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Monday, October 25, 2021

Qatar’s population reaches all-time high, but rate of growth slowing

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People in Qatar

More people than ever were in Qatar at the end of last month, but the pace of the country’s population growth appears to be slowing down.

According to new government figures, Qatar’s population reached an all-time high of 2,187, 326 on Sept. 30, 2014.

The numbers reflect a 7.48 percent increase from the same month last year.

That’s down from the 10 percent jump in the population that occurred between September 2012 and 2013.

Population changes

It’s also less than the 8.4 percent rise in the number of people here between September 2011 and 2012, according to figures from the Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS).

Qatar’s previous highest-ever population was in May this year, when it reached 2.17 million, before dropping as residents began leaving on vacation.

Monthly changes

Qatar’s population traditionally spikes during August and September as people return from summer breaks, and there is an influx of new residents into the country.

However, the month-on-month increases for this period also show a slowdown compared to the rate of growth over the same months in the last two years.

Monthly population changes

Between August and September this year, Qatar’s population rose by 5.29 percent. The increase over the same two months in 2013 was 9.13 percent and in 2012 it was 9.31 percent.

It is not clear why population growth is slowing, though there have complaints about recruitment problems given Qatar’s proximity to the UAE, which is also ramping up its infrastructure projects.

Also, Qatar is becoming an increasingly expensive place to live, and costs for renting residential accommodation in particular are up month-on-month as the knock-on effect of a surge in land prices.

August figures for Qatar’s consumer price index showed inflation of nearly 4 percent on the same period last year, with rises in “rent, fuel and energy” showing an increase of 7.9 percent over August 2013.

As rent makes up one-third of the average expat’s monthly spend, bumps in rent mean less money to save and spend, which could make some would-be residents think twice before moving here.

Growth forecasts

Nevertheless, the latest year-on-year figures are in line with projections for Qatar’s overall population and labor force growth in the coming years.

Earlier this month, Qatar National Bank (QNB) forecast that the number of residents here would grow on average by 7.4 percent annually in the coming years, reaching 2.5 million by 2016.

The bank’s report predicts a “new wave” of expats in the coming years, as Qatar expands its labor force to meet the demands of its many infrastructure and construction projects.

While the majority of these workers is expected to be unskilled and semi-skilled laborers, QNB also forecast growing demand for female employees and white-collar workers to organizations meet their deadlines ahead of the state hosting the World Cup in 2022.

The QNB forecast are more modest compared to previous estimates of Qatar’s population growth. In December 2013, Frank Harrigan, the then Director of the MDPS’s Department of Economic Development, predicted that the state could see a 15 percent growth in the size of its population between 2013 and 2014.

Traffic stats

Despite the population growth, the MDPS’s latest monthly traffic figures show an overall drop in the number of major and minor accidents on Qatar’s roads in August compared to those in July.

Accidents

While the number of fatalities as a result of accidents stood at 19 for August (up from 15 deaths in July), there were 43 major accidents recorded in August, compared to 66 in July.

There were also slightly fewer minor accidents – 536 for August, compared to 565 in July.

However, the number of traffic violations rose by nearly 13 percent between July and August, with a total of 140,114 infringements recorded. No breakdown of the types of penalties issued was given in MDPS’s report, unlike previous months.

Thoughts?

7 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

Finally a well balanced and researched piece by Walker.

that’s an average of 8.6% annual population growth over the last three years. In relative terms, it’s like the population of the UK growing by 5.4 million people each year for three years.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Im fact the UK is growing at around 0.6%, which puts it into perspective. Is having a world cup really so important? I would a thought a more modest growth would have provided a much better standard of life for the people here.

Saleem
Saleem
7 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

AGREED!!!

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

Agreed

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Eeee, all three of us agreeing, I might take a screenshot to keep for my old age

Shabina921
Shabina921
7 years ago
Reply to  Kingpin

Doha News, bringing people together…? 🙂

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

No wonder the school system is in turmoil, the hospitals bursting and roads jam packed. Its not sustainable at all, somethings will break and the 3 I mentioned have already, and don’t get me started on Q Post!

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