Near East Demographics and Terrorism

By Matthew J. Quick. University of Maryland. 

This paper analyzes the probable change in the incidence of terrorist events due to demographic factors for the Near East Region. I first present the predominant literature view that poverty, income inequality, and cultural differences are not important factors impacting the number of terrorist acts. I then analyze the specific demographic characteristics of cultural fractionalization, income inequality, purchase price parity, and literacy fractions. The main contribution of this paper is statistical analysis of these demographic factors for the Near East subset of countries. The evidence of my analysis suggests that those countries with above average regional values for the female literacy fraction and the male literacy fraction are more likely to suffer from a terrorist attack. Additional findings support the general notion that cultural fractionalization, income inequality and per-capita national output appear to be unrelated to terrorism event risk.

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