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

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UAE: Population by nationality (Emirati/ non-Emirati) and sex at census dates (1975-2005) and 2010 estimate

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Nationals Non-nationals Total
Male Female Total Male Female Total Male Female Total
1975 105,032 96,512 201,544 281,395 74,948 356,343 386,427 171,460 557,887
1980 150,573 139,971 290,544 569,139 182,416 751,555 719,712 322,387 1,042,099
1985 202,157 193,957 396,114 693,443 289,746 983,189 895,600 483,703 1,379,303
1995 297,060 290,270 587,330 1,309,744 513,967 1,823,711 1,606,804 804,237 2,411,041
2005 417,917 407,578 825,495 2,388,235 892,697 3,280,932 2,806,152 1,300,275 4,106,427
2010* 479,109 468,888 947,997* 5,682,711 1,633,362 7,316,073* 6,161,820 2,102,250 8,264,070*

Source: National Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Economy
* Mid-year estimate


1. Characteristics of data, definitions and population counting operations in the UAE

The first population census was conducted in 1968 by the Council of Developing Trucial States.
After Independence in 1971, a population census of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was conducted that same year.
The first general population and establishments census in the UAE was conducted in 1975. It was the first census in the region following scientific standards and international recommendations. The other federal censuses were conducted in 1980, 1985, 1995 and 2005.
Reference day for 1975, 1980, 1985, 1995′ censuses: unknown
Reference day for 2005′ census: 6 December 2005
Implementation method: the census was carried out according to de jure methodology, i.e. counting persons using their usual place of residence
Population of reference: Emirati nationals usually residing in the country+all foreign residents holding a valid residence permit+resident GCC nationals (nationals of other GCC states don’t need a permit to stay in the UAE)

2010′ federal census was due to take place in April but finally cancelled. It was only conducted in Abu Dhabi Emirate which includes Al-Ain.
NBS estimated UAE’s resident population (nationals and non-nationals) on the basis of administrative records, using the component method: addition of natural increase and net migration since the last census year (2005).
The net migration was calculated as follows:
Net migration = (residence permits issued for the first time- residence permits that have been cancelled and not renewed)+(arrivals of GCC nationals-departures of GCC nationals), on the basis of Ministry of Interior’s records.
Period of reference for 2010′ estimate: mid-year

The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), an independent federal authority established in 2004, is currently in charge of recording all UAE residents, national and expatriates in order to set up a Population Register and an ID card program. The process is stil ongoing.

2. Institution which provides data

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

3. Data availability

Population statistics are available on NBS’s website:

Data are classified by subject and statistical publications are available on PDF or Excel format. Population data disagregated by nationality (Emirati/ non-Emirati) are scarce.
2005′ census data is available at:
census data is taken from:
Estimate for 2010 and methodology of estimate are taken from:

Date of access: November 2014.

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