1) 7% of the World Population
The Mediterranean Region is one of the most populated areas in the world, accounting for more than 500 million people. The inhabitants of the region are unevenly distributed and mostly located close to its shores. It is calculated that 55% of them live along the 6,000 km of coastlines (65% in the Southern region).
2) More than 10% of the Global GDP
The Mediterranean region accounts for more than 10% of world’s GDP. The area is one of the most dynamic in the world, and it includes a wide set of economic activities. However, the area is still affected by deep inequalities both within and among its countries. In particular, living conditions are widely different in the Northern and the Southern coast.
3) 20% of the Global Maritime Trade
The Mediterranean is one of the global hotspots of global maritime trade. Thousands of goods and resources transit from and to this area through the Suez Canal and the Gibraltar Strait. It is calculated than around 20% of the seaborne trade passes through this region on the North-South and East-West axis.
4) A (fragile) Cradle of Biodiversity
Despite the Mediterranean region accounting for only 0.7% of the world’s ocean area, it is one of the richest areas in the world for maritime and coastal biodiversity. It is calculated that 7.5% of world’s marine fauna and 18% of its marine flora live in its waters. When looking at the maritime basin countries, they account for more plant varieties than all other biogeographical regions in Europe combined and thousand species of animals.
5) A Key Destination of Global Tourism
The Mediterranean region is one of the main areas of global tourism. The number of tourists has overcome the 300 million mark in 2014, which represents around 30% of total tourists in the world. The number is expected to reach 500 million in 2020. It is estimated that about 50% of these arrivals are in coastal areas.
Sources: Mediterranean Growth Initiative, Mediterranean 2017 Quality Status Report, European Environment Agency, European Commission