Libyan Economy: A chart of GDP, unemployment, and median age in Middle Eastern countries.

Visualizing the world's most important economic data.
March 8 2011 10:07 AM

Young, Poor, and Jobless

Which Middle Eastern countries are most susceptible to revolution?

Country GDP per Capita.

Sources: World Economic Forum, IMF, World Bank, national governments, UNDP, RGE

The political outlook for regimes throughout the Middle East and North Africa remains uncertain, not least because of youth bulges (a high proportion of 15- to 29-year-olds) and high unemployment rates. Meanwhile, the region's GDP per capita—often a proxy measure for standard of living—shows that wealth is hardly shared equally across the region. As we've seen recently, these three factors—low median age, low GDP, and high unemployment—combined can be a catalyst for popular uprisings and regime change. This chart shows median age on the vertical axis, unemployment rate on the horizontal axis, and the size of GDP by the size of the circle. Oil exporters appear as red circles, and oil importers as blue ones.

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—Rachel Ziemba, RGE senior analyst for the Middle East

For more on the global economy, visit Roubini.com.

Nouriel Roubini is chairman of Roubini Global Economics and professor of economics at New York University's Stern School of Business.