Only about a tenth of the population are Qatari citizens. The rest consists of foreign migrant workers employed in everything from gas and oil extraction to agriculture and construction.
Most migrant workers come from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Iran or from other Arab countries. The Indians are the most, only the Indian citizens are almost twice as many as the Qatari themselves. Americans and Europeans often have qualified positions in industry and service (see also Labor Market).
- COUNTRYAAH.COM: Key populations estimated size and data of Qatar, including population density of how many people per square mile. Also included are facts for population and language.
The large labor migration since the 1960s has caused the population to multiply. Between 1997 and 2005, the number of residents increased by an average of more than 8 percent per year. Natural Population growth is also relatively high; more than a quarter of the residents were estimated to be under 25 in 2014. Almost everyone lives in the cities, mainly Doha.
The Qatari originates from nomadic Arab Bedouin tribes but also from Persian merchants.
Qatarians speak Arabic, but a growing number are fluent in English. Among the foreign guest workers are spoken among other things Persian and Urdu.
FACTS – POPULATION AND LANGUAGE
Arabs 40%, Pakistanis 18%, Indians 18%, Iranians 10%, other 14% (estimate 2010)
Number of residents
2 639 211 (2017)
Number of residents per square kilometer
Percentage of residents in the cities
99.1 percent (2017)
Nativity / birth
10.1 per 1000 residents (2016)
Mortality / mortality
1.5 per 1000 residents (2016)
2.7 percent (2017)
1.9 number of births per woman (2016)
Percentage of women
24.9 percent (2017)
78 years (2016)
Life expectancy for women
80 years (2016)
Life expectancy for men
77 years (2016)
Arabic is the official language 1
- English Common
Disputed guest worker system is scrapped
13th of December
The government announces that the controversial so-called Kafala system will be abandoned with immediate effect (see Labor Market). Instead, a new system of contract workers is introduced, which is said to provide greater flexibility and protection for the employees. However, human rights organizations believe that the changes are insufficient and that what they describe as a modern form of slavery remains intact.
Rape woman convicted
A woman who has been raped is convicted of having sex outside of marriage. The verdict that attracts considerable attention in the outside world means that a Dutch woman who has been detained for three months is sentenced to conditional imprisonment, fines and deportation. According to the woman’s lawyer, she had a drink laced with someone pulled into a hotel and then woke up in a stranger’s apartment, and then realized that she had been raped. The designated man is sentenced to probation both for sex outside marriage and for consuming alcohol.
Petrol and diesel prices are released.
26th of April
From May, fuel prices should not be regulated. Previously, Qatarians were allowed to buy fuel at heavily subsidized prices, but in January the gasoline price was increased by 30 percent.
New charges of forced labor
Amnesty International accuses Qatar of using forced laborers in the construction of a main arena to be used at the 2022 Soccer World Cup (see also November 2013).
al-Jazira cuts down
The TV company states that 500 jobs will be removed, primarily in Qatar.
The poet is pardoned
Despite over ten years of punishment remaining, the emir decides that Muhammad al-Ajami be released (see October 2013). No cause is given, but he is allowed to leave prison immediately.
Plans to freeze oil production
Oil ministers from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Russia agree to leave oil recovery at the January level, provided that enough other countries follow suit. The decision taken at a meeting in Doha aims to halt the fall in prices. The oil price has fallen by 70 percent since the peak in June 2014.
Several ministers are replaced
A major refurnishment of the government is being implemented, the first since the one that took place when emir Tamim took office. Several ministries are merged and some ministers replaced. Among other things, Foreign Minister al-Aittiyah becomes State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense; the emir is the Minister of Defense. New Foreign Minister becomes Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Iranian ambassador recalled
Qatar, like many of its neighbors on the Arabian Peninsula, recalls its ambassador from Iran. The reason is that a Shiite leader has been executed in Saudi Arabia, prompting protesters in Tehran to storm the Saudi embassy.