Arab Countries / Arab League Countries 2022

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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.

The 22 Countries of the Arab League:

Algeria Jordan Oman Sudan
Bahrain Kuwait Palestine Syria (suspended)
Comoros Lebanon Qatar Tunisia
Djibouti Libya Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates
Egypt Mauritania Somalia Yemen
Iraq Morocco

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%.

Possible future Arab countries and Arab League members

There also exist a small group of countries that are considered Arab countries by only a few sources:

  • Chad — This landlocked African country became an observer member of the Arab League in 2005 and counts Arabic as one of its two official languages (French is the other). However, despite applying for membership in 2014, Chad has not been admitted to the Arab League. This may be due to a veto from Libya, which engaged Chad in armed conflict from 1978-1987.
  • Eritrea — This small country on Africa's eastern coast is another observer member of the Arab League, but it is arguably too diverse to qualify as an Arab country. For example, while Arabic joins English and Tigrinya as the country's three recognized "work languages," it is not one of the country's eight officially recognized national languages.
  • South Sudan — This African country was part of Sudan (and, in turn, the Arab League) until 2011. While South Sudan would reportedly be welcomed into the Arab League, the country is largely Christian and English-speaking—both important factors in its secession from Sudan—which would lead one to suspect it would have little interest in joining the Arab League.
  • Tanzania — Formed by the 1964 merger of the Arab state Zanzibar with the former British colony Tanganyika, this African country is more than 63% Christian and counts Swahili and English as its official languages. Arabic is but one of more than 100 languages spoken in the country.

Inaccurate stereotypes about citizens of Arab countries

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."

Arab Countries / Arab League Countries 2022

Country Area Area (mi²) 2022 Population
Egypt1,002,450 km²386,946 mi²110,990,103
Sudan1,886,068 km²728,022 mi²46,874,204
Algeria2,381,741 km²919,352 mi²44,903,225
Iraq438,317 km²169,190 mi²44,496,122
Morocco446,550 km²172,368 mi²37,457,971
Saudi Arabia2,149,690 km²829,780 mi²36,408,820
Yemen527,968 km²203,796 mi²33,696,614
Syria185,180 km²71,479 mi²22,125,249
Somalia637,657 km²246,136 mi²17,597,511
Tunisia163,610 km²63,153 mi²12,356,117
Jordan89,342 km²34,486 mi²11,285,869
United Arab Emirates83,600 km²32,270 mi²9,441,129
Libya1,759,540 km²679,182 mi²6,812,341
Lebanon10,452 km²4,034 mi²5,489,739
Palestine6,220 km²2,401 mi²5,250,072
Mauritania1,030,700 km²397,850 mi²4,736,139
Oman309,500 km²119,467 mi²4,576,298
Kuwait17,818 km²6,878 mi²4,268,873
Qatar11,586 km²4,472 mi²2,695,122
Bahrain765 km²295 mi²1,472,233
Djibouti23,200 km²8,955 mi²1,120,849
Comoros1,862 km²719 mi²836,774

Arab Countries / Arab League Countries 2022