The Middle Class in Arab Countries - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

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The Middle Class in Arab Countries

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2023/5


Country: Arab Republic of Egypt, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, State of Kuwait, Lebanese Republic, State of Palestine, Republic of Tunisia

Publication Type: Flagship publications

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Inclusive development, Population dynamics & migration

Initiatives: Development challenges, Public finance and inclusive fiscal policy

SDGs: Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Keywords: Middle class, Economic conditions, Labour market, Poverty, Households, Fiscal policy, Taxation, Gender discrimination, Know-how, Artificial intelligence, Armed conflicts, Social policy, Sectoral planning, Social security, Health insurance, Case studies, Recommendations, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Arab countries

The Middle Class in Arab Countries

November 2023

Over the past few decades, concerns have escalated about the fate and fortune of the middle class worldwide. The middle class in Arab countries has been grappling with political instability and conflict, rising informality, lack of decent work opportunities, inactive social protection schemes, and unrelenting poverty.

The flagship report "The Middle Class in Arab Countries” is based on a series of eight working papers that include the definition, measurement, size and characteristics of the middle class in six Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the State of Palestine and Tunisia). The papers scrutinize the impact of conflict on the livelihood of the middle class, the challenges to its growth, and the risks that could result in the middle class falling into vulnerability and poverty. The findings of the report pave the road towards implementing targeted policy interventions to safeguard the living standards of the middle class and enhance its future prosperity.

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