Qatar’s population fell slightly at the end of January to 2,576,181 people, according to new government statistics.
The dip of about 21,000 people from the month before was likely due to independent school holidays.
Over the past two weeks, more than 110,000 students were off on spring break. They return to school today.
Despite the small drop, January’s population still reflected a 6 percent increase from the same month in 2015, or about 153,000 people.
The growth is likely due to an influx of blue-collar workers hired to complete infrastructure projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
These include the Doha Metro and football stadiums.
Qatar hit an all-time population high in November, when it crossed the 2.6 million mark.
However, the pace of growth is continuing to slow down, as per Ministry of Development and Statistics forecasts.
This is in part due to layoffs from government belt-tightening, but also because some major construction projects are expected to wind down this year.
In discussing its five-year plan recently, MDPS said the government will focus on increasing the number of nationals in Qatar and controlling recruitment of expat workers.