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Remarkable Increasing In Its Population Economics Essay

There are many factors caused the huge growth in the population of the Middle East. Hundreds years ago, the population of the Middle East region started to increase around the valleys next to the rivers. Nile, Tigris and Euphrates are the three main rivers where the life flourished around them. The population started to increase around the rivers where one main activity took a place there. Farming was the activity that people started to work with it in order to provide sufficient food for them , those ancient farmers were the first who built the cultivation of the Middle East. For long time the life flourished and the population increased around the valleys river region, and that lasted until the nineteenth century where the oil discovery took a place. After discovering oil, the life in many regions in the Middle East has improved and the population as well increased. After providing appropriate conditions for living, many people started to migrate to Middle East looking for jobs, or for the purpose of studying. Urbanization as well was a cause for the population growth in the Middle East area. One last important factor caused the increase in the middle east population is the increase in birth rates associated with declining in mortality rates.

There are many effects and consequences following the great growth in population in MENA region. These consequences raise great challenges for most governments in the region.

One of these consequences is increasing the demand of water. The region is already suffering from aridity and water scarcity as a result for the dry climate. This available water is mainly used for drinking, agriculture irrigation and manufacturing purposes. Many countries are working on considering the wastewater treatment as an accessible source for manufacturing and agricultural usage. In Algeria for example, the government reuses wastewater again for irrigation, and it is working on investing US$19 billion on a development plan that include wastewater management. In Egypt in 2004, the sectors of the water and wastewater were reorganized into four holding corporations and their aim was to provide services to the whole urban population by the year of 2007 which was represented by 57% of the total population of Egypt, and for the country side population by 2022. [2]

Another effect for population growth is increasing unemployment and the massive need for job creation. About 40% of the population in the Middle East are under 14 years old currently, so there will be a massive need to provide jobs for them in approximately 10 years or even less. The world bank approximates that in order to remain the unemployment rates in the Middle East as they are now , Middle East needs to create nearly five million jobs in the following 10 years. [3]

Regarding job creation, governments are facing huge challenges in trying to provide jobs for its graduate citizens. Failing in providing jobs will separate negative and frustrating energy that will lead to a frustrated society and that will affect the region stability. [1]

Table 1 below shows the predictable percentage of unemployment rates in the Middle East. [3]





Palestine territories


Algeria , Libya ,Syria and Yemen


Lebanon, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia


Egypt, Jordan and KSA


Other GCC states


One more consequence for the growth in the Middle East population is the effect on the urban drift. The infrastructure for the region was designed to accommodate a specific number of people, but with this rapid growth, the urban planners are facing serious challenges to manage the macro urban issues. The urban planning and management institutions in the region must work now on preparing a long term plan on how to accommodate this big growth in the population with guaranteeing the efficiency in using the resources and the equality between the citizens of the region. The increasing in population is not only effecting the urban regions but also extends to reach the environment. Since the population need place to stay in , place to work in etc. They will get that on the expense of the environment. A lot of green lands will be removed to build houses, factories and bazaars for the increased population on these areas. [4]

One last consequence for population growth is spreading poverty and inequality. Poverty and inequality are related to each other, if you have inequality there will be poverty and vice versa. Poverty has existed in the world since ages. The United Nations estimates that around 1/3 of the population of the Middle East and North Africa is living under the poverty line. [5]

Some reports show that since the mid of 1980s there has been am improvement in poverty reduction along the Middle East countries. But this problem need to be fixed not postponed. The poverty comes as a result for increasing in the population without increasing in the economy, since increasing in the population means more jobs for more people with less salary so the total income for the individuals will be reduced and the poverty will speared. In turkey for example 20% of population are considered below the poverty line while in Syria 11.9% of population are considered under the poverty line. Gender also is another factor that presents discrimination and inequality in some countries in the Middle East. [6]

In conclusion we can say that the Middle East is in continues developing. This development is going through many different transitions which are connected to population growth. Urbanization, fertility, war mortality, infant mortality, education status , family planning and life style, labor force and labor migration , all of these and more are some factors that are affecting the population in the middle east. After 1950, the life expectancy started to increase as a result for the declining in death rates caused by extensive diseases, and due to the improvement in health stations. The fertility rage average in Middle East is about 5 births per women at the age of 45, not forgetting that Muslim states have a tendency to have bigger families. [7]

Urbanization is in continuous developing, people are moving from rural places to cities seeking for better life and better job opportunities.

Some might think that population growth is a negative feature that will and harm the region stability. While others might say that it’s good to increase the number of population in order to have individuals that can build the society and develop the country. Population growth has its benefits and drawbacks, and in order to live in stability there must be a balance in the population growth, resources distribution, economic growth and development.

[1] NYtimes. ( January, 2007). “MIDDLE EAST: Population growth poses huge challenge for Middle East and North Africa International Herald Tribune, NYtimes. [Online]. Available: 11\4

[2] Pierre-Richard Agénor, Mustapha K. Nabli,Tarik Yousef, and Henning Tarp Jensen.(Mar,2007). Labor market reforms, growth, and unemployment in labor-exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Journal of policy modeling. [Online]. Available:

[3] Ford,Neil. (Feb,2003). Putting the Middle East back to work. Middle East journal. [Online]. Available:

[4] Saleh Al-Hathloul. (April,2004). Planning in the Middle East, moving toward the future.[online].Available: (( ebsco )) on 12\4

[5] Wilson,Rodney. (2001). Earnings inequality, Unemployment and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa. Mediterranean policies. [Online]. Avilable:

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