This article is about the demographic features of the population of Kuwait, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
Approximately 96% of Kuwait's population is urban. The State of Kuwait's current population is estimated at roughly 3-3.5 million people; counting both locals and foreigners. Roughly 1 million (or nearly one third) of Kuwait's population is local, with 2-2.5 million residents registered as foreigners/non-locals. It is estimated that one in every 3-4 people in Kuwait are of Kuwaiti citizenship.
In 2009, more than 580,000 Indian nationals lived in Kuwait making them the single largest expatriate community there. The rest of the foreign population mainly consists of Egyptians, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Filipino and Sri Lankan residents. Other foreigners consist of European, North American and Northeast Asian communities - but these are negligible.
As for Kuwait's local/citizen population, 60-65% are Arab, 30-35% are Persian, and 5-10% are signified as "others". "Others" mostly includes Africans (Black), East Asian, or European.
Non-Arabs (Africans, Persians, East Asians, Europeans, other black or white populations) are generally socially-classed as "Ajam". "Ajam" is a term to describe a non-Arab. Most Ajam are of Persian ancestry, although the Persian population has been declining due to low birth rates, interracial marriages, and sudden influx of Arab populations into the country by naturalization. It is estimated that population percentage of Persians [and other Ajam] might decrease by 5-10% within the next decade.
Racially speaking, Kuwaitis are described usually as White or Tan/Black. (Beedh, Sumur, respectively)... However the government does not include this in its database. Civil IDs have no form of racial/ethnic identities.
Racism is very rare in Kuwait's society but racism towards other nationalities, especially Indians, Pakistanis and other Asian nationalities, is extremely prevalent and widespread. It is also visible in governmental procedures and services. In addition, religious prejudice exists well within the society.
Kuwaitis are predominantly Muslim, though there are a few Christians or atheists. 85% of Kuwait's population is Muslim (Sunni 60%, Shi'a 40%), and 15% is another religion (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi). Some other minor Muslim sects do exist in Kuwait's society, but in very small or rare numbers. There are small numbers of Kuwaiti Christians and Jews. The 93% literacy rate, one of the Arab world's highest, is due to extensive government support for the education system. Public school education, including Kuwait University, is free, but access is restricted for foreign residents. The government sends qualified students abroad for degrees not offered at Kuwait University. About 1,000 Kuwaitis are currently studying in U.S. universities.
Kuwait's official language is Arabic, though only roughly half the country speaks the language primarily. Most foreigners speak Hindi, Urdu, Filipino or Bengali. Most Kuwaitis are also bilingual in that they speak more than one language. E.g. English, Persian, etc.
Kuwait has numerous cases of illegal immigration. It is thought that there are at least 10-15,000 illegal immigrants in the country. These immigrants were not deported back to their homelands after their contracts expired. Instead, they remained in Kuwait living off the expense of other immigrants. The population of illegals is increasing by 5,000 individuals each year. It is a hard task deporting or catching the citizens. The last solution would be to naturalize them, but in this case it would affect the demographics of Kuwait significantly.
Other population difficulties encountered in Kuwait involves stateless people who claim residency for Kuwait. Critics argue that these people migrated from Iraq and Saudi Arabia after the economic boom of Kuwait. Since Kuwait's standard of living increased, many have flocked to the country. Most stateless people are Arabs, and count up to 100,000 people. Some are slowly naturalized through different legislative processes, which is ultimately increasing the Arab population of Kuwaiti people. Most obtain nationality by marrying Kuwaiti women. 30-35% of stateless men in adulthood (capable of marital status) have married Kuwait women, and this number is rising.
Some encourage the assimilation of stateless and illegal people.
The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.
0-14 years: 27.2% (male 323,382; female 311,700)
15-64 years: 70.1% (male 1,045,589; female 591,243)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 40,439; female 23,295) (2005 est.)
3.59% (2008 est.)
21.88 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
2.42 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
14.96 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.77 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.74 male(s)/female
total population: 1.52 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
9.95 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
total population: 77.03 years
male: 76.5 years
female: 78.95 years (2005 est.)
2.97 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Muslim 85% (Sunni 70%, Shi'a 30%), other 15%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.3%
April 22, 1975 and April 21, 1980 censuses
|Religion||Men 1975 (1980)||Women 1975 (1980)||Total 1975 (1980)|
|Christians||22,711 (51,354)||22,007 (35,728)||44,718 (87,082)|
|Muslims||517,808 (702,992)||426,973 (539,716)||944,781 (1,242,708)|
|Other||3,249 (22,293)||2,089 (5,869)||5,338 (28,162)|
|Total||543,768 (776,639)||451,069 (581,313)||994,837 (1,357,952)|