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

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Employed population by nationality group and occupation group (Kuwait) (2012)

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Occupation Kuwaitis Arabs Asians Africans Europeans North Americans South Americans Aus.- Oceanians Total N.-K. Grand total
Legislators, senior officials and managers 10,495 37,325 23,327 250 1,348 1,636 119 139 64,144 74,639
Professionals 70,922 73,207 26,885 295 2,088 2,093 156 225 104,949 175,871
Technicians and associate professionals 57,223 18,764 40,012 129 651 2,263 55 35 61,909 119,132
Clerks 158,050 64,789 42,280 468 613 561 67 44 108,822 266,872
Service workers and shop and market sales workers 67,455 96,093 489,129 57,760 650 810 89 46 644,577 712,032
Skilled agricultural and fishery workers 136 4,201 7,503 363 2 0 0 0 12,069 12,205
Craft and related trades workers 9,885 44,794 109,620 158 265 445 35 12 155,329 165,214
Production supervisors and foremen 5,139 55,035 248,892 736 367 2,444 48 12 307,534 312,673
Regular work professionals 126 96,144 212,294 1,452 196 446 20 11 310,563 310,689
Not Stated 7,652 39,226 50,545 1,559 1,252 1,496 53 110 94,241 101,893
Total 387,083 529,578 1,250,487 63,170 7,432 12,194 642 634 1,864,137 2,251,220

Source: PACI



1. Characteristics of data and definitions

The source of data used here is the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), an independant government body in charge of :

1- centralising all population and labour force data in order to manage a fully computerised population register

2- issuing mandatory civil identification cards to every resident of the country, regardless of age and nationality.

The other source of demographic and socioeconomic data on Kuwait is the Central Statistical Office (CSO), operating within the Planning Ministry. The CSO has conducted ten population and housing censuses since its inception in 1957.

Since 1995 a marked discrepancy was witnessed between PACI’ and CSO’ population figures. PACI’ database is connected electronically with other administrations and bodies registering demographic events and professional/ residency issues (births and death; departures and arrivals; end of service, residency and ID deliveries, etc.).

PACI’s records of residents’ movements is thus regularly updated, which limits the risk of population overcount. Therefore, it is more likely that residents were undercounted during CSO- Ministry of Planning’s census operations (see: Shah, N. Population of Kuwait. Structure and Dynamics, Kuwait: Kuwait University Academic Publication Council, 2010, chapter 1).

(a) Kuwaiti: the Kuwaiti nationality rests upon a document of Kuwaiti nationality or a certificate proving Kuwaiti nationality issued by the Ministry of Interior of Kuwait.

(b) Non-Kuwaiti: his/ her nationality is determined by the name of the State having issued the passport. The foreign national also entered Kuwait legally and has a stamp of residence.

This category includes the Bidoon, a category of stateless persons living in the Emirate. Kuwait’s Bidoon population originates from three broad categories:

1) those whose ancestors failed to apply for nationality or lacked necessary documentation at the time of Kuwait’s independence in 1961;

2) those recruited to work in Kuwait’s army or police force during the 1960s who permanently settled in Kuwait, along with their families;

3) children of Kuwaiti mothers and stateless or foreign fathers (see Human Rights Watch. Prisoners of the Past. Kuwaiti Bidun and the Burden of Statelessness, June 2011, p. 3).

(c) Population in the labour force: population aged 15 years and above, included in the labour market, either employed (in the government or private sector, as itinerant worker, employed in the domestic sector), or unemployed.

Occupations are categorised according to (slightly adapted) ISCO 88 international classification of occupations (major (1-digit) group titles).

Note: figures of expatriates differ slightly between PACI’s various sources of data (database; tabulated data).

2. Institution which provides data

The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI)

3. Period of data coverage: December 2012

The database is updated three times a year and the website presents only the most recent data.

4. Data availability

The statistics section of PACI’s website ( (English); (Arabic)) provides population and socio-economic data broken down by nationality (Kuwaiti/ non-Kuwaiti). Some data are displayed by nationality groups.

Analytical tables and data crosstabulations are available for download in PDF, html, .png and Excel (.csv) formats.

Date of access: June 2013.

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