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 northern border; Kuwait on its northeast; Bahrain, Qatar and United Arab Emirates to the east; Yemen to its south; Oman to its southeast; and the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea to its east.
This country is also reported to have between 3 and 5 million illegal immigrants residing within its borders at any given time. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of the religion of 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. These features ensure that country additionally receives a large annual number of visiting 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.
Saudi Arabia Demographics
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 1.05 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 1.21 males per female.
The only language officially recognized here is Arabic.
Saudi Arabia Religion, Economy and Politics
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 World Factbook gives similar estimated statistics (Muslim (official; citizens are 85-90% Sunni and 10-15% Shia), other (includes Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Sikh)), and also notes that "...most forms of public religious expression inconsistent with the government-sanctioned interpretation of Sunni Islam are restricted; non-Muslims are not allowed to have Saudi citizenship and non-Muslim places of worship are not permitted (2013)."
The country has the second 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 fourth largest natural gas reserves. Saudi Arabia was once the only country with a law prohibiting women to drive; however, women were granted the right to drive in 2018.
The birth rate in Saudi Arabia is 18.51 births per 1000 people, and the total fertility rate is 2.17 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 current median age in Saudi Arabia is 27.5 years of age with a full life expectancy of 75.5 years of age. This is likely influenced by the high performance of improved drinking water and sanitation facility access in the country, as well as a 4.7% GDP expenditure on the health care sector. This has given the country the physician density of 2.57 physicians per 1,000 Saudi Arabian individuals and 2.7 beds available per 1,000 residents.
Saudi Arabia Population History
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% 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.