The Wikipedia countries and language version map of Arabia


This is a map (pdf-version) based on the numbers published by Erik Zachte, statistics manager of Wikimedia Foundation. It answers to the question which language versions of Wikipedia are mostly visited in a specific country.

Similar to the map of Europe, we see that only a small number of languages is relevant. In all of these countries, where Arabic Wikipedia is visited according to the statistics, English has an important role. In none of these countries Arabic Wikipedia is dominant, while in some European languages the national language version is. It should be noted that a part of the success of English is caused by the fact that in some Arabic countries internet is used especially by foreign residents of North American or European origin.

Very clearly we become aware of French colonial past, mostly in North Western Africa. In countries such as Morocco French Wikipedia even has more significance than English. One of the most important languages in the region is Hebrew (or Ivrit) due to the economic and democratic status of Israel. In general, people in the countries on this map visit Wikipedia much less than in Europe. While Germany has a share of the global total of 7.3%, Israel’s is 0.4% and Djibouti’s only 0.002%.

Update: See also the map about where the page views come from.


6 thoughts on “The Wikipedia countries and language version map of Arabia

  1. Thanks for saying that Israel has a democratic status – we don’t hear that a lot 🙂

    Hebrew, as much as i love it, is certainly not an important language in all of the Middle East. It is only important in our small country. Even though English is spoken by many Israelis as a second language, it can hardly compete with Hebrew. Despite the unfortunate hostility, many Arabs learn Hebrew, too: It is an obligatory subject in Arab-language schools in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority private courses of Hebrew are in high demand, too. (I wish that Arabic courses were as popular among the Hebrew speakers…)

    Internet is very accessible in Israel, which explains how one of the smallest countries in the region has the biggest bubble on the chart. And hey, this is a harder thing to measure, but the Hebrew Wikipedia is pretty good, too.

    Another interesting piece of data that is not seen on the chart is that in Israel the Russian Wikipedia is more popular with 5% than the Arabic with 2.2%. (Russian is hidden under “other”.)

    Finally, i was surprised somewhat by the fact that Arabic and French are so unpopular in Lebanon.

    1. Well, “important” on this map. 🙂 I had a different outline on this map than on that Europe map: here I am concentrating on Arabic and only show it, except English and French.
      Economics, of course, are very important for the Wikipedia potential of a country, but the cultural background matters, too. Think about the enormous encyclopedic tradition in Germany for example.

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