Saudi Arabia Facts
Last Census - 2010
Also See: Major Cities in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the second largest Arab state (the first is Algeria) and comprises the majority of the Arabian Peninsula. Jordan and Iraq are on its north border; Kuwait on its northeast; Bahrain, Qatar and UAE to the east; Yemen to its south; Oman to its southeast; and the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea to its east. The population of the country is estimated to be around 16 million citizens, with 9 million additional foreigners.
It is also reported to have over 2 million illegal immigrants. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of the religion Islam, which is one of the largest religions in the world. It is also sometimes referred to as “The Land of Two Holy Mosques.” This is because of the two holiest mosques in Islam, the Masjid-e-Nabwi in Medina and the Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca. The country receives a large number of foreigners who are Muslims every year for the Islamic practices of Haj and Umrah, which are among the five pillars of Islam and must be conducted at least once in a lifetime.
The country has the largest oil reserves in the world, which account for about 70% of the government’s revenue and 95% of its exports every year. It also has the sixth largest natural gas reserves. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the whole world which has a law prohibiting the women of the country to drive.
Saudi Arabia Population 2013
According to the census held in 2012, the population of the country is estimated to be 29,195,895 - the 43rd largest in the world. But the recent estimates for July 2013 indicate the total population has grown to 29.55 million. Riyadh, which is the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and also the largest city in the kingdom, is home to about 7 million people. This accounts for 24% of the population of the WHOLE COUNTRY.
Although the government does not hold any census on religion, there is evidence that the country is 100% Muslim. There have been estimates which indicate that the majority are of the Sunni branch of Islam, at 85-90%. The other major Islam group is the Shiites, who comprise the remaining 10-15% of the community.
The population of Saudi Arabia has a growth rate of 1.51%, which is the latest 2013 estimate. This is the 80th highest growth rate of the entire world. The country’s population includes 5,576,076 non-nationals who live in the country legally for work or other purposes. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not provide residency to any foreigners. They are only given visas for their stay in the country but then have to leave when the visa expires if it is not renewed.
Population through the Years
The population has been rising significantly over the years. According to a census held many years ago, the population was about 3,121,000. It then underwent a 29.5 percent increase and jumped up to 4,041,000 in 1960. This growth rate then increased greatly during the next 10 years. By 1980 the population had become 9,801,000 (an increase of 69.8%) and had grown to 16,139,000 in 1990 (a 64.7% increase). At this point the government realized how drastically their country was becoming overcrowded and started implementing laws to control population growth. As a result, the population only grew by 24.2% in the next decade, with the total number counted at 20,045,000 in 2000. This rate further decreased by 6.4%, with the total population adding up to 29,195,895.
The birth rate in Saudi Arabia is 19.01 births per 1000 people, and the total fertility rate is 2.26 children born per woman. This was an estimate calculated through the results of the census held in 2012. The number of births and deaths per year has been increasing over the past years. Current figures indicate 569,000 births per year and 98,000 deaths per year.
The population is divided among different age groups. The 0-14 age group contains the median amount of the population, comprising 32.4% of the total. The middle age group of 15-64 makes up the greatest share of the total population - about 64.8%. The 65+ age group comprises 2.8% of the total population.
The sex ratio at the time of birth is 1.05 males per female. For the under-15 age group, this ratio is 1.04 males per female; for the 15-64 age group, it is 1.03 males per female; and for the 65+ age group, it is 1.03 males per female. For the total population, the mean ratio is 1.37 males per female.
Future of Saudi Arabia’s Population
The population is expected to rise in the future. It is likely to reach 36.73 million by 2030, and is predicted to reach 44.76 million by 2060. The growth rate, though, is expected to decrease. According to the forecast, the growth rate of Saudi Arabia’s population is likely to decrease to 1.09 by the year 2030, and further fall to 0.277 during the next 30 years, by the year 2060.