Qatar’s population has returned to pre-summer vacation levels and is getting close to breaking another all-time high record, according to new government figures.
There were 2,347,000 people in the country at the end of September, the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics said on its website.
That’s nearly 160,000 more people than were in Qatar at the same time last year, and about 58,000 more people than were here at the end of August.
Though the influx may make the roads and other parts of the country feel more crowded than ever, the figures reflect the smallest year-on-year increase Qatar has seen in 2015 (7.3 percent).
Most other months have seen 9 or 10 percent jumps in population when compared to the same time last year.
However, it remains unclear if the smaller increase reflects any lasting trend.
Many people were finishing up their Eid Al Adha holidays of the country at the end of September.
Additionally, layoffs last month at some companies may have also contributed to fewer people being in the country then.
Strain on services
Earlier this year, Qatar saw its population swell to an all-time high of 2,374,860 people, and it looks likely that the May 2015 figure will be exceeded by the end of this month.
To cope with the growth, the government has invested billions in building new roads, schools and hospitals, with an emphasis on developing infrastructure outside of the capital, like in Al Wakrah and Al Khor.
Doha, however, continues to be the most densely populated part of the country, and issues such as traffic congestion, demands for school places and a strain on housing and healthcare have proved difficult to address.
According to a recent survey of expats from around the world conducted by HSBC, Qatar slipped six places since 2014, to 34th out of 39 countries, in part due to these problems.