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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Qatar’s population crosses 2.4m for first time, setting new record

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With reporting from Peter Kovessy

For the 11th time in two years, Qatar’s population has reached an all-time high, with some 2,412,483 people recorded to be inside the country at the end of October, according to new government figures.

That’s a nearly 9 percent jump in the overall population since last October, meaning Qatar grew by about 196,000 people in the past 12 months.

The last record high was six months ago, when 2,374,866 were recorded to be in the country at the end of May.

The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) data showed that the nation continues to be comprised mainly of men, with some 1,812,418 males in the country and 600,065 females as of Oct. 31.

That’s a 3:1 ratio, about on par with previous months.

Leaps and bounds

Qatar’s population has been growing at an average of 9 percent each month for more than a year.

This is in large part due to hiring sprees in many sectors as the nation makes progress on several development projects ahead of the 2022 World Cup, including the Doha Metro, tournament stadiums, dozens of hotels and a network of highways.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Last month, MDPS officials said that the country has grown by 40 percent – or more than 700,000 people – in the past five years.

The strain this blockbuster growth has caused is apparent to most residents, who are finding it increasingly difficult to navigate through traffic, find school places or access some health services in a timely manner.

These issues are expected to continue for at least another year, but may improve after that, one ministry official previously told Doha News.

Frank Harrigan, Director of Environment and Economic Planning at the MDPS, said:

“We are probably approaching a population peak in the next 18 months or so, then we can see it starting to go down. You can already identify a slight slowing, with the oil and gas issue affecting other sectors. As construction projects are completed, the population will taper off.

Of course, you will have people coming in to service the World Cup, but this is a one-off event. We need to examine what is a sustainable community for Qatar after that. It is likely to be less than the population we see today,” he added.

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