Demographics of Kuwait

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Kuwait.

Kuwaiti citizens accounted for 40% of Kuwait's total population in 2011,[1] the rest is foreigners. The majority of Kuwait's citizen population is Muslim; there are no official figures, but it is estimated that 60%–70% are Sunni and 30%–40% are Shias.[2] Kuwait has a native Christian community; in 1999, there were 400 Christian Kuwaiti citizens.[3] There is also a small number of Bahá'í Kuwaiti citizens.[4] The country has a large community of expatriate Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, and Sikhs.[4]

Kuwait consists of six governorates: Hawalli, Asimah, Farwaniyah, Jahra, Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer. Most Kuwaitis live in Hawalli, Asimah and Farwaniyah governorates.[5] The governorates of Jahra, Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer are outlying areas (manatiq kharijiyya).[5] Although Jahra, Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer represent 53% of the electorate.[6]

The government and people of Kuwait consider the high level of immigrants to be a problem. This led to the announcement in 2013 that Kuwait will reduce the number of expatriates by deporting 100,000 expats annually over the next 10 years.[7] A recent proposal by a Kuwaiti lawmaker restricts all expats to only five years residence in Kuwait, all expats will be deported after living 5 years in Kuwait.[8] Another Kuwaiti lawmaker recently called for the deportation of 1.4 million expats, the lawmaker believes 280,000 expats should be deported annually.[9] Kuwait also banned expatriates from driving.[10]

Religions[edit]

Most of Kuwait's citizen population is Muslim; there are no official figures, but it is estimated that 60%-70% are Sunni and 30%-40% are Shias.[2] There are 100,000 non-citizen Shia residents in Kuwait and there are no estimates for the non-citizen Sunni residents.[4]

In 2001, there were 525,000 Sunni Kuwaiti citizens, 300,000 Shia Kuwaiti citizens and 820,000 Kuwaiti citizens in total thus Sunnis formed 64% and Shias formed 36.5% of the Kuwaiti citizen population.[11] In 2002, the US Department of State reported that Shia Kuwaitis formed 30%-40% of Kuwait's citizen population,[12] noting there were 525,000 Sunni Kuwaiti citizens and 855,000 Kuwaiti citizens in total (61% Sunnis, 39% Shias).[12] In 2004, there were 600,000 Sunni Kuwaitis citizens, 300,000-350,000 Shia Kuwaiti citizens and 913,000 Kuwaiti citizens in total.[13]

Kuwait also has a native Christian community. In 1999, there were 400 Christian Kuwaiti citizens.[3] There is also a small number of Bahá'í Kuwaiti citizens.[4] Most foreigners in Kuwait are Muslim, Hindu, Christian or Buddhist.[4]

Governorates[edit]

Further information: Governorates of Kuwait

Kuwait consists of six governorates: Hawalli, Asimah, Farwaniyah, Jahra, Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer.[5] Most Kuwaitis live in the governorates of Hawalli, Asimah and Farwaniyah.[5] The governorates of Jahra, Ahmadi and Mubarak Al-Kabeer are outlying areas (manatiq kharijiyya).[5]

Governorates of Kuwait
Governorate Kuwaiti citizen population
Hawalli Governorate 213,025
Al Asimah Governorate (Capital) 232,727
Al Farwaniyah Governorate 224,535
Al Jahra Governorate 167,404
Al Ahmadi Governorate 262,178
Mubarak Al-Kabeer Governorate 142,374
TOTAL 1,242,499
Source: 2013 Population Census - The Public Authority for Civil Information

Historical populations[edit]

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1950 152,000 —    
1960 264,000 +73.7%
1970 753,000 +185.2%
1980 1,377,000 +82.9%
1990 2,088,000 +51.6%
2000 1,941,000 −7.0%
2010 2,737,000 +41.0%
Source:[14]
Population of Kuwait according to nationality
census year Kuwaiti non-Kuwaiti Total Change
Number  % Number  % Number  %
1975 307,755 30.9 687,082 69 994,837 -
1985 470,473 35 1,226,828 65 1,697,301 70.6
1995 653,616 41.5 921,954 58.5 1,575,570 -7.2
2005 860,324 39.2 1,333,327 60.8 2,193,651 39.2
2011 1,089,969 36 1,975,881 64 3,065,850 39.8
2013 1,403,962 33 2,291,354 67 3,695,316 20

The biggest population difficulty in Kuwait involves the Bidoon, stateless people numbering just over 100,000 who are classed as illegal residents and who are trying to claim Kuwaiti citizenship.[15] Critics argue that these people are Arabs who migrated from Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia; a large part of the problem the Bidoon face is that these other states do not consider them as their nationals either.[16] In 2013 a law was passed to grant citizenship to 4,000 of these people as part of an attempt to resolve the problem. However, the government has said that only a third of the Bidoon would qualify for possible naturalisation as it considers that the rest hold other nationalities, with officials alleging that they have destroyed their documents in order to claim Kuwaiti citizenship.[15]

Vital statistics[edit]

UN estimates

[17]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR* CDR* NC* TFR* IMR*
1950-1955 8 000 2 000 6 000 43.7 12.3 31.4 7.21 113
1955-1960 9 000 2 000 7 000 40.0 9.6 30.4 7.21 90
1960-1965 16 000 3 000 13 000 43.4 7.6 35.8 7.31 70
1965-1970 30 000 4 000 26 000 48.8 6.3 42.5 7.41 53
1970-1975 43 000 5 000 38 000 47.6 5.2 42.4 6.90 40
1975-1980 49 000 5 000 44 000 40.7 4.2 36.5 5.89 29
1980-1985 58 000 5 000 52 000 37.1 3.4 33.6 5.10 22
1985-1990 51 000 5 000 45 000 26.5 2.8 23.7 3.34 16
1990-1995 33 000 5 000 28 000 18.0 2.7 15.3 2.20 13
1995-2000 43 000 5 000 38 000 24.1 3.0 21.1 2.93 11
2000-2005 39 000 6 000 32 000 18.5 3.1 15.4 2.24 10
2005-2010 47 000 8 000 39 000 18.7 3.1 15.6 2.32 8
* CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births; TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman)
Registered births and deaths

[18][19]

Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000)
1961 296 12 942 2 504 10 438 43.7 8.4 35.2
1962 337 15 204 2 180 13 024 45.1 6.5 38.6
1963 384 17 397 2 139 15 258 45.4 5.6 39.8
1964 433 19 428 2 618 16 810 44.8 6.0 38.8
1965 484 21 950 2 454 19 496 45.3 5.1 40.3
1966 536 23 732 2 813 20 919 44.3 5.3 39.0
1967 588 28 334 3 111 25 223 48.2 5.3 42.9
1968 642 33 026 3 346 29 680 51.5 5.2 46.3
1969 697 35 135 3 378 31 757 50.4 4.8 45.6
1970 753 33 842 3 735 30 107 44.9 5.0 40.0
1971 811 35 558 3 832 31 726 43.8 4.7 39.1
1972 870 37 688 4 149 33 539 43.3 4.8 38.5
1973 931 40 165 4 601 35 564 43.2 4.9 38.2
1974 992 41 060 4 693 36 367 41.4 4.7 36.7
1975 1 054 42 861 4 778 38 083 40.7 4.5 36.1
1976 1 116 46 039 4 661 41 378 41.3 4.2 37.1
1977 1 179 46 864 5 365 41 499 39.8 4.6 35.2
1978 1 243 48 010 4 936 43 074 38.6 4.0 34.7
1979 1 309 48 273 5 028 43 245 36.9 3.8 33.0
1980 1 377 51 090 4 932 46 158 37.1 3.6 33.5
1981 1 446 52 041 4 678 47 363 36.0 3.2 32.8
1982 1 514 54 257 4 992 49 265 35.8 3.3 32.5
1983 1 584 55 617 4 654 50 963 35.1 2.9 32.2
1984 1 660 56 776 4 544 52 232 34.2 2.7 31.5
1985 1 742 55 087 4 711 50 376 31.6 2.7 28.9
1986 1 836 53 845 4 390 49 455 29.3 2.4 26.9
1987 1 937 52 412 4 113 48 299 27.1 2.1 24.9
1988 2 028 53 080 4 581 48 499 26.2 2.3 23.9
1989 2 084 52 858 4 628 48 230 25.4 2.2 23.1
1990 2 088
1991 2 031 20 609 3 380 17 229 10.1 1.7 8.5
1992 1 924 34 817 3 369 31 448 18.1 1.8 16.3
1993 1 796 37 379 3 441 33 938 20.8 1.9 18.9
1994 1 688 38 868 3 464 35 404 23.0 2.1 21.0
1995 1 628 41 169 3 781 37 388 25.3 2.3 23.0
1996 1 628 44 620 3 812 40 808 27.4 2.3 25.1
1997 1 679 42 815 4 017 38 798 25.5 2.4 23.1
1998 1 764 41 424 4 216 37 208 23.5 2.4 21.1
1999 1 857 41 135 4 187 36 948 22.1 2.3 19.9
2000 1 941 41 843 4 227 37 616 21.6 2.2 19.4
2001 2 010 41 342 4 364 36 978 20.6 2.2 18.4
2002 2 070 43 490 4 342 39 148 21.0 2.1 18.9
2003 2 127 43 982 4 424 39 558 20.7 2.1 18.6
2004 2 189 47 274 4 793 42 481 21.6 2.2 19.4
2005 2 264 50 941 4 784 46 157 22.5 2.1 20.4
2006 2 351 52 759 5 247 47 512 22.4 2.2 20.2
2007 2 448 53 587 5 293 48 294 21.9 2.2 19.7
2008 2 548 54 571 5 701 48 870 21.4 2.2 19.2
2009 2 778 56 503 6 266 50 237 20.3 2.3 18.1
2010 2 933 57 533 5 448 52 085 19.6 1.9 17.8
2011 3 099 58 198 5 339 52 859 18.8 1.7 17.1

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Age structure
  • 0–14 years: 25.8% (male 348,816; female 321,565)
  • 15–64 years: 72.2% (male 1,153,433; female 720,392)
  • 65 years and over: 2% (male 25,443; female 25,979) (2011 est.)
Population growth rate
  • 1.986% (2011 est.)
Gender ratio
  • at birth: 1.047 male(s)/female
  • under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  • 15–64 years: 1.79 male(s)/female
  • 65 years and over: 1.65 male(s)/female
  • total population: 1.54 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
  • total population: 77.09 years
  • male: 75.95 years
  • female: 78.3 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate
  • 2.64 children born/woman (2011 est.)
Nationality
  • noun: Kuwaiti(s)
  • adjective: Kuwaiti
Ethnic groups (by nationality)

From the 2011 census and official 2012 figures of non-nationals:

  • Kuwaiti 36%, other Arab 21%, South Asian 34%, Iranian 1% other 8%.
Country Population Total Non-nationals as proportion of whole
Indian 647,000
Bangladeshi 189,000
Pakistani 120,000
Sri Lankan 110,000
Nepali 52,000
Afghan 14,000
Total South Asia 1,132,000 34%
Egyptian 453,000
Syrian 131,000
Jordanian/Palestinian 53,000
Lebanese 42,000
Iraqi 15,000
Yemeni 11,000
Total Other Arab 705,000 21%
Iranian 43,000 43,000 1%
Filipino 142,000
Ethiopian 74,000
Indonesian 19,000
American 13,000
Other 248,000 8%
Total 2,128,000 64%

Note:

  • 20,000 US service personnel not included.
  • Unlikely that the ~100,000 Bidoon are included.
Languages
  • Other languages are spoken by the large South Asian expatriate population.
Literacy
  • definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  • total population: 94%

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Annual Statistical Abstract 2011". Kuwait Central Statistical Bureau. 2011. "Chapter 3: Population". 
  2. ^ a b "The New Middle East, Turkey, and the Search for Regional Stability". Strategic Studies Institute. April 2008. p. 93. "Shiites comprise 60 percent of the population in Bahrain, 40 percent in Kuwait, 14 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 35 percent in Lebanon." 
  3. ^ a b "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 1999. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "International Religious Freedom Report for 2012". US State Department. 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "2013 Population Census". Government of Kuwait. 2013. 
  6. ^ 439,715 Kuwaitis eligible to vote in parliament polls
  7. ^ "Kuwait to push out 1 million expats in next 10 years". The Telegraph. 26 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Awwal, Rabee'a (2014-01-30). "Arab times". Arab times. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  9. ^ "Kuwait MP calls for deportation of 1.4 million expats". 
  10. ^ "Kuwait bans expats from hospital and driving". 
  11. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 2001. 
  12. ^ a b "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 2002. 
  13. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 2004. 
  14. ^ World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision[dead link]
  15. ^ a b "Kuwait MPs pass law to naturalise 4,000 stateless Bidun". BBC News. 20 March 2013. 
  16. ^ "Stateless in Kuwait: Who Are the Bidoon?". Open Society Foundations. 24 March 2011. 
  17. ^ World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
  18. ^ [1] United nations. Demographic Yearbooks
  19. ^ [2] Central Statistical Bureau]