For the seventh time in the past year, Qatar’s population has hit an all-time high, according to new figures from the country’s statistics agency.
There were 2,334,029 people residing within Qatar’s borders at the end of last month, the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics said.
That’s up nearly 5 percent, or 109,446 people, from January.
Put another way, that’s about enough people to fill 430 Qatar Airways 787 Dreamliners.
The country’s population figures represent a snapshot of the number of Qataris and foreigners who are within the country’s borders at the end of each month.
That means the tally fluctuates throughout the year due to holidays and school breaks, when many people leave to go on vacation.
As such, February’s population figure likely received a boost from families with school-aged children returning from their end-of-term break.
Not slowing down
Nevertheless, the year-over-year figures show that the country’s population is continuing to grow at a rapid clip.
There were more than 217,000 additional residents in Qatar last month, compared to February 2014, an increase of 10 percent.
Many observers say the growth is being driven by the massive infrastructure building boom underway in Qatar and the need for an ever-increasing number of construction workers to build new roads, rail lines, highways, schools and medical facilities around the country.
However, the gender breakdown of the population figures show that the ratio of men to women in Qatar has remained relatively constant over the past several years.
There were 584,427 females living in Qatar at the end of February, up 7.7 percent from a year earlier.
Despite the increase, women continue to make up 25 percent of the country’s population, suggesting that overall growth is not just due to the hiring of more blue-collar construction workers, but also female employees and white-collar expats whose families move here.
While the country’s growing population has helped fuel the country’s current economic boom, it has also put a strain on many services as government authorities race to keep pace.
For example, even as construction crews build dozens of new schools, expat parents still complain of a shortage of spaces for their children.
Meanwhile, rents are rapidly increasing as home builders are struggling to construct a sufficient number of new flats and villas, especially mid-prices units.
Qatar’s high population density also contributes to both the feeling that the country is becoming increasingly crowded, as well as putting pressure on schools, shopping centers and other communal areas.
A 2013 report found that nearly three-quarters of Qatar’s population lived in Doha and Al Rayyan. To illustrate the contrast, there were 3,136 people per sq km in Doha, compared to eight people per sq km in Al-Shamal.
To help cope with the strain, authorities have been encouraging more people to live outside the city by constructing additional schools and hospitals in outlying communities.
I wonder how Qataris feel being outnumbered by so much in their own country. Has this ever happened before anywhere in history?
Yes, in Dubai.
Qatar is the second to see such an influx (an organized rather than an imposed one) in all the history of humanity. It must be an interesting case study for scientists in many disciplines (demography, urbanism, architecture, politics, migration studies, etc.)
Well taking the uae as s whole there are 3 million expats compared to 1 million locals. Not quite the same.
Ya…the Americas, Australia, you get the picture
You’re right. Probably British India as well, imagine only 10,000 Brits owning the country and 100s of millions of Indians outnumbering them. Must have been terrifying
So, the native Americans felt the same way towards the European settlers? I guess the analogy be like:
1830s : “You don’t like it here, go back where you came from!”
1890s: “Oh darn!”
It’s not the same thing.
In the Americas and Australia the natives did not invite the foreign populations in.
Rather the foreign populations came there unexpectedly and we know the rest….
Qatar and UAE have actively invited foreigners into the country willingly to help build, work, etc. As said by Yacine organized and not imposed.
Interesting. What I would also like to know is what is being done to harmonize the many scores of people coming here. I realize it maybe not be an official effort but hey…
Someone said the population would go down due to falling oil prices… and school places would open up… why isn’t that happening
They said it would drop after the 2006 Asian Games, many say it would drop after the 2022 world cup…
I’ve always said that the population will just keep growing… There will always be something.
“For example, even as construction crews build dozens of new schools, expat parents still complain of a shortage of spaces for their children”
Not just expats, even the locals are having the same problem. it is a nightmare for Qataris with a first born child