Qatar’s population surpasses 2.6 million for the first time

Qatar saw its population swell to an all-time high of 2,611,522 last month, according to new government figures.

This is the first time the number of people in the country has crossed the 2.6 million mark.

The figures reflect an 8 percent jump from last October, to the tune of 200,000 extra people.

However, government officials have forecast that population growth will begin tapering off around the middle of next year, as various construction projects conclude.

Population challenges

Just this week, Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics (MDPS) officials said plans were afoot to reevaluate the country’s population policy.

Because the local population is so small, Qatar imports the vast majority of its workforce. But this creates strains on the nation’s healthcare, education and other sectors.

Before oil prices dropped, the government was better able to handle these pressures. But new belt-tightening measures have put these issues at the forefront.

Thus, in the coming five years, the focus will be on increasing the number of nationals and controlling recruitment of expat workers.

Additionally, more must be done to better balance nationalities across jobs and weed out redundant positions, said Capt. Abdullah Al Mohannadi, a member of the Permanent Population Committee (PPC).

According to the Peninsula, the PPC also highlighted several other challenges in a two-year assessment study.

For Qataris, this included low birth rate, low fertility and an increase in the average childbearing age of Qatari women.

And for non-nationals, challenges for Qatar included a “high growth rate, disruption of demographics, imbalance of population distribution and imbalance of labor market.”


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