Despite flat-lining at the end of 2015, Qatar’s population has risen by almost 9 percent since last January, according to new government figures.
There were 2,423,175 people inside the country as of Jan. 31, the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS) said.
That’s nearly 200,000 more people than were in Qatar at the same time last year.
Compared to last month, the population grew about 1 percent, despite the fact that many people are out of the country currently due to the school holidays.
Last year at this time, the population fell about half a percent from December 2014 to January 2015, most likely due to the same reason.
Overall, the population in 2015 grew by some 185,624 people (from December 2014 to December 2015).
Qatar’s population is forecast to continue rising until next year, albeit possibly at a slower rate.
This is in part because over the past few months, several government entities have been laying off thousands of expats amid reduced budgets and plunging global oil prices.
Just last month, Qatar Rail, Hamad Medical Corp. and Sidra let go of staffers amid restructuring efforts.
The loss of jobs appears to be having a knock-on effect in terms of residential rental prices, according to real estate firm DTZ, who said rents are expected to finally begin falling this year.
However, Qatar still has much to do in terms of building infrastructure, hotels and stadiums ahead of the 2022 World Cup, and is thus continuing to import blue-collar labor at a rapid clip.
According to MDPS official Frank Harrigan, the population is expected to peak by summer 2017, before starting to drop.