Qatar’s population fell by some 34,000 people between the end of November and December 2014, due to the usual dip that takes place as residents travel for the holiday season.
That means 2,235,431 people were here to mark the New Year, as opposed to 2,045,239 last year.
At the same time last year, the population fell by almost 23,000 people from the end of November to December 2013.
Despite the recent drop, new figures from the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics show that Qatar has seen the country grow by some 190,000 people over the past 12 months.
The number will likely appear much larger when population numbers for the end of January are released, as by then many residents will have returned from holiday.
The population has grown by some 40 percent since December 2010, when Qatar was awarded hosting rights to the 2022 World Cup. Since then, it has been importing manpower at a rapid rate to support its many time-sensitive infrastructure projects.
Still, this year’s jump is less of an increase than Qatar saw between December 2012 and December 2013, when some 208,563 people were added to the country.
This suggests that growth, while continuing at an astounding pace relative to most of the world’s countries, is actually slowing down.
The news likely comes as a welcome relief for many people living in Qatar, which has for several months struggled to accommodate newcomers in schools, hospitals and on the roads.
In terms of future growth predictions, Qatar National Bank has previously said it expects the population to reach 2.5 million by 2016, taking into account a 7.4 percent annual growth rate.