List of Countries in Middle East

The Middle East is an area defined in West Asia and North Africa. The name of Middle East emerged when British colonial officials in the 1800’s divided the Orient into three administrative areas: Near East (West of India), Middle East (Western Asia) and Far East (Eastern Asia). At that time, the Middle East included Afghanistan, Pakistan and most part of India. In 1932, the British military Middle East office in Baghdad was moved to Cairo and was merged with the Near East office. The Middle East then gained entry as a designation for the Western Orient.

Geographically, the Middle East holds over two-thirds of the world’s known oil reserves and one-third of natural gas reserves. The area is generally dry and in many places water scarcity is a crucial problem. In most Middle Eastern societies, there are great differences between rich and poor, and from many countries great emigration is taking place. Huge areas of the region are largely uninhabited, but some cities and areas such as Cairo (and the entire Nile Valley), Gaza and Tehran have some of the densest population concentrations in the world.

Culturally, the Middle East was home to several of Earth’s oldest cultural communities, and here emerged the three major monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Politically, most of the countries in Middle East have monopoly regimes, while a few have actual democracy (e.g. Israel) or incipient pluralistic governance (Yemen, Jordan, etc.). The location of some of the world’s most important sailing routes (Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz), the huge energy reserves and the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 have made it an area of ​​central political and economic importance, and for most of the post-war period, the Middle East has been a conflict-ridden center.

How Many Countries in Middle East

As of 2020, there are 16 countries in Middle East (listed by population).

Rank Country Population 2020
1 Egypt 101,995,710
2 Turkey 84,181,320
3 Iran 83,805,676
4 Iraq 40,063,420
5 Saudi Arabia 34,719,030
6 Yemen 29,710,289
7 Syria 17,425,598
8 Jordan 10,185,479
9 United Arab Emirates 9,869,017
10 Israel 8,639,821
11 Lebanon 6,830,632
12 Oman 5,081,618
13 Palestine 4,816,514
14 Kuwait 4,259,536
15 Qatar 2,113,077
16 Bahrain 1,690,888

Map of Middle Eastern Countries

Map of Middle East Countries

Location Map of Middle East

Alphabetical List of All Countries in Middle East

As mentioned above, there are a total of 16 independent nations in Middle East. See the following table for full list of Middle East countries in alphabetical order:

# Country Official Name Independence Date
1 Bahrain Kingdom of Bahrain December 16, 1971
2 Cyprus Republic of Cyprus October 1, 1960
3 Egypt Arab Republic of Egypt January 1, 1956
4 Iran Islamic Republic of Iran April 1, 1979
5 Iraq Republic of Iraq October 3, 1932
6 Israel State of Israel 1948
7 Jordan Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan May 25, 1946
8 Kuwait State of Kuwait February 25, 1961
9 Lebanon Lebanese Republic November 22, 1943
10 Oman Sultanate of Oman November 18, 1650
11 Qatar State of Qatar December 18, 1971
12 Saudi Arabia Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
13 Syria Syrian Arab Republic April 17, 1946
14 Turkey Republic of Turkey
15 United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates December 2, 1971
16 Yemen Republic of Yemen November 30, 1967


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