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Economic Brief - Inequality and Arab Spring Revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), made up of the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, and North Africa (Figure 1), has one of the fastest growing populations in the world. In 2011, its population was estimated at 355 million. The region has vast reserves of oil and natural gas: estimates in 2011 put its known oil reserves at more than 50% of the global total while its known gas reserves were estimated at more than 40% of the world total. At the same time, the region accounts for over 35% of world oil production and over 20% of global natural gas production.