Which are the Best Countries in the Middle East?

Social and Moral Index
The Best Countries
CountryScore
1Cyprus69.8
2Israel66.6
3Jordan60.5
4Turkey60.4
5UAE58.8
6Qatar58.4
7Oman58.1
8Kuwait57.1
9Bahrain55.3
10Lebanon54.9
World Average58.9
Middle East Average53.5
Data Source

Almost exclusively dominated by Muslim countries, the Middle East in general has severe problems with human rights, gender equality and cultural misogyny and LGBT equality. Acceptance of democratic principles is largely impossible given the prominence of Islamic theocracy. The two countries that do not fit in this pattern bear these criticisms out: Cyprus and Israel are both non-Islamic states and they come 1st and 2nd on the Social and Moral Index for this region.

There are 17 locations that fall within this category. By adding up all the known populations that fall within these locations, and summing their physical land areas, we can calculate population densities. Some islands and territories can end up being counted twice depending on how they are classified and divided up politically, but, mostly such errors involve only small populations. So, some data on this collection of countries in total:


1. Social and Moral Development Index and Basic Demographics

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2013).

CountrySocial & Moral
Development Index
1Higher
is better
Life
Expectancy
Higher
is better
Gross
National
Income PPHigher
is richer
UN's Human
Development
IndexHigher
is better
PopulationLand Areakm2People
Per km2Higher
is worse
1Cyprus69.879.8yrs$23 8250.85 1 129 166 9 240122
2Israel66.681.9yrs$26 2240.90 7 694 670 21 640356
3Jordan60.573.5yrs$5 2720.70 6 457 260 88 78073
4Turkey60.474.2yrs$13 7100.72 74 508 771 769 63097
5UAE58.876.7yrs$42 7160.82 8 105 873 83 60097
6Qatar58.478.5yrs$87 4780.83 1 938 754 11 610167
7Oman58.173.2yrs$24 0920.73 2 904 037 309 5009
8Kuwait57.174.7yrs$52 7930.79 2 891 553 17 820162
9Bahrain55.375.2yrs$19 1540.80 1 359 485 7601789
10Lebanon54.972.8yrs$12 3640.74 4 291 719 10 230420
11Egypt53.573.5yrs$5 4010.66 83 958 369 995 45084
12Palestine52.773.0yrs$3 3590.67 4 270 791
13Syria45.576.0yrs$4 6740.65 21 117 690 183 630115
14Iran44.173.2yrs$10 6950.74 75 611 7981 628 55046
15Saudi Arabia42.974.1yrs$22 6160.78 28 705 1332 149 69013
16Iraq36.269.6yrs$3 5570.59 33 703 068 434 32078
17Yemen35.565.9yrs$1 8200.46 25 569 263 527 97048
World Average58.970.0yrs$12 7030.67 25.74m 536 25448
Middle East Average53.574.5yrs$21 1620.73 22.6m 452 65150
Data Source

2. Human Rights and Moral Development

CountrySocial & Moral
Development Index
1Higher
is better
Gender
Inequality2Lower
is better
Human Rights
Treaties3Higher
is better
Press
Freedom4Higher
is better
LGBT
Equality
5Higher
is better
1Cyprus69.80.132086.225
2Israel66.60.141267.040
3Jordan60.50.481461.510
4Turkey60.40.371753.4100
5UAE58.80.24766.5-520
6Qatar58.40.551067.1-70
7Oman58.10.34958.5-50
8Kuwait57.10.271271.7-120
9Bahrain55.30.261237.2-20
10Lebanon54.90.431269.8-30
11Egypt53.50.591651.3-20
12Palestine52.756.9
13Syria45.50.551421.5-50
14Iran44.10.50926.6-520
15Saudi Arabia42.90.681043.1-520
16Iraq36.20.56955.3-10
17Yemen35.50.751630.8-520
World Average58.90.3815.167.5-7
Middle East Average53.50.4312.454.4-142

3. Religion and Beliefs

Disbelief
in God
(2004)6
Religiosity
(2009)7
Jews
(2010)8
Christians
(2010)8
Muslims
(2010)8
Hindus
(2010)8
Buddhists
(2010)8
Folk
Religion
(2010)8
Unaffiliated
(2010)8
Bahrain94%0.6%14.5%70.3%9.8%2.5%0.1%1.9%
Cyprus75%0.1%73.2%25.3%0.1%0.2%0.1%1.2%
Egypt0%97%0.1%5.1%94.9%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Iran4%0.1%0.2%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Iraq0%84%0.1%0.8%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Israel15%51%75.6%2.0%18.6%0.1%0.3%0.2%3.1%
Jordan0%0.1%2.2%97.2%0.1%0.4%0.1%0.1%
Kuwait0%91%0.1%14.3%74.1%8.5%2.8%0.1%0.1%
Lebanon3%87%0.1%38.3%61.3%0.1%0.2%0.1%0.3%
Oman0%0.1%6.5%85.9%5.5%0.8%0.1%0.2%
Palestine93%0.1%2.4%97.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Qatar95%0.1%13.8%67.7%13.8%3.1%0.1%0.9%
Saudi Arabia0%93%0.1%4.4%93.0%1.1%0.3%0.3%0.7%
Syria0%89%0.1%5.2%92.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%2.0%
Turkey82%0.1%0.4%98.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.2%
UAE0%91%0.1%12.6%76.9%6.6%2.0%0.1%1.1%
Yemen0%99%0.1%0.2%99.0%0.6%0.1%0.1%0.1%
World Averages9.9%75.1%0.5%60.6%22.4%2.0%3.5%2.7%7.9%
Middle East Averages1.8%87.2%4.6%11.5%79.4%2.8%0.8%0.1%0.8%
Data Source
Links:

By Vexen Crabtree 2013 Nov 06
(Last Modified: 2013 Dec 14)
http://www.humantruth.info/middle_east.html
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Crabtree, Vexen
(2013) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2013). Accessed 2015 Apr 08.

Gallup
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.

Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.

Pew Forum. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
(2012) The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010. Published 2012 Dec 18, accessed online 2013 May 01.

United Nations
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

Footnotes

  1. The Social and Moral Index by Vexen Crabtree (As of 2015 Apr 08).^^
  2. United Nations Human Development Report (UN HDR) 2013. Table 4 (Gender Inequality Index).^
  3. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^
  4. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^
  5. LGBT sources:^
  6. Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: contemporary numbers and patterns. In M.Martin (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" by Lynn et al. (2009).^
  7. Gallup (2009).^
  8. Pew Forum (2011) - data for 2010.^

© 2015 Vexen Crabtree. All rights reserved.