The statistics represent the number of Qataris and non-Qataris of all ages within the country’s boundaries.
Qatar’s divorce rate has recorded an increase of almost 88 percent in May compared to the same period last year, according to data available on the Planning and Statistics Authority [PSA].
Divorces surged from just 12 cases in May of 2020 to 97 in the same month this year, the report showed. The country saw the highest divorce rate in September of 2020, reporting 230 divorce cases in just one month. Seven months later, 149 divorce cases were reported.
PSA said the difference in numbers can be attributed to the delay in registration due to Covid-19 during 2020. However, it seems that the pandemic crisis has inspired a significant surge in the number of divorces across the world, with studies reported in the United States, China, Britain and Sweden.
According to the global trends, this was attributed to a range of issues, including an increase of domestic pressure, financial challenges and marriage problems that may have been masked before the sudden change of routine.
A study from the University of Washington said that divorces usually spike after couples spend longer periods of time together, especially after summertime and holidays.
Carly Kinch, a partner at a UK based firm Stewarts, told The Life Project that the pandemic was “the perfect storm” for couples. He added that the lockdowns and social distancing forced couples to spend increased amounts of time together, thus sparking more problems that were previously kept apart by separate routines.
“I don’t think that the reasons that people are divorcing have necessarily changed. You’ve always had the underlying current of ‘I’m unhappy with this or that at home’. But I think it has just brought the focus on domestic arrangements really into much more sharp focus than they would ordinarily be,” he said.
A New York-based neuropsychologist also reiterated Kinch’s perspective in a Spectrum News article, saying that many of her clients ‘already knew’ they had issues in their marriage before Covid-19 but lockdown made the problems worsen.
It is unclear whether the same reasons apply to Qatar, but it is safe to say that such a shift in routines, in addition to the economic instability caused by the pandemic, could have played a factor in the rate increase.
On the other hand, statistics also show 311 marriages were recorded this year compared to 165 last year. This is a 46 percent increase that can be attributed to the easing of restrictions on gatherings and weddings this year compared to last year.
Qatar’s population has also seen a significant drop, according to data available on the PSA, which recorded the lowest number since 2015.
The number of people currently within the country’s borders amounts to around 2,504,910 in June, compared to 2,794,148 in the same period last year and around 2,628,512 in May of this year, the data showed.
The drop in numbers accounts for around a 6 percent decrease in one year.
Meanwhile, the number of total live births has increased from 1,370 in May of last year to 1,940 in 2021, a 30 percent spike. The number of Qatari births up to May 2021 was 493, compared to 290 last year, while the number of non-Qatari births this year was 1,447.
That means that the number of non-Qatari birth rates was three times higher than that of the indigenous.
Out of the 1,940 total live births, 959 were females and around 981 were males, according to the report.