Arab World and Arabic Speaking Countries List

This article is meant for details of the countries where Arabic is official language and also gives informative facts about Arabic speaking countries.

Arabic Speaking Countries

Arab World Countries

Arab world or Arab Nations is a word coined for the group of 22 countries having similar cultural heritage, society and especially language. The 22 nations belonging to Arab world have a common language “Arabic” as their lingua-franca. All these countries are located in Arabian peninsula and northern Africa. The Arab world is located along the coast of these major seas :  Persian Gulf, Arabian sea, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Mediterranean sea and northeast Atlantic ocean. Most of the Arab speaking countries are also joined together on a socio-economic platform called Arab League. So in a way term “Arab League” and “Arab world” go side by side and generally taken as synonymous. There are some exceptions to this thumb rule like: there are three officially Arabic speaking countries which are not part of Arab League. These three countries are Chad, Western Sahara and Tanzania. There are two countries Eritrea and Israel which use Arabic as one of their official languages but these two do not count in either Arab League or Arab world.

A common question is generally asked if Iran is an Arabic country ? The answer is although Iran has more than 1.5 million people as Arabic speakers, it is neither an Arab country nor a member of Arab League.

There are three main forms of Arabic : Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic and Dialectal Arabic. Classical Arabic is the language used in historic scriptures, literature works and most specially Quran. Classical Arabic was powerful tool in the middle ages and pre-Islamic Arabian era. The present form of Arabic which is used everywhere in general is Modern Standard Arabic. Dialectal Arabic as the name suggests is different forms of Arabic used as dialects in different regions of Arabic speaking world. Dialectal Arabic which also called as Colloquial Arabic differs from one region to another.

List of Arabic Speaking Countries

Arabic Speaking Countries

Arabic Speaking Countries

Arabic Speaking CountriesArab World CountriesPopulationArabic Speakers
KuwaitKuwait2,789,000 1,735,000
LibyaLibya6,244,174 4,526,000
MauritauniaMauritaunia3,359,185 3,140,000
MoroccoMorocco33,250,000 25,000,930
Western Sahara548,000561,540
Saudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia30,770,37527,178,770
SomaliaSomalia 10,428,0433,788,000
SudanSudan40,235,000 28,164,500

Arabic language is the lingua-franca of the Arabian countries (Middle east and north Africa). There are 26 countries with Arabic as either sole official or co-official language. To sum up there are about 295 million native speakers of Arabic in world. This figure is arrived by adding the population of people where Arabic is used officially/primary/natively as well as people from  countries where Arabic is used as secondary language. Arabic is the 5th most spoken language in the world. 4.2 % of entire world population speaks Arabic. Arabic also holds the honor of being one of the six official languages of the United Nations. There are about 295 million native speakers of Arabic in world. Arabic is the native language (primary language) of Arabian countries. Apart from Arabian world Arabic is also spoken as secondary language in many other Muslim countries.

In total there are 26 Arabic speaking countries where Arabic is used as their constitutionally recognized official language. These countries uses Arabic as their primary (native) language for communication.

Some Facts about Arab World and Arabic speaking Countries

  1. Arab world consists of 22 Arab countries. Most of these countries are members of Arab League.
  2. There are 26 Arabic speaking countries which are spread in Arabian Peninsula and north Africa.
  3. Although most of the Arab world countries have different Arabic dialect in spoken form, the written form is almost similar.
  4. Among all the countries of Arab world, Algeria is the largest country in terms of area. Saudi Arabia and Sudan respectively hold second and third rank in term of Area among Arab world countries.
  5. In terms of Population, Egypt is the most populous country among Arab world. Algeria and Morocco are second and third most populous Arab world countries.
  6. Algeria and Sudan have second and third largest Arabic speaking population among Arabic speaking countries.
  7. Bahrain, Comoros and Lebanon are respectively smallest, second smallest and third smallest Arab world countries in terms of area.
  8. Egypt although holds sixth rank in area, it has largest Arabic speaking population. Out of 90 million population, about 82.5 million people speak Arabic in Egypt. This fact makes Egypt as the largest country in terms of Arabic speaking population.
  9. If percentage of Arabic speaking population of a country is taken to account, then Tunisia tops the list with 98.3 % of total population speaking Arabic. Western Sahara and Jordan comes at second and third place in percentage of Arabic speaking population.
  10. Arab country with least percentage of Arabic speaking population is Djibouti where only 1.3 % of total population speaks Arabic.
  11. Comoros has lowest population (of 798,000) among Arab world countries.
  12. Islam is the main religion of majority of population of Arab world countries.
  13. Iraq and Bahrain are the only two Shia majority states among the Arab world. Kuwait, Lebanon and Yemen have significant Shia minority population. Remaining 17 countries of Arab world are predominantly Sunni.
  14. There are 12 Arabic speaking countries which lie in Asia – Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen.
  15. There are 12 Arabic speaking countries which lie totally in mainland Africa: Algeria, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia and Western Sahara.
  16. There is  one Arabic speaking country which is transcontinental (lies in more than one continent) : Egypt
  17. There is one Arabic speaking country which is island : Comoros

Countries where Arabic is Official Language

List of countries where Arabic is only official language

Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen. Total 12 countries have Arabic as their only official language.

List of countries where Arabic is co-official along with other language/s
CountryOfficial Languages
AlgeriaArabic, Berber
ChadArabic, French
ComorosArabic, Fench, Comorian
DjiboutiArabic, French
EritreaArabic, English, Tigrinya
IraqArabic, Kurdish
IsraelArabic, Hebrew
LebanonArabic, French
MoroccoArabic, Berber
QatarArabic, English
SomaliaArabic, Somali
SudanArabic, English
TanzaniaArabic, English, Kiswahili
Western SaharaArabic, Spanish

Countries where Arabic is National Language

There are six countries where Arabic is the declared National language. These countries are Egypt, Lebanon, Mauritania, UAE, Somalia, Eritrea,