Middle East

This page includes a list of national statistics, and resources for each nation. There is a lot of good information, so you'll have to scroll down for it.


This is a list of the nations in the Middle East. They are listed according 2050 population size. The nations hightlighted in blue are nations belonging to the G8 or G20, and the nations highlighted in red are least developed nations according to the United Nations.

1 - Egypt (North Africa)

Populaiton: 2000/70,174,000 - 2050/129,533,000 (12 nation in 2050 population)
Christians 2.8% (10.8 million), Orthodox Coptic 11.6%, Evanelicals 3.9%
Fertility Rate: 2000/3.16 - 2050/1.92
Median Age: 2000/16.4 - 2050/23.5
Internet - Around 17 million online (2010, InternetWorldStats.com)

2 - Turkey (Levant)

Population: 2000/66,460,000 - 2050/97,389,000 (18 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.23 -  2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/24.5 - 2050/40.7

3 - Iran (Central Asia)

Population: 2000/66,903,000 - 2050/96,975,000 (19 nation in 2050 population)
Christian 0.5%, Evangelicals 0.2%, Underground Church 100,000-100,000,000
800 Persian-speaking Iran churches outside of Iran with approximately 200,000 Jesus-followers
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.12 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/22.0 - 2050/41.9

4 - Sudan (North Africa) 

Population: 2000/34,904,000 - 2050/75,884,000 (22 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Age: 2000/4.82 - 2050/2.19
Median Age: 2000/18.7 - 2050/31.0

5 - Iraq (Levant)

Population: 2000/24,652,000 - 2050/63,995,000 (28 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/4.63 - 2050/2.18
Median Age: 2000/18.3 - 2050/31.3

6 - Yemen (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/18,182,000 - 2050/53,689,000 (34 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/5.9 - 2050/2.15
Median Age: 2000/15.8 - 2050/29.1

7 - Algeria (North Africa)

Population - 2000/30,506,000 - 2050/49,610,000 (37 naiton in 2050 population)
Christian: 100,000, 70 Underground churches, 3,000 Algerian Churches in Europe
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.53 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: - 2000/21.8 - 2050/39.4

8 - Saudia Arabia (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/20,808,000 - 2050/43,658,000 (43 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/3.81 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/21.3 - 2050/36.6

9 - Morocco (North Africa)

Population: 2000/15,275,000 - 2050/42,693,000 (46 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.52 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/22.5 - 2050/38.8

10 - Qatar (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/617,000 - 2050/2,316,000 (47 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.92 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/30.4 - 2050/38.5

11 - Tunisia (North Africa)

Population: 2000/9,452,000 - 2050/12,711,000 (83 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/1.97 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/24.6 - 2050/42.5

12 - Israel (Levant)

Population: 2000/6,084,000 - 2050/10,649,000 (91 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.9 - 2050/1.9
Median Age: 2000/27.9 - 2050/39.1

13 - Palestine (Levant)

Population: 2000/3,149,000 - 2050/10,265,000 (95 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/5.63 - 2050/2.53
Median Age: 2000/16.6 - 2050/28.9

14 - Jordan (Levant)

Population: 2000/3,149,000 - 2050/10,265,000 (96 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/3.53 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/19.7 - 2050/37.0

15 - Libya (North Africa)

Population: 2000/5,346,000 - 2050/9,819,000 (99 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/3.03 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/17.7 - 2050/28.0

16 - United Arab Emirates (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/3,238,000 - 2050/8,253,000 (108 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.49 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/28.6 - 2050/38.6

17 - Kuwait (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/2,228,000 - 2050/5,240,000 (124 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.3 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/28.9 - 2050/40.1

18 - Lebanon (Levant)

Population: 2000/3,772,000 - 2050/5,033,000 (127 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.09 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/25.7 - 2050/41.7

19 - Oman (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/2,402,000 - 2050/4,878,000 (129 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/3.8 - 2050/1.97
Median Age: 2000/21.4 - 2050/37.2

20 - Bahrain (Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/650,000 - 2050/1,277,000 (156 nation in 2050 population)
Fertility Rate: 2000/2.51 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/27.2 - 2050/40.8

21 - Western Sahara (North Africa)

Population: 2000/315,000 - 2050/930,000

Fertility Rate: 2000/2.51 - 2050/1.85
Median Age: 2000/22.1 - 2050/37.6

22 - Cyprus (Northern Turkish)

1 - EGYPT (North Africa, Middle East)

Populaiton: 2000/70,174,000 - 2050/129,533,000 - grows by (12 nation in population)

Main People: Arabs (92%)
Major Religion: Sunni Islam

Christians 2.8% (10.8 million), Orthodox Coptic 11.6%, Evanelicals 3.9%
Median Age: 2000/16.4 - 2050/23.5

Internet - Around 17 million Egyptians were online (February 2010, InternetWorldStats.com)

Egypt is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. While best known for its pyramids and ancient civilisations, Egypt has played a central role in Middle East politics in modern times. Its wars with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973, then its eventual peace in 1979, have seen Egypt move from being a warring nation to become a key representative in the peace process. A very large percentage of Egyptians live in poverty, with many being unemployed. Water is also becoming a major problem. Arab Muslims from the Arabian Penisula conquered Egypt in AD 640. Egyptian Christians are likely linked to the original Egyptians before the conquering and colonization by the Arabs. The land of Egypt is mostly desert, with only 3% arable land along the banks and delta of the Nile River and around the Western Desert oases. Dictator Murbarack was overthrown in February 2011. The government is now in transition under the rule of the military.  A large portion of Egyptian's population live in poverty. Main sources of national income at natural gas, some oil, textiles and tourism.

One-third of the population lives off agriculture. Egypt's state  religion is Sunni Islam, with 86.7% of the population being Muslim. This is the home of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it is also the intellectual center of Sunni Islam. 12.8% are confessing Christians (around 10.8 million in 2010). 11.6 being Orthodox Coptic, and 3.9 being Evangelicals. Over the last 20 years Christians have faced significant persecution in Egypt. For over 1,000 years, the population of Egypt was majority Christian. Egypt was the home to top theologians and also a strong monastic movement.  The internet and new media has had a powerful evangelistic impact on Egyptian Muslims. The government claim that up to one million Muslims in Egypt have become followers of Jesus over the last few years. Although it would be likely more accurate to say that thousands have come to Jesus from a Muslim background. Also, there has been an upsurge in the intentional prayer movement in Egypt.

Egypt - Google Directory

Egypt - Wikipedia

Egypt - CIA World Factbook

Egypt - Google News

Egypt - Google Images

Egypt - U.S. State Department

Egypt - BBC Country Profiles

The Fellowship of Evangelicals in Egypt

2 - TURKEY (Western Asia, Levant, Middle East)

Population: 2000/66,460,000 - 2050/97,389,000 (18 nation in 2050 population)
Median Age: 2000/24.5 - 2050/40.7

Turkey is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations and NATO. Once the center of the Ottoman Empire, the modern secular republic was established in the 1920s by nationalist leader Kemal Ataturk. Straddling the continents of Europe and Asia, Turkey's strategically important location has given it major influence in the region - and control over the entrance to the Black Sea.

Turkey - World Bank

Turkey - Google Directory

Turkey - Wikipedia

Turkey - CIA World Factbook

Turkey - U.S. State Department

Tutkey - BBC Country Profile

Turkey - Google News

Turkey - Information Please

Turkey - World Bank

Turkey - Answers.com

Selcuk-Ephsus Christian Church (Selcuk, Turkey)

Lighthouse Church/Isik Kilisesi Dernegi (Izmir, Biblical Smyrna, Turkey) - Turkish & English

İzmir Protestan Kilisesi Derneği (Izmir, Biblical Smyrna, Turkey)

Antalya Evangelical Church Paster Ramazan Arkan (Antalya, Turkey)

Saint Polycarb Church (Izmir, Turkey)

Saint John's Anglican Church (Izmir, Turkey)

The Union Church of Istanbul (Istanbul, Turkey)

Saint Paul Cultural Center (Antalya, Turkey)

Saint Paul Union Church (Antialya, Turkey)

New Frontiers in Turkey - 3 Churches

Churches in Ankara (Ankara, Turkey)

Internatonal Protestant Church of Ankara (Ankara, Turkey)

Ankara Protestan Kilisesi (Ankara, Turkey)

Mesihin Kilisesi (Ankara, Turkey)

3 - IRAN (Middle East, Central Asia)

Population: 2000/66,903,000 - 2050/96,975,000 (19 nation in 2050 population)
Median Age: 2000/22.0 - 2050/41.9
Peoples - 68% Iranian-Median (Persian, Kurd etc), 26% Turkic and Azerbaijani, 2% Arab.
Nearly two-thirds of Iran's population are under the age of 30.
Iran is a Islamic dictatorship.

Iran (historically Persia) is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. Modern Iran has long maintained a distinct cultural identity within the Islamic world by retaining its own language and adhering to the Shia Islam. Persia, as Iran was known before 1935, was one of the greatest empires of the ancient world. There has always been a repectable history of Christianity in Persia. Iran became a theocratic, Shia Islamic republic in 1979, when the monarchy was overthrown and religious clerics assumed political control under supreme leader Ayatollah Khomenei. The Iranian revolution put an end to the rule of the Shah, who led a program of modernization and Westernization. It is physically situated between the Caspian Sea to the north and the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman to the south. A central desert is ringed by mountains. Iran is positioned strategically between the East and West. Iran's wealth comes from oil and natural gas, which is 80% of its export earnings. Only 20% of the economy is in the private sector. Because of its oil and natural gas, along with nuclear weapon pursuits, Shia Iran is emerging as one of the major regional powers in the Middle East.

State religion is Islam. Officially, 0.5% are confessing Christians, with 0.2 being Evangelical. However, the numbers within the underground churches are much higher. It is now estimated that there are between 100,000 to one million followers of Jesus from Muslim backgrounds. Approximately 4 million Iranians live outside of Iran. There are about 800 Persian-speaking Iranian churches and house fellowships outside of Iran, totalling around 200,000 believers. The Iranian diaspora Christians are active in evangelizing Iran. Many of the new believers in Iran are young.  Bibles in Iran are in very short supply and there is a great demand. The Internet is a powerful communication tool being used to evangelize Iran, especially the large number of youth. 

Today, Iran's Islamic dictatorship is crumbling. The Islamic rulers are very unpopular among the Iranians, especially the large majority of youth. Within the next five years, I forsee the brutal control of Iran's Islamic rulership collapsing.

Iran - Google Directory

Iran - Wikipedia

Iran - CIA World Factbook

Iran - Google News

Iran - U.S. State Department

Iran - BBC Country Profiles

Iran - Information Please

Iran - Google Images

Elam Ministries

4 - SUDAN (Middle East, North Africa)

Population: 2000/34,904,000 - 2050/75,884,000 (22 nation in 2050 population)
Median Age: 2000/18.7 - 2050/31.0
One of the least developed/poorest nations in the world
Life expectancy: 58 years (men), 61 years (women) (UN)
GNI per capita: US $1,220 (World Bank, 2009)

Sudan is one of the least developed nations in the world according to the United Nations. Sudan's centuries of association with Egypt formally ended in 1956, when joint British-Egyptian rule over the country ended. Sudan is the largest and one of the most geographically diverse countries in Africa. Mountain ranges divide the deserts of the north from the swamps and rain forests of the south, and the River Nile splits the country from east to west. Two rounds of north-south civil war cost the lives of 1.5 million people, and a continuing conflict in the western region of Darfur has driven two million people from their homes and killed more than 200,000. TheIn Darfur, in western Sudan, the United Nations has accused pro-government Arab militias of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against non-Arab locals. Referendum was promised in a 2005 peace agreement that ended more than two decades of conflict between the Christian-dominated south and the mainly Arab Muslim north. Omar Hassan al-Bashir came to power in a military coup in 1989 and has ruled with an iron fist ever since. Sudan does not have freedom of press or media. Broadcasting is highly restricted. State-run radio and TV reflect government policy. A military censor ensures that the news reflects official views. Sudan had 4.2 million internet users by September 2009, comprising around 10% of the population (Internetworldstats). Arabic is the official language and Islam is the state religion, but the large non-Arab, non-Muslim minority has rejected attempts by the government in Khartoum to impose Islamic Sharia law on the country as a whole.

Sudan - World Bank

Sudan - Geography IQ

Sudan - Google Directory

Sudan - About.com

Sudan - Wikipedia

Sudan - CIA World Factbook

Sudan - Google News

Sudan - U.S. State Department

Sudan - Google Images

Sudan - BBC Country Profile


Population: 2000/24,652,000 - 2050/63,995,000 (28 nation in 2050 population)
Median Age: 2000/18.3 - 2050/31.3

Iraq, in an area once home to some of the earliest civilisations, became a battleground for competing forces after the US-led ousting of President Saddam Hussein in 2003. The Shia-led government struggled to restore order until a "surge" of US troops in late 2007 began to push insurgents and militias out of cities and provinces they had long contested. The country remains volatile, and disputes with the autonomous Kurdistan Region over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk have threatened to derail progress towards political stability.

Iraq - Google Directory

Iraq - Wikipedia

Iraq - CIA World Factbook

Iraq - U.S. State Department

Iraq - Information Please

Iraq - Google News

Iraq - BBC Country Profile

Iraq - Google Images

6 - YEMEN (Middle East, Western Asia, Arabian Penisula)

Population - 2000/18,182,000 - 2050/53,689,000 (34 nation in 2050 population)
Median Age - 2000/15.8 - 2050/29.1
Peoples - Arabs (97%), Immigrant/Refugges (3%), Yemen has over 1,700 Arab clans and tribes.
Urban - 31%, Capital - Sana (2.4 million), Sana is the fastest growing capital city in the world.

Yemen (Republic of Yemen) is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. Although many would identify it as a failed nation. Yemen is physically located in the mountainous south and southwestern portion of the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian Ocean island of Socotra. It is the possible homeland of the Queen of Sheba, Yemen has been at the crossroads of Africa, the Middle East and Asia for thousands of years thanks to its position on the ancient spice routes. The Romans knew this fertile and wealthy country as Arabia Felix, in contrast to the relatively barren Arabia Deserta to the north. And today Yemen maintains its distinct character. Yemen is one of the least developed nations in the world according to the United Nations. It is one of the least developed and poorest nations in the world according to the United Nations. It is the pooerest nation in the Arab world. Yemen is oil-poor. Oil provides 75% of its foreign income. Unemployment is very high. 75% of the people make their living through agriculture (especially the mild narcotic qat) and herding. Shortage of water is becoming a major crisis.

Yemen does not have freedom of religion. It is a stronghold for radical Islamic leaders and groups. There are deep divisions between Sunni Muslims (in center/south) and Shia Muslims (in north) Islam is the state religion, and the legal system is based on Sharia law. Strict laws against evangelizing Muslims or Muslims converting to followers of Jesus. 0.08 are confessing Christians. Most Christians in Yemen are expatriates, many Ethiopians. Yemen is one of the world's least evangelized nations, with one of the youngest and fastest-growing populations.

Yemen's future is very fragile, and its future is very dark. It has dwindling resources and one of the highest birthrates in the world. By 2017 it is estimated to stop earning income from its oil reserves. Its capital is running out of viable water. 80% of the adult population chews the narcartic qat.

Yemen - World Bank

Yemen - Google Diretory

Yemen - Wikipedia

Yemen - CIA World Factbook

Yemen - Google Images

Yemen - Google News

Yemen - BBC Country Profile

Yemen - U.S. State Department

7 - ALGERIA (Middle East, North Africa)

Population - 2000/30,506,000 - 2050/49,610,000 (37 naiton in 2050 population)
Median Age: 2000/21.8 - 2050/39.4
Peoples: Arabs (70%), Berbers (24%), Nomads (6%), Over 90% of the population lives north of the Atlas mountains. but most Algerians live along the northern coast.
Languages: Arabic, French, Berber

The Sahara desert covers more than four-fifths of the land. 80% of the land is desert. Algeria was originally inhabited by native Berbers until the Arabs conquered North Africa in the 7th century. Staying mainly in the mountainous regions, the Berbers resisted the spreading Arab influence, managing to preserve much of their language and culture. They make up some 30% of the population. Algeria was part of the Turkish Ottoman empire from the 16th century, and was then conquered by the French in 1830. Algeria was a French colony for 132 years. War of independence in 1962 at which time more than a million Algerians were killed in the fight for independence. It was then led by a socialist party for 25 years The country has recently emerged from a brutal internal conflict that followed scrapped elections in 1992.. In 1992 a radicial Islamic party won elections which led to a civil war (over 100,000 people died). The present government appeases radical Islam. Christians face tremendous pressure and persecution. Algeria benefits from large oil/gas reserves, but much of the money made does not get to the people. Abdelaziz Bouteflika who won the presidency in 1999, has back the U.S. war on Islamic terrorism, and has brought Algeria out of international isolation. Oil and gas reserves were discovered here in the 1950s, The country supplies large amounts of natural gas to Europe and energy exports are the backbone of the economy. Poverty remains widespread and unemployment high, particularly among Algeria's youth. Endemic government corruption and poor standards in public services are also chronic sources of popular dissatisfaction. 4.1 million internet users by September 2009 (InternetWorldStats)

Algeria is dominated by Muslims (98%). Although it is difficult to come to an exact number, it is estimated that the church today now exceeds 100,000 (2011) primarily among Kbyle, Berbers, but it is also growing among Arabs.Some estimate 250,000 Christians in the country, including about 10,000 Roman Catholics and 150,000 to 200,000 evangelical Protestants (mainly Pentecostal), according to the Protestant Church of Algeria's leader. Some sources claim more than one million Christians in Algeria, most of them live in the Kabylie area where there are more than 70 underground churches. The Berbers, about 23% of the populaton has experienced a people movement of Jesus' followers. It is a very indigenous church. There are over 3,000 Algerian Christians in Europe today, with over 4 million Algerians living in Europe.

Algeria - Joshua Project

Algeria - CIA World Factbook

Algeria - UN Demographics

Algeria - Google Directory

Algeria - Wikipedia

Algeria - U.S. State Department

Algeria - Information Please

Algeria - Google Images

Algeria - Google News

Algeria - BBC Country Profile

8 - SAUDIA ARABIA (Middle East, Western Asia, Arabian Penisula)

Population - 2000/20,808,000 - 2050/43,658,000 (43 nation in 2050 population)
Peoples - Arab (80%), Large expatriate population
Ruled by a royal family

Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. One of the most devout and insular countries in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has emerged from being an underdeveloped desert kingdom to become one of the wealthiest nations in the region thanks to vast oil resources. But its rulers face the delicate task of responding to pressure for reform while combating a growing problem of extremist violence. Saudi Arabia is the main portion of the Arabian Peninsula. It is almost entirely desest. Saudi Arabia contains 25% of the world's known oil reserves. Oil produces 75-90% of government revenue. There is a massive reliance on foreign labor. Unemployment is between 20-40%.  The Saudi people are kept under controll by government money. Saudi Arabia has one of the worst records of religious and human rights. There is internet acces, but it is under monitoring.

Saudi Arabia has no religious freedom. It is the birthplace of Islam, including the holy sites of Mecca and Medina. The state religion is Islam. Most Saudi's are Wahhabi Sunni Muslims. Islamic missionary efforts are coordinated by the Muslim World League in Mecca. All non-Muslim people can live in Saudi Arabia, but can't practice their faith publically or gather privately. 5.5% confessing Christians, most expatriates that live under constrant strict surveillance. They are forbidden to meet together in their own homes. Saudis that become followers of Jesus face the death penalty.

Saudi Arabia - World Bank

Saudi Arabia - Google Directory

Saudi Arabia - Wikipedia

Saudi Arabia - U.S. State Department

Saudi Arabia - Google News

Saudi Arabia - CIA World Factbook

Saudi Arabia - Google Images

Saudi Arabia - BBC Country Profile

9 - MOROCCO (Middle East, North Africa)

Population: 2000/15,275,000 - 2050/42,693,000 (46 nation in 2050 population)
Peoples: 57.7% Arab, 41.4% Berber
Limited democracy under an executive monarchy.

Morocco (Kingdom of Morocco) is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries known as the Maghreb. The indigenous Berber people were conquered and colonized by Arab Muslims from the Arabian Peninusula after AD 684.  Morocco is located in the northwest corner of Africa. Fertile coastal areas in the north. Atlas mountains inland and Sahara Desert to the south and southeast. Strategically situated with both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, but with a rugged mountainous interior.  it stayed independent for centuries while developing a rich culture blended from Arab, Berber, European and African influences. Morocco and Western Sahara have 70% of the world's phosphate reserves. There are a large number of people living in poverty. Million of Moroccans seek work outside, especially in Europe (1.1 million in France), and send money back to their families. Apart from tourism, the money being sent back from the outside is more than any internal industry.

Morocco has no freedom of religion. Morocco's state religion is Sunni Islam. Although Christians and Jews are tolerated, the legal existence of an indigenous Moroccan Christians and Churches aren't accepted by the government. 0.09 are confessing Christians. 90% of these Christians living in Morocco are not natives. There have been severe crackdowns on expatriate Christians and many have been expelled from Morocco. It's estimated that there are approximately 2,000 indigeneous Moraccan Christians gathering togther in about 20 to 30 fellowships. (Source: Operation World)

Morocco - World Bank

Morocco - Google Directory

Morocco - Wikipedia

Morocco - CIA World Factbook

Morocco - Google Images

Morocco - Information Please

Morocco - BBC Country Profile

Morocco - Google News

10 - QATAR (Middle East, Western Asia, Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/617,000 - 2050/2,316,000 (47 nation in 2050 population)
Peoples: 58% Arab, 16% Persian, 11% Asian, 65% of the population consists of expatriates.
Ruled by an Emir. Dominated by the Thani family for almost 150 years.

Qatar was part of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire until 1918. It was under British protection until its independence in 1971.  Qatar is an Arabian Peninsula nation that is almost entirely desert. Qatar was once one of the poorest Gulf states, is now one of the richest countries in the region,thanks to the exploitation of large oil and gas fields since the 1940s.Petroleum products are 85% of its exports. It has some of the world's largest gas reserves. Most Qataris live in wealth.

Qatar has no freedom of religion. The strate religion is a strict Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam. It is illegal to evangelize Muslms. 5.9% of the population are confessing Christians, almost all expatriates They are free to practice in private only. Apparently, Qatar is beginning to allow Christians to build buildings.

Qatar - World Bank

Qatar - Google Directory

Qatar - Wikipedia

Qatar - CIA World Factbook

Qatar - U.S. State Department

Qatar - Google Images

Qatar - BBC Country Profile

Qatar - Information Please

11 - SYRIA (Middle East, Western Asia, Levant)

Population: 2000/16,511,000 - 2050/36,911,000 (52 nation in 2050 population)

The home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias and Arab Sunnis, the last of who make up a majority of the Muslim population. Once the center of the Islamic Empire, Syria covers an area that has seen invasions and occupations over the ages, from Romans and Mongols to Crusaders and Turks. Syria is a nation of fertile plains, mountains and deserts. Fertile plain on Mediterranean coast, 60% desert in the center. Modern Syria gained its independence from France in 1946 but has lived through periods of political instability driven by the conflicting interests of these various groups. Syria is ruled by the Socialist Baath party under the strong contol of Bashar al-Assad. His father Hafiz al-Assad ruled for 30 years and died in Jun 2000. Syria doesn't have freedom of the press or media. The government and ruling party own and control much of the media. Criticism of the president and his family is banned and the domestic and foreign press are censored. Journalists practice self-censorship and foreign reporters rarely get accreditation. 3.9 million internet users in Syria by June 2010 (Internetworldstats.com). Syria exercises strict internet censorship and blocks many global websites with local appeal, including Facebook and YouTube, as well as opposition sites.

Syria - Joshua Project

Syria - U.S. State Department

Syria - Atlapedia Online

Syria - BBC Country Profiles

Syrian Arab News Agency

Syria Today (English Monthly)

Syria - World Bank

Syria - Google Directory

Syria - Wikipedia

Syria - Tourism

Syria - U.S. Embassy

12 - TUNISIA (Middle East, North Africa)

Population: 2000/9,452,000 - 2050/12,711,000 (83 nation in 2050 population)

Tunisia is the home of the ancient city of Carthage, Tunisia has long been an important player in the Mediterranean. In their time, the Romans, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and French realised its strategic significance, making it a hub for control over the region. Tunisia is located in the center of North Africa, close to vital shipping routes. French colonial rule ended in 1956, and Tunisia was led for three decades by Habib Bourguiba. Violent repression of protests over unemployment and lack of political freedom in the winter of 2010-2011 left dozens of people dead. But popular street protests continued and President Ben Ali went into exile in January 2011, his prime minister taking charge. Tunisia is more prosperous than its neighbours and has strong trade links with Europe. Millions of European tourists flock to Tunisian resorts every year.

Tunisia - World Bank

Tunisia - Google Directory

Tunisia - Wikipedia

Tunisia - CIA World Factbook

Tunisia - U.S. State Department

Tunisia - Google News

Tunisia - Google Images

Tunisia - BBC Country Profile

Tunisia - AllAfrica.com

14 - PALESTINE (Middle East, Western Asia, Levant)

Population: 2000/3,149,000 - 2050/10,265,000 (95 nation in 2050 population)

Palestine - Google Directory

Palestine - Wikipedia

Palestine - Google News

Palestine - Google Images

Palestine - Answers.com

15 - JORDAN (Middle East, Western Asia, Levant)

Population: 2000/3,149,000 - 2050/10,265,000 (96 nation in 2050 population)

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a small country with few natural resources, but it has played a pivotal role in the struggle for power in the Middle East. The desert kingdom emerged out of the post-World War I division of the Middle East by Britain and France. Jordan's significance results partly from its strategic location at the crossroads of what most Christians, Jews and Muslims call the Holy Land. It is one of two Arab nations to have made peace with Israel and is a key ally of the US. Jordan was ruled for 46 years by King Hussein who died in February 1999, and his son Abdullah became king. Originally, the population was made up largely of bedouin tribesmen, who were followers of King Hussein'grandfather, Abdullah - himself originally from Arabia. Today, these families - known as East Bank Jordanians - are outnumbered by the descendants of Palestinian refugees from Israel and the West Bank. Jordan has no oil of its own. Its resources are limited to phosphates and agricultural produce. The economy depends largely on services, tourism and foreign aid primarily from the United States.

Jordan - World Bank

Jordan - Google Directory

Jordan - Wikipedia

Jordan - CIA World Factbook

Jordan - U.S. State Department

Jordan - Google News

Jordan - Information Please

Jordan - BBC Country Profiles

16 - LIBYA (Middle East, North Africa)

Population: 2000/5,3.46,000 - 2050/9,819,000 (99 nation in 2050 population)Life expectancy: 73 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
GNI per capita: US $12,020 (World Bank, 2009)

Libya (Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamhiriya) is a sovereign nation and a member of the United Nations. It is most Saharan desert, with only a coastal Mediterranean strip, and 2% arable land. The military coup of 1969 lead to a revolutionary republic under the rule of Mummar Gaddafi.  Muammar Gaddafi is the Arab world's longest-serving leader. Oil was discovered in 1959 and made the state wealthy. Libya possesses considerable reserves of oil and gas. Libya does not have freedom of the press or media. The state strictly controls the media. Few press visas are issued to foreign journalists. There were 323,000 internet users by September 2009. Web filtering is selective, focusing on political opposition websites.

Libya does not have freedom of religion. Libya's state religion is Sunni Islam, and the government supports a moderate form of Islam. It is illegal for Christians to evangelize Libyan Muslims. 2.6% of the population are confessing Christians, with 0.3 being evangelicals. These Christians almost entirely consist of expatriates living in or in transit through Libya. (Source: Operation World 2010)

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17 - UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (Middle East, Western Asia, Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/3,238,000 - 2050/8,253,000 (108 nation in 2050 population)
Life expectancy: 77 years (men), 79 years (women) (UN)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states formed in 1971 by the then Trucial States after independence from Britain. Since then, it has grown from a quiet backwater to one of the Middle East's most important economic centers. Although each state - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain - maintains a large degree of independence, the UAE is governed by a Supreme Council of Rulers made up of the seven emirs, who appoint the prime minister and the cabinet. Politically it remains authoritarian. It was the only country in the region not to have elected bodies until 2006 December, when it convened a half-elected federal assembly, which, however, was restricted to a consultative role. Sheikh Khalifa was named as president by the UAE Federal Council shortly after the death of his father, Sheikh Zayed Bin-Sultan Al Nahyan, in November 2004. The UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Persian Gulf, with other cultures and beliefs generally tolerated, especially in Dubai. UAE's economy is built on oil that was discovered in the 1950s, and also tourism. The UAE is a regional and international centre for TV and media, alongside Egypt and Lebanon. The UAE is home to major pan-Arab broadcasters. The constitution provides for freedom of speech but there is strong regulatory and political control of media content. Publications must be licensed and follow official guidelines on reporting. Foreign publications are censored before distribution. Journalists tend to practise self-censorship. Internet use is extensive; by June 2010 there were 3.8 million users (InternetWorldStats.com). Extensive, automatic filtering is in place at ISP level. Targeted content includes opposition politics and religion.

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18 - KUWAIT (Middle East, Western Asia, Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/2,228,000 - 2050/5,240,000 (124 nation in 2050 population)
Life expectancy: 77 years (men), 81 years (women) (UN)
GNI per capita: US $43,930 (World Bank, 2009)

Kuwait is a small nation and is located at the top of the Gulf, flanked by large or powerful neighbours - Saudi Arabia to the south, Iraq to the north and Iran to the east. It is a oil-rich nation. Its oil fields were first exploited in the 1930s, and since the development of the petroleum industry after World War II and independence in 1961, oil has dominated the economy, making up around 90% of export revenues. Kuwait was the first Arab country in the Gulf to have an elected parliament. Kuwait holds first place among Persian Gulf states with regard to freedom of the press. But restraint is exercised when covering matters relating to the emir and senior royals. A press law forbids references to God and the Prophet that are deemed insulting. Criticism of the emir, the constitution, the judiciary and the "basic convictions of the nation" is prohibited. Courts can prescribe prison sentences for defamation and "attacks" on religion. Kuwait had 1.1 million internet users by June 2010 (InternetWorldStats). A pervasive filtering system blocks content deemed immoral or politically-sensitive. Internet cafe owners must obtain the names, ID numbers of customers.

Kuwait - World Bank

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19 - LEBANON (Middle East, Western Asia, Levant)

Population: 2000/3,772,000 - 2050/5,033,000 (127 nation in 2050 population)
Life expectancy: 71 years (men), 75 years (women) (UN)
GNI per capita: US $7,970 (World Bank, 2009)

People: Its population is a mixture of Christian sects, Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Druze and others, having been a refuge for the region's persecuted minorities. Large influxes of Palestinian refugees, most of whom have limited legal status. Lebanon is a small, mountainous nation. It was under French mandate until independence in 1943. One of the most complex and divided countries in the region, Lebanon has been on the fringes, and at times at the heart, of the Middle East conflict surrounding the creation of Israel. Since a resurgence of hostilities in 2006, when Israel launched a major military campaign against the Lebanon-based Shia Muslim armed group Hezbollah, the country has struggled to regain the relative stability it enjoyed after the 1975-1990 civil war. From 1975 until the early 1990s Lebanon suffered a bloody civil war in which regional powers - particularly Israel, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organisation - used the country as a battlefield for their own conflicts. The UN has demanded the dismantling of all armed groups in Lebanon, including Palestinian militias and the military wing of Hezbollah, which controls much of southern Lebanon.Lebanon has more freedom of press and media than in any other Arab country, but nevertheless face "political and judicial machinations". By June 2010, Lebanon had around 1 million internet users (Internetworldstats.com).

Lebanon - World Bank

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20 - OMAN (Middle East, Western Asia, Arabian Penisula)

Population: 2000/2,402,000 - 2050/4,878,000 (129 nation in 2050 population)
Life expectancy: 75 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
GNI per capita: US $17,890 (World Bank, 2009)

The oldest independent state in the Arab world, Oman (Sultanate of Oman) is one of the more traditional countries in the Gulf region and was, until the 1970s, one of the most isolated. Occupying the south-east corner of the Arabian peninsula, it has a strategically important position at the mouth of the Gulf. At one time Oman had its own empire, which at its peak in the 19th century stretched down the east African coast and vied with Portugal and Britain for influence in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. Sultan Qaboos seized power in a coup against his father, Said Bin Taimur, in 1970. As sultan, he took on the role of prime minister and heads the foreign, defence and finance ministries. As with other Gulf nations, oil is the mainstay of the economy, providing a large chunk of GDP, but compared to its neighbours Oman is a modest producer. Agriculture and fishing are important sources of income. The government operates the main broadcasters. The first private radio station launched in 2007. A press act allows the government to censor publications for political or cultural reasons. There were 1.2 million internet users by June 2010 (Internetworldstats.com). There is extensive filtering of pornography and material concerning politics and Islam.

Most Omanis follow the Ibadi sect of Islam - the only remaining expression of Kharijism, which was created as a result of one of the first schisms within the religion.

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Oman = BBC Country Profile

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21 - BAHRAIN (Middle East, Western Asia, Arab Penisula)

Population: 2000/650,000 - 2050/1,277,000 (156 nation in 2050 population)
Life expectancy: 75 years (men), 78 years (women) (UN)
GNI per capita: US $25,420 (World Bank, 2009)

Bahrain - which name means "two seas" - was once viewed by the ancient Sumerians as an island paradise to which the wise and the brave were taken to enjoy eternal life. ahrain - a chain of around 30 islands - has been a haven for tourists from the region, who take advantage of its relaxed social environment. A close ally of the US, it is home to the American navy's Fifth Fleet. It was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil and to build a refinery; as such, it benefited from oil wealth before most of its neighbours. The country has been headed since 1783 by the Khalifah family, members of the Bani Utbah tribe, who expelled the Persians. From 1861, when a treaty was signed with Britain, until independence in 1971, Bahrain was virtually a British protectorate. The king is the supreme authority and members of the Sunni Muslim ruling family hold the main political and military posts. There are long-running tensions between Bahrain's Sunnis and the Shi'ite Muslim majority. In February 2011 thousands of demonstrators gathered for several days in the centre of Manama, inspired by the popular uprisings which toppled the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt. Several people were killed in clashes with security forces, and the king responded to public anger by releasing some political prisoners. There is a lively private press, but most Bahraini radio and TV stations are state-run. A 2008 study found that nearly 99% of households had a satellite receiver. A press law guarantees the right of journalists to operate independently, but they are liable to jail terms for offences which include insulting the king, and self-censorship is practised. By June 2010, Bahrain had 649,300 internet users (InternetWorldStats.com. Rigorous filtering targets political, human rights, religious material and content deemed obscene. "Many websites run by national or international non-government organisations are inaccessible.

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Bahrain - CIA World Factbook

Bahrain - U.S. State Department

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22 - WESTERN SAHARA (Middle East, North Africa)

Population: 2000/315,000 - 2050/930,000
Life expectancy: 62 years (men), 66 years (women) (UN)

Western Saharha is mainly a desert territory in north-west Africa. Western Sahara fell under Spanish rule in 1884, becoming a Spanish province in 1934. Nationalism emerged in the 1960s, as nomadic Saharans, or Saharawis, settled in the region. Western Sahara is the subject of a decades-long dispute between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front. Most of it has been under Moroccan control since 1976. The territory is phosphate-rich and believed to have offshore oil deposits.

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Western Sahara - AllAfrica.com

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