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Qatar Population and Expat Nationalities

26 August 2019

Qatar, one of the smallest nations by size and area in the world, punches well on the world map because of its incredibly diverse population. Every day, thousands of job seekers and travelers from every corner of the globe flock to this Arab nation. With an aim to become the most open nation in the Gulf, Qatar’s Prime Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani, in 2017, introduced free 96-hour transit visa for all nationalities and on-arrival visa for people of 80 countries. These developments demonstrate that Qatar is committed to becoming a well-maintained sanctuary for its enormous expatriate population.

Demographics of Qatar

Official name: State of Qatar
Current population: 2,839,386 (as of August 2019)
Official language: Arabic
Currencies used: Qatar Riyal
Demonym: Qatari

Situated in Western Asia, Qatar is a sovereign Arab state on the Qatar Peninsula of the Arabian Peninsula. This absolute monarchy is ruled by the AI Thani family and is known for pearl hunting, sea trade, oil trade, natural gas, and not to forget its incredible expat population. As of August 25th, 2019, the population of Qatar is 2,839,386, based on the latest United Nations estimates, making it the 141st most populous nation on the globe.

Qataris are considered a 'minority' in their own nation with only 15% of them accounting for Qatar's total population. The remaining 88% is made up of a workforce of over a hundred different nationalities.Qataris constitute only 10% of the country’s total population, followed by other 13% Arab, 21.8% Indian, 7.35% Filipino, 12.5% Nepali, 12.5% Bangladeshis, 9.35% Egyptians and 4.35% Sri Lankan. Indians constitute the largest group of expats in Qatar.

Though Arabic is the official language of Qatar, English is well spoken and understood nationwide. English is considered as the second language in the country. Religiously, 67.7% of the population residing in Qatar is Muslim, followed by 13.8% Hindu, 13.8% Christians, 3.1%, Buddhist, less than .1% Jewish faiths and folk religion each, 0.7 % other faiths and 0.9% religiously unaffiliated.

qatar population

Some Population Facts about Qatar

Here are some more coolest and astonishing facts expatriates should know about Qatar:

  • Qatar is the richest country on earth. And, safest too!
  • The current population of Qatar is 2,839,386 as of Sunday, August 25, 2019, based on the latest United Nations estimates.
  • Qatar population is equivalent to 0.04% of the total world population.
  • Qatar ranks number 141 in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population.
  • The population density in Qatar is 244 per Km2 (632 people per mi2).
  • The total land area is 11,610 Km2 (4,483 sq. miles)
  • 96.1 % of the population is urban (2,721,608 people in 2019)
  • The median age in Qatar is 31.6 years.

multiculturalism in doha

Qatar is home (albeit mostly a temporary one) to numerous people from around the world, who comprise the vast majority of its population, with Qataris being a minority for decades now. As the exact breakdown by nationality is not something that is made publicly available by either Qatar's Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA), Ministry of Interior, the Permanent Population Committee or any other Governmental body, we have embarked on collating as much data as possible on the subject, in order to shine a light on a matter of common interest.

Here's the nationality breakdown of Qatar population

This project was initiated in 2013, and continued through the years, and is now ready in 2019 with 87 nationalities. We have only listed the data of certain nationalities, but, this does not imply that the nationals of a particular country are not present in Qatar. It is just that we have included only the freshest possible information. We have included the sources of data at the end of this article.

List of Nationalities and Their Population

Nationality Population Total Percentile
India 700,000 21.8%
Bangladesh 400,000 12.5%
Nepal 400,000 12.5%
Qatar 333,000 9.35%
Egypt 300.000 9.35%
Philippines 236,000 7.35%
Pakistan 150,000 4.7%
SriLanka 140,000 4.35%
Sudan 60,000 1.9%
Syria 54,000 1.7%
Jordan 51,000 1.6%
Lebanon 40,000 1.25%
USA 40,000 1.25%
Kenya 30,000 1%
Iran 30,000 1%
Indonesia 27,350 0.85%
Tunisia 26,000 0.8%
Ethiopia 25,000 0.8%
UK 22,000 0.7%
Nigeria 11,000 0.35%
China More than 10,000 0.3%
Turkey 10,000 0.3%
Canada 9,200 0.3%
Saudi Arabia 8,245 0.25%

Note: Percentages correspond to the total estimated population of Qatar at the time the data is derived from.

Growth trends in Expat populations in Qatar

While the Qatari population has begun witnessing a rather slowed growth, in comparison to the explosive years of 2003, there are differences in which individual communities are growing. For example, it was found that the Bangladeshi community reached 400,000 in number towards spring 2019, from 137,000 in 2013, marking a whopping 190 percent increase.

Indians constitute the largest single nationality in Qatar touching 700,000 in number this year. The community has seen steep increase from 170,000 in 2004 to 400,000 in 2008, and although the growth has slowed down thereafter, Indians are still the biggest national group int he country and the trend may continue into the near future.

Another notable change detected was in the Egyptian population with their numbers having grown from 200,000 to 300,000 from 2015 to 2018.  In fact, most nationalities have seen an increase, but, some nationalities like Indonesia, UK, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, Japan and South Korea have remained stagnant.

The official Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA) data showed that there are about 333,000 Qatari nationals in Qatar since early 2019, which implies that Qatari nationals accounted for 10.5 percent of Qatar’s total population in mid-2019. As the number of migrants in Qatar continued to grow, the local population became increasingly smaller minority. The downward trend still continues, and is unable to keep up with the growing number of expat population pouring into the country, and hence is shrinking in proportion to total number.

The data received from the Filipino Embassy in Qatar showed that there were 236,000 Filipinos living in the country as of July 2019. The Filipino community has been rather steady in numbers, with only a slight fluctuation in numbers and is on an upward trajectory since 2012.

How does the future population chart look like?

An indication of what the future might hold depends on the labour deals signed by Qatar with other select countries. Besides, Bangladeshi community is fast growing, and might continue sky-rocketing at rapid pace, while several other nations have already signed deals with Qatar.  For instance, there is an ongoing drive to bring an additional 100,000 Pakistanis to the country, and a deal to this effect is being signed. Further, according to ‘The Population Policy of the State of Qatar 2017-2022’, published by the Permanent Population Committee has outlined one of its goals as being able to balance the distribution of workers by nationality, so as to reduce the concentration of certain nationalities in select professions. However, priority would be given to Arab nationalities during recruitment. So, it remains to be seen if this translates into higher growth in these communities.

Here’s the population forecast in Qatar for next ten years:

Year Population Annual % Change
2020 2,881,053 2.35%
2025 3,121,705 1.62%
2030 3,326,890 1.28%

Compilation of population data and source

The Government of Qatar does not publish any demographic data on population by nationality. However, in certain cases the Government of Qatar has made data for specific nationalities publicly available. But Qatari nationals are an exception for which the number can be extrapolated from various demographic data sets published by the Planning and Statistics Authority (PSA). The PSA publishes plenty of demographic data, which makes it easier to extrapolate the numbers using various data sets.



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