The Arabian Peninsula Partnership

The Gospel for every person and a church for every people in the Arabian Peninsula amongst indigenous peoples

map of Saudi Arabia

Information about Saudi Arabia

(source: Operation World)


Area: 2,240,000

The main portion of the Arabian Peninsula; almost entirely desert but containing 25% of the world's known oil reserves.

Population Annual Growth Density
2000: 21,606,691 +3.43% 10 per sq. km.
2010: 28,778,495 +2.80% 13 per sq. km.
2025: 39,964,965 +1.87% 18 per sq. km.

Capital: Riyadh 3.35 mill. Other major cities: Jiddah 2.1m; Mecca 920,000.

Urbanites: 80%


With the presence of such a large number of foreigners, all figures are estimates.

Arabs: 83.8% Saudi Arab 72.9%

Foreign Arab: 10.9%. Egyptian 1.2m; Yemeni 500,000; Palestinian 300,000; Jordanian 200,000.

Asian: 14.2%. Indian 1m; Pakistani 800,000; Filipino 600,000; Bangladeshi 200,000, Iranian 150,000; Sri Lankan 150,000.

African: 1.4%. Nigerian, Sudanese, Somali.

Other: 0.6%. American, British, French, Italian etc.

Literacy: 62.8%. Official language: Arabic All languages: 5


Enormous oil wealth produces two-thirds of government revenue and is used to improve services and communications, develop industries and finance Islamic expansion around the world. The combined effects of eighteen consecutive years of budget deficits, spectacular corruption of the large royal family and the heavy cost of the Gulf War (at least US$50 billion) have enforced a measure of austerity since 1990. A major economic overhaul is overdue. Income/person $7,150 (22.7% of USA).


Absolute monarchy and a semi-feudal state with administration, diplomacy and commerce tightly controlled by the large royal family. Since the Gulf War there has been pressure from democrats to liberalize the country and from hard-line Islamists to exert more control, resulting in some changes.


An Islamic state committed to the role of the custodian of Islam and its holiest sites. The majority of Saudis are Wahhabi Sunnis. Religions other than Islam are prohibited even for expatriate Christian gatherings. All non-Muslim figures are estimates. Persecution index: 1st in world.

Religions Population % Adherents
Muslim 92.80 20,057,491
Christian 4.54 980,944
Hindu 0.60 129,640
Buddhist/Chinese 0.42 90,748
Sikh 0.19 41,053
Baha'i 0.02 4,321
Christians Denom. Affiliation ,000
Protestant 21 0.67 144
Independent 30 0.54 117
Anglican 1 0.01 2
Catholic 3 1.83 395
Orthodox 4 0.55 119

Churches Congregations Members Affiliates
Catholic (3) 276,224 395,000
Prostentant (20) 128 25,600 128,000
Independent (30) 73,125 117,000
Total Christians 485,116 807,000

Operation World