Noticed the traffic on the roads easing a bit lately? That might be because Qatar’s population went down by nearly 50,000 last month, from 1.96m in May to 1.91m in June, reflecting the annual summer migration to cooler climes.
The latest figures for June from the Qatar Statistics Authority are a snapshot of the number of nationals and expats of all ages within Qatar’s borders on the 30th of June 2013.
The migration pattern is an annual trend – Qatar’s population dipped similarly in June 2012 and 2011.
The figures show that the majority of those leaving the country in June were women. There were 475,211 women in Qatar in June compared to 511,450 in May, a decrease of 36,239, reflecting the trend for mothers and children to leave the country for the long, hot summer break.
Despite the small dip in the population last month, this year’s figures still show Qatar expanding at an unprecedented rate.
Qatar’s population has grown some 92 percent in the past six years, crossing the one-million mark in 2007, and standing at 1.96 million at the end of May – its highest ever.
Even taking the summer exodus into consideration, the gender imbalance in school term-time continues to be significant, with 511,000 women living in the country at the end of May, compared to 1.45 million men.
Qatar’s population looks set to keep on growing as the demand for expat labor increases, driven by a construction boom fueled by the World Cup in 2022 and a huge port, road, rail and metro programme.
Population growth is putting a huge strain on the country’s schools, hospitals and roads.
Credit: Photo by Sam Agnew