By most definitions, "Arab countries" are 22 countries whose citizens' primary language is Arabic. As of mid-2002, [every Arabic-speaking country] is located in one of two general global regions: Africa, particularly in the north, or Asia's Arabian Peninsula. Collectively, these regions are commonly referred to as the Arab world, Arab nations, Arab states, or the Arab homeland. Every Arab country is also a member of the Arab League, an intergovernmental alliance created to unify the Arab nations politically and represent the interests of the people of the Arab nations. Combined, the Arab countries encompass a total area of more than 5 million mi² (13 million km²) and boast a 2022 population of more than 453 million people.
|Djibouti||Libya||Saudi Arabia||United Arab Emirates|
Egypt is the most populous Arab country, with a total 2022 population of more than 106 million. Comoros is the smallest by population, with just 907,000 people. By area, Algeria is the largest Arab country with a total area of 919,352 mi² (2,381,741 km²). The smallest by area is Bahrain, which covers just 303 mi² (785 km²). The largest city in all the Arab nations is Cairo, Egypt, which has a population of over 16 million people. Baghdad, Iraq and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia round out the top three most populous cities.
Modern Standard Arabic is the official language throughout Arab nations, although various Arabic dialects are used as well. The majority of the citizens of Arab countries follow the religion of Islam. About one-quarter of the world’s Muslims are Arabs. However, the Arab states are home to millions of Christian or Jewish people. Throughout the Arab nations, adult literacy is just under 77%, with literacy rates being much smaller among women than men. Some nations have much higher literacy rates, with Syria, Lebanon, and other states posting record highs of over 90%.
There also exist a small group of countries that are considered Arab countries by only a few sources:
While many Westerners and Europeans think of Arabs as being universally brown-skinned and dark-haired, the term "Arab" actually has no basis in race or genetics. Rather, Arabs are people with a particular shared history, base language, and culture. As the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee states: "Arabs are not a race. Some have blue eyes and red hair; others are dark skinned; many are somewhere in between."
|United Arab Emirates||Asia|
Originally, there were 22 countries in the Arab League, but Syria is currently suspended from the organization.
The countries that are members of the Arab League are Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Syria is also a member, but they are currently suspended.