The Arab world, formally the Arab homeland, also known as the Arab nation, the Arabsphere, or the Arab states, consists of the 22 Arab countries which are members of the Arab League. A majority of these countries are located in Western Asia, Northern Africa, Western Africa, and Eastern Africa. The region stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the Indian Ocean in the southeast. The eastern part of the Arab world is known as the Mashriq, and the western part as the Maghreb. Arabic is used as the lingua franca throughout the Arab world.
Malta, an island country in Southern Europe whose national language also derives from Arabic, is not included in the region. Similarly, Chad, Eritrea, and Israel recognize Arabic as one of their official or working languages but are not included in the region because they are not members of the Arab League. The Arab world has a combined population of around 422 million inhabitants and a gross domestic product of $2.782 trillion.
In post-classical history, the Arab world was synonymous with the historic Arab empires and caliphates.