Population estimates by nationality (Saudi / non-Saudi), mid-year estimates (1974-2013)
Source: Population estimates based on the results of population censuses (1974; 1992; 2004; 2010 preliminary results), Central Department for Statistics and Information (CDSI)
* preliminary results
** estimates from census 2010′ preliminary figures
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
3. Data availability
Parts of censuses conducted in 1992 and 2004 are available on the website of the CDSI (https://www.stats.gov.sa/en), in published form in PDF format.
For 1992 all published data is broken down by nationality (Saudi/non-Saudi). For 2004, only the data on sex and administrative regions and sub-regions of residence is broken down by nationality (Saudi/ Non-Saudi).
As of November 25th, 2013, only preliminary results of 2010′ census have been published: total population by sex and nationality (Saudi/ non-Saudi), as well as total population by nationality, sex, and administrative region (governorate) of residence.
CDSI’s mid-year estimates of population by nationality (Saudi / non-Saudi) are only available in Saudi Arabia Monetary Agency (SAMA) Annual Reports, available online at: http://www.sama.gov.sa/en-us/Pages/default.aspx.
Data presented here are taken from SAMA Annual Report n°48 (2013), p. 361 (estimates for 1974-2012) and from CDSI at https://www.stats.gov.sa/en/indicators (2013 estimates).
Date of access: November 25th, 2013.