese Turks), Syria (Syrian Turks), Tunisia (Tunisian Turks), and Yemen (Yemeni Turks).

Yazidi

The Yazidi are a religious Kurdish community who represent an ancient religion that is linked to Zoroastrianism and Sufism. They number 500,000 in Iraq and 14,000 in Syria.

Modern identities

North Africans

North Africans are the inhabitants of the North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania). They mostly speak Maghrebi Arabic, which is descended from Classical Arabic and has a marked Berber substratum.

In 647 AD (the year 27 of the Hegira), the first Muslim expedition to Africa took place. By 700 AD, the area had been conquered and converted to the Islamic faith. We know little of the early Islamic town, but by the tenth century the area outside of the fortress was once more filled with houses: on the site of the Roman baths over twelve of these were excavated, with large courtyards surrounded by long, thin, rooms.[38]

After conquering Cairo, the Fatimids abandoned Tunisia and parts of eastern Algeria to the local Zirids (972–1148).[39] The invasion of Ifriqiya by the Banu Hilal, a warlike Arab tribes encouraged by the Fatimids of Egypt to seize North Africa, sent the region's urban and economic life into further decline.[39]

Similar to an army of locusts, they destroy everything in their path.

Genetics

Y-Chromosome

Listed here are the human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroups in main regions of the Arab world (Maghreb, Mashriq and Arabian peninsula).[41]

Haplogroup n A B C DE E1a E1b1a E1b1b1 E1b1b1a E1b1b1a1 E1b1b1a1b E1b1b1a2 E1b1b1a3 E1b1b1a4 E1b1b1b E1b1b1c F G H I J1 J2 K L N O P,R Q R1a1 R1b R1b1a R1b1b R2 T
Marker M33 M2 M35 M78 V12 V32 V13 V22 V65 M81 M34 M89 M201 M69 M343 V88 M269 M70
Maghreb
Sahara/Mauritania 189 - 0.53 - - 5.29 6.88 - - - - - - - 55.56 11.11 - - - - 13.23 - - - - - - - - - 6.88 0.53 - -
Morocco 760 0.26 0.66 - - 2.76 3.29 4.21 0.79 0.26 - 0.26 1.84 3.68 67.37 0.66 0.26 0.66 - 0.13 6.32 1.32 0.53 - - - 0.26 - - - 0.92 3.55 - -
Algeria 156 - - - - 0.64 5.13 0.64 1.92 0.64 - 0.64 1.28 1.92 44.23 1.28 3.85 - - - 21.79 4.49 0.64 - - - - 0.64 0.64 - 2.56 7.04 - -
Tunisia 601 - 0.17 - - 0.5 0.67 1.66 - - - - 3 3.16 62.73 1.16 2.66 0.17 - 0.17 16.64 2.83 0.33 - - - 0.33 - 0.5 - 1.83 0.33 - 1.16
Libya 83 - - - - - 38.55 - - - - 2.41 - 4.82 45.78 - - 8 - - - - - - - - 2.41 - - - 6.02 - - -
Machrik
Egypt 370 1.35 - - - 0.54 2.43 3.24 0.81 7.03 1.62 0.81 9.19 2.43 11.89 6.76 1.08 5.68 - 0.54 20.81 6.75 0.27 0.81 - 0.27 0.54 0.27 2.16 - 2.97 2.97 0.54 6.22
Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq 2741 0.18 0.04 0.04 - 0.33 0.62 0.44 - - - 1.24 8.72 - 0.84 5.36 0.15 5.47 - 2.84 30.83 21.05 0.69 3.43 0.15 0.07 0.66 1.2 3.39 0.36 5.47 1.97 0.47 3.98
Arabian Peninsula 618 0.16 0.81 0.97 0.81 0.32 5.66 1.94 0.49 - - 0.32 2.43 - 0.16 5.66 1.29 2.91 2.1 - 44.01 11.32 4.37 2.27 - 0.65 0.32 1.46 6.31 0.16 - 2.43 0.16 0.49

Comparison of the members

Country Area (km2) Population (est. July 2014) GDP PPP (in billions $) TFR
 Arab League 13,132,327 356,785,231 3,335.3 3.38
 Algeria 2,381,740 38,813,722 284.7 3.1(2015)
 Bahrain 760 1,314,089 34.96 2.17(2014)
 Comoros 2,235 766,865 0.911 4.3(2012)
 Djibouti 23,200 810,179 2.505 2.8(2010)
 Egypt 1,001,450 86,895,099 551.4 3.35(2015)
 Iraq 438,317 32,585,692 249.4 4.12(2015 est)
 Jordan 89,342 7,930,491 40.02 3.5(2013)
 Kuwait 17,818 2,742,711 165.8 1.9(2014)
 Lebanon 10,452 4,224,000 51.474 1.74(2014)
 Libya 1,759,540 6,244,174 73.6 2.12(2012 est)
 Mauritania 1,030,700 3,516,806 8.204 4.73(2012)
 Morocco 446,550 32,987,206 180 2.21(2014)
 Oman 309,500 3,219,775 94.86 2.9(2014)
 Qatar 11,586 907,229 26.37 3.59(2010 est)
 Saudi Arabia 2,149,690 27,345,986 927.8 2.17(2014)
 Somalia 637,657 10,428,043 5.896 6.08(2014 est)
 Sudan 1,861,484 35,482,233 89.97 4.49(2012)
 Syria 185,180 17,951,639 107.6 3(2012)
 Tunisia 163,610 10,937,521 108.4 2.42(2014)
 United Arab Emirates 83,600 9,346,129 269.8 2.35(2015 est)
 Yemen 527,968 26,052,966 61.63 4.4(2013)

See also

References

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  6. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Bahrain". 23 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Bahrain". 23 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Bahrain". 23 June 2014. 
  9. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Egypt". 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Iraq". 20 March 2014. 
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  12. ^ "Kuwait Population Census". 2015. 
  13. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Lebanon". 20 June 2014. 
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  15. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Mauritania". 20 June 2014. 
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  17. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Oman". 22 June 2014. 
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  21. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Saudi Arabia". 20 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Somalia". 23 June 2014. 
  23. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Sudan". 20 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Syria". 20 June 2014. 
  25. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Tunisia". 20 June 2014. Archived from the original on 2012-10-16. 
  26. ^ "CIA World Factbook: United Arab Emirates". 20 June 2014. 
  27. ^ "CIA World Factbook: Yemen". 20 March 2014. 
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    • Ethnic minorities in English law – Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved on 2010-12-23.
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    • "Are Jews a Religious Group or an Ethnic Group?" (PDF). Institute for Curriculum Services. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
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    • Levey, Geoffrey Brahm. "Toward a Theory of Disproportionate American Jewish Liberalism" (PDF). 
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  39. ^ a b Stearns, Peter N.; Leonard Langer, William (2001). The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, Chronologically Arranged (6 ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. pp. 129–131. ISBN 0-395-65237-5. 
  40. ^ "François Decret, Les invasions hilaliennes en Ifrîqiya - Clio - Voyage Culturel". www.clio.fr. Retrieved 2015-11-21. 
  41. ^ Bekada A, Fregel R, Cabrera VM, Larruga JM, Pestano J, et al. (2013) Introducing the Algerian Mitochondrial DNA and Y-Chromosome Profiles into the North African Landscape. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56775. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056775
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