Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

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Saudi-Arabia: Population estimates by nationality (Saudi / non-Saudi) (mid-year estimates, 1974-2015)

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year  Saudis Non-Saudis Total
1974 6,163,805 774,397 6,938,202
1975 6,429,179 857,831 7,287,010
1976 6,703,441 949,911 7,653,352
1977 6,986,636 1,051,478 8,038,114
1978 7,278,777 1,163,442 8,442,219
1979 7,579,846 1,286,793 8,866,639
1980 7,889,794 1,422,602 9,312,396
1981 8,208,534 1,572,028 9,780,562
1982 8,535,941 1,736,324 10,272,265
1983 8,871,851 1,916,839 10,788,690
1984 9,216,049 2,115,025 11,331,074
1985 9,568,281 2,332,446 11,900,727
1986 9,928,242 2,570,776 12,499,018
1987 10,295,578 2,831,810 13,127,388
1988 10,669,880 3,117,467 13,787,347
1989 11,050,692 3,429,794 14,480,486
1990 11,437,500 3,770,971 15,208,471
1991 11,829,739 4,143,316 15,973,055
1992 12,218,200 4,540,179 16,758,379
1993 12,551,696 4,725,476 17,277,172
1994 12,863,710 4,837,899 17,701,609
1995 13,183,469 4,953,006 18,136,475
1996 13,511,162 5,070,860 18,582,022
1997 13,846,988 5,191,528 19,038,516
1998 14,191,149 5,315,076 19,506,225
1999 14,543,849 5,441,575 19,985,424
2000 14,905,300 5,571,093 20,476,393
2001 15,275,721 5,703,704 20,979,425
2002 15,655,332 5,839,481 21,494,813
2003 16,044,362 5,978,502 22,022,864
2004 16,443,987 6,119,899 22,563,886
2005 16,854,157 6,475,427 23,329,584
2006 17,270,181 6,851,709 24,121,890
2007 17,691,336 7,249,962 24,941,298
2008 18,115,550 7,671,475 25,787,025
2009 18,543,246 8,117,611 26,660,857
2010* 18,973,615 8,589,817 27,563,432
2011** 19,405,685 8,970,670 28,376,355
2012** 19,838,448 9,357,447 29,195,895
2013** 20,271,058 9,723,214 29,994,272
2014** 20,702,536 10,067,839 30,770,375

Source: Population estimates based on the results of population censuses (1974; 1992; 2004; 2010 preliminary results),
Central Department for Statistics and Information (CDSI)/ General Authority for Statistics (GaStat)
* preliminary results
** estimates from census 2010′ preliminary figures

ANNEXED NOTE

1. Technical Notes and Definitions

Reference periods: middle of given years
Population of reference: all individuals (nationals and non-nationals) present within the Kingdom’s borders during time of reference, be they permanent or temporary residents.
Implementation method: the Censuses are carried out according to de facto methodology, i.e. counting persons where they are during time of reference, be they usual residents of the place or temporary residents.
Estimates are based upon censuses’ results.
The first Saudi census was launched in 1962. It is usually not used, as it did not cover the whole of the resident population. 1974 census is the first comprehensive one in Saudi history. However, its rate of coverage and accuracy of data are considered weak.
1992 census’ population figures, along with ensuing estimates of Saudi population and rates of demographic growth for the following years, were shown to be inflated (see Winckler, O. “The Surprising Results of the Saudi Arabian 2004 Demographic Census”, IJMES, n°40, 2008, pp. 12-15).
Between 2004 and 2010 censuses, Saudi population figures seem consistent with natural increase figures. As non-national population is concerned, it is probably underestimated in official counts. Irregular workers and sojourners are also many (non-official, hence unverifiable estimates range between 1 and 2 millions).
Regarding mid-year estimates, it has to be noted that after each census CDSI has readjusted past figures for Saudi and non-Saudi populations, intercensal data as well as data for census years. Therefore, present data differ significantly from available census figures.

2. Institution which provides data

Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI), Ministry and Economy and Planning/ General Authority for Statistics (GaStat)

3. Data availability

Results of censuses conducted in 1992 and 2004 are available on the website of the General Authority for Statistics (http://www.stats.gov.sa/en), previously CDSI (http://www.cdsi.gov.sa/), in downloadable PDF format.
http://www.stats.gov.sa/en/73
http://www.stats.gov.sa/ar/73
Final results of 2010′ census have been released in May 2016. However, figures of population published by GaStat for 2015 in the Annual Yearbooks (http://www.stats.gov.sa/en/46) are calculated on the basis of the preliminary results of census 2010.
Mid-year estimates of population in Saudi Arabia since 1974 are available in Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA) Annual Reports and Yearly Statistics: http://www.sama.gov.sa/en-US/EconomicReports/Pages/YearlyStatistics.aspx

Date of access: June 2016.

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