Chap 2 - Western Washington University

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Arab Political Demography
Development, Resources, and
Demography in the Middle East: Is
Oil Destroying the Arab world?
Patrick Buckley
Dept. Envr Studies: Geography
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezVk1ahRF78
Introduction
Start combining demographics with
migration, religion, linguistics, culture,
economics, and potential global security
issues
Some Questions
Is there an Arab World? Is this term based
on a Formal, Functional, or Vernacular
Region?
Does it relate to the Muslim World?
As a Linguistic
Region
Arab World Linguistically Defined
Note how this is the heart of Islam, but not all or even most of Islam.
Critical thinking: Would this be a formal, functional, or vernacular region?
Result
Yes, seems fairly unified – it shares a
common characteristic (formal region)
As a Historical
Region
Arab World Historically Defined
The Arab empire that extended into Europe until 1491
Critical thinking: Would this be a formal, functional, or vernacular region?
Result
Perhaps, over about 1,400 years a number
of empires have unified this region, but not
all were controlled by Arabs.
Each of these empires would also be a
formal region
As a Religous
Region
With few exceptions Islam is a
result of Arab Expansion/Trade
Result
Depends, Islam certainly dominates but it
has branches and there are also some
minority religions including branches of
Christianity.
Still a formal region, but note the fuzzy
borders as Islam as a % varies.
Religious % in
Arab League
As a Political
Region
Today The Arab World Politically
Defined – the Arab League
The Arab League - The League of Arab States
Arab League, informal name of the League of Arab States, a voluntary
association of independent countries whose peoples are mainly Arabic
speaking. Its stated purposes are to strengthen ties among the member
states, coordinate their policies, and promote their common interests.
Algeria
Bahrain
Comoros
Djibouti
Egypt
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Mauritania
Morocco
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
Sudan
Syria
Tunisia
U.A.E
Libya
Yemen
FACTS
OVERVIEW
Founded: 1945
Headquarters: Cairo, Egypt
Key players: Egypt, Saudi Arabia
How does this compare to the US?
Turkey
not Arab
Iran not
Arab
Note this
crude map
contains
only part of
the Arab
League,
plus two
non-Arab
League
state.
But it should
get you
thinking!!!
More Direct Comparison
USA
Population: 314
million (US Census
Bureau estimate,
2012)
Capital: Washington
D.C.
Area: 3.8 million sq
miles
Major language:
English
Major religion:
Christianity
Life expectancy: 75
years (men), 80 years
(women) (UN)
Arab League
Founded: 1945
Population: 340 million
(approx. 2007)
Headquarters: Cairo,
Egypt
Area: 5.25 million square
miles
Key players: Egypt, Saudi
Arabia
Members: 22 members
including Palestine
Major language: Arabic
Life Expectancy: Varies
generally approaches 70
years for men
Conclusion of Comparison
Today the Arab League population is
bigger than the US
25 years from now its could be 50% greater
than the US
Question How unified is this region? How
well does it exist as a Formal rather than
merely Vernacular Region.
Result
On paper there is a single group, but it is of
limited use, much like the Organization of
American States for North and South
America
As a Unified Region
How unified
is this
region?
Variations on the
Western Fringe:
Note that Turks, Kurds,
and Persians are not
Arabs
Note Shi’a Locations and
Proportions
Inside there are variations.
Winckler (2005) notes that
most if not all Arab nations
have missing religious and
ethnic data to hide/ignore
problematic data inside their
countries
Click here for examples:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnect
ions/mideast/maps/final_maps_soc.swf
Examples of Hidden Information
Country
What it has to hide
Lebanon
Religious differences not measured since 1932
Syria
Religious differences not measured since 1960
Jordon
Ethnic differences not measured since 1948
Total population counts questionable, no
religious data
S. Arabia
Egypt
Bahrain
Qatar
Undercounts Coptic Christians
Sunni Royal Family undercounts Shi'a
majority
With an estimate of 73% Foreigners, such data
not measured
Unemployment
No Arab state seems to accurately report
unemployment
For example S. Arabia has claimed about
10% when reality could be as high as 20 to
30%.(recent Wall Street Journal put it even higher)
See http://www.indexmundi.com/saudi_arabia/unemployment_rate.html
How does this relate to Oil/Gas?
Again do we have an Arab World or a
couple of “worlds”? Oil and Non-oil?
In general many Arab countries with the
largest populations have the least oil.
As an Economic
Region
Oil Reserves (Gb)
Country
Gb
OPEC Nations
Saudi Arabia
261.8
Iraq
112.5
United Arab
Emirates
97.8
Kuwait
96.5
Iran
89.7
Venezuela
77.8
Libya
29.5
Nigeria
24
Qatar
15.2
Algeria
9.2
Indonesia
5
Non-OPEC Nations
Canada
180
Russia
60
United States
22.4
Mexico
12.6
Norway
10.2
Oman
5.5
United Kingdom
4.7
Egypt
3.7
http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/colombia/images/map04.gif
Two oil centers in Arab Region
Gb = Billion barrels.
"Oil and Gas Journal" 2003
Figures used by the Energy
Information Administration.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):
the oil & gas rich
Saudi Arabia
Oman
United Arab Emirates
Bahrain
Kuwait
Qatar
The Gulf Cooperation Council, created in response to the
outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war, established the Gulf
Standards Organization in November 1982 and the Gulf
Investment Corporation in 1984.
Oil Reserves (Gb)
Gulf Cooperation Council Members
Kuwait
Bahrain
Qatar
Country
Gb
GCC
Saudi Arabia
261.8
Y
United Arab
Emirates
97.8
Y
Kuwait
96.5
Y
Libya
29.5
Qatar
15.2
OPEC Nations
Algeria
Saudi Arabia
Y
9.2
Non-OPEC Nations
United A rab E mirates
Oman
Oman
5.5
Egypt
3.7
Country
Bahrain
Kuwait
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
United Arab Emirates
N
W
500
0
500
E
1000 Miles
S
Y
If Iraq were to join the GCC then the vast majority of
world oil reserves would be controlled by this group.
A result
Wealth and jobs have become highly
concentrated in the region around the Gulf
resulting in large scale migration into the
Gulf area.
GCC states have favored pro-natalist (probirth) policies even as Non-Oil states have
started moving towards anti-natalist
policies, why?
GCC: Percent Non-Native
Population by Year by Country
1975
2000
1990
Bahrain
Kuwait
Qa tar
Unit ed A rab E mirat es
Saudi Arabia
Oman
% Non-Native
Under 20%
20 - 35
35 - 50
50 - 65
65 - 80
500
0
500
Population in 2000
Nationals ............ 20 million
Non-nationals …. 10 million
N
W
E
1000 Miles
S
Note how many 30-35 year old Saudi’s
there are and how many non-nationals
As a Demographic
Region
2
1
3
4 patterns emerge: (1) low growth regions, (2)slowing regions, (3) oil
rich regions, and (4) “least developed” regions (not on chart).
Result
Four Demographic Division of Arab World
Some argue that
the Arab world is
splitting into
these 4 different
parts with
following results
RNI
Slow Growth
Lebanon
1960
2.9
1980
2.2
2000
1.4
2.6
2.8
1.9
2.6
3.2
2.5
Slowing Areas
Egypt
Oil Rich/Pro-Natal GCC
Saudi Arabia
Not Developing
Somolia
2.8
Most recent 2011
2011 Estimates
Country
TFR
NRI
Lebanon
1.78
1.04%
Egypt
2.69
1.70%
Saudi Arabia
2.74
1.90%
Yemen
5.09
2.30%
Somalia
6.32
2.90%
Additional Results
1. Slow growth areas will join developed
nations
2. Slowing areas will face possible instability
and hope to supply Europe and the GCC
with labor
Possible Results
3. The GCC hopes to “grow” enough labor to
oust outsiders, but as population
momentum grows, energy resources will
decline – too many for too little?
4. The ‘backward’ not developing areas will
continue to fuel regional and world
instability
Somalia???
Final Conclusions
There are a number of factors suggesting a
unified Arab World, but…
Differences in resources and resulting
economies has resulted in different
demographic patters and policy – and thus
possible futures
Oil wealth seems to be causing more
differentiation rather than unity between
Arab states
Study Questions
1. Is there an Arab World? How many
different ways did we look at this and what
is the evidence for or against?
2. In your opinion is the pro-natal policies of
the Gulf states a good thing or a bad thing?
3. If the Arab World was unified, could it
rival the US? Explain.
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