(October 2003) The 22 countries of the Arab States have a population of about 300 million. The region’s annual population growth rate is 2.7 percent, compared to 1.5 percent for the less-developed world as a whole. The average economic growth rate in the region is lower than the population growth rate and is the second lowest in the world. Additionally, the population of the Arab world is young, with almost 39 percent below the age of 15 and a median age under 20. There has been a sizeable increase in the number of women of reproductive age. These UNFPA/PRB country profiles illustrate the specific issues and numbers for the Arab region.