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

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.

Kuwait: Population by nationality (Kuwaiti/ non-Kuwaiti) (1990-2013)

Please log in to download the excel file

Year Kuwaitis Non-Kuwaitis Total
1990 578,511 1,573,169 2,151,680
1993 657,493 988,134 1,645,627
1995 708,115 1,250,679 1,958,794
1996 732,403 1,361,486 2,093,889
1998 786,010 1,484,855 2,270,865
1999 812,255 1,442,699 2,254,954
2000 841,790 1,375,468 2,217,258
2001 870,283 1,438,819 2,309,102
2002 898,285 1,521,643 2,419,928
2003 927,686 1,618,998 2,546,684
2004 956,234 1,797,422 2,753,656
2005 992,217 1,998,972 2,991,189
2006 1,023,316 2,159,644 3,182,960
2007 1,054,598 2,345,039 3,399,637
2008 1,087,552 2,354,261 3,441,813
2009 1,118,911 2,365,970 3,484,881
2010 1,148,363 2,433,691 3,582,054
2011 1,183,185 2,514,107 3,697,292
2012 1,212,436 2,611,292 3,823,728
2013 1,242,499 2,722,645 3,965,144

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 which 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).

(The children of Kuwaiti mothers and non-Kuwaiti fathers (with specific nationality) inherit the father’s nationality. They are stateless if the father is stateless).


2. Institution which provides data


The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI)


3. Period of data coverage: 31 December, given years


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: March 2014


Tags: , , ,