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.

Labour force by nationality (Kuwaiti/ non-Kuwaiti), activity sector and sector of economic activity (Female workers) (2013)

Please log in to download the excel file

Nationality Group Kuwaitis Non-Kuwaitis Total
Economic Activity/ sector Governmental Non-governmental Total Governmental Non-governmental Total Governmental Non-governmental Total
Agriculture hunting and forestry 3 244 247 10 565 575 13 809 822
Mining and quarrying 823 82 905 26 51 77 849 133 982
Manufacturing 250 1,929 2,179 44 5,870 5,914 294 7,799 8,093
Electricity, gas and water supply 3,059 3,059 88 3 91 3,147 3 3,150
Construction 25 5,812 5,837 8 9,020 9,028 33 14,832 14,865
Wholesale and retail trade 40 7,149 7,189 57 23,915 23,972 97 31,064 31,161
Hotels and restaurants 90 1,301 1,391 9 7,982 7,991 99 9,283 9,382
Transport,  storage and communications 919 1,611 2,530 905 2,363 3,268 1,824 3,974 5,798
Financial intermediation 853 3,392 4,245 93 2,269 2,362 946 5,661 6,607
Real estate,  renting and business activities 368 3,525 3,893 34 10,370 10,404 402 13,895 14,297
Public administration and defence, compulsory social security 102,922 9 102,931 23,343 22 23,365 126,265 31 126,296
Education 23,153 1,456 24,609 5,588 13,771 19,359 28,741 15,227 43,968
Health and social work 7,489 364 7,853 10,902 7,460 18,362 18,391 7,824 26,215
Other community, social and personal service activities 436 1,695 2,131 491 25,049 25,540 927 26,744 27,671
Private households with employed persons 60 60 29 296,563 296,592 29 296,623 296,652
Extra-territorial organizations and bodies 5 13 18 599 186 785 604 199 803
Not Stated 280 23,155 23,435 428 34,723 35,151 708 57,878 58,586
Total 140,715 51,797 192,512 42,654 440,182 482,836 183,369 491,979 675,348

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.


(d) Government sector: any organization of the government (organizations, authority and departments), included within the state budget

(Ministries and government departments; authorities with attached budgets; authorities with independent budgets).


(e) Non-governmental sector: any part of the private sector (a company or an individual) or any authority of the non-governmental sector.


(f) Domestic sector: the household/ family sector, where the work is associated with the residence and its inhabitants, their service and their comfort (including maids, nannies, cooks, drivers, etc.).

The “domestic sector” data is merged with the “non-governmental sector”. A proxy estimate of workers in the domestic sector can be inferred from the number of workers in the category “Private households with employed persons”, or see table .


Presented data include unemployed population.


Economic activities are categorised according to ISIC( Rev. 3) international classification of occupations.


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 2013


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: April 2014.


Tags: , , , , ,