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Volume :5 Issue : 20 1979      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

SAUDI ARABIA’S POPULATION: SOME OBSERVATIONS

Auther : Dr. A. Abdel Rahman Al-Shamekh

         
           This paper gives survey of the general characteristics of the population of Saudi Arabia. The value of the article ties mainly on the new data presented for the first time.  Although the details of the census not published, preliminary it counted a total population of 7,01,642 in which, the nomadic segment comprised 1,883,987or 26.88 percent of the total.

           Despite the homogeny of population in many respects, particularly, in religion and language, it is heterogeneous in other aspects.  Distribution and density of population vary considerable from one region to another.  The most nomadic areas are the northern and central regions, while the least ones are in the Southwest and coastal lands.  One half of the total number of settlements is in the southwest region, which is rural.  The 1974 census counted a total of 20,095 settlements.

           Saudi Arabia is composed of fourteen administrative units called Amarat.

 Urban and rural population:

          There are 16 cities with over 30,000 populations, which are inhabited by 2,62,000 or 37.45 percent of the total population. 

          Rural and nomadic migration to urban is occurring on a relatively massive scale.  Seven-cities exceed now, 100,000 people, each comprising 31.15 percent of the total population and 43.42 of sedentary.

 Demographic Characteristics:

There are some regional differences regarding the household size; the largest is in the northern boundaries, the smallest in Jizan and Medina.  Male ratio decreases in agriculture areas and the age structure is extremely young.

 Labor Force:

          As a result of the growing economy, the small labor force coupled and the necessity of importing foreign workers becomes urgent.  1.2 million foreign workers were imported from neighbouring countries.  Expatriate companies are asked to bring their owns.  It is important to mention here that the second five years plan demands 1.5 million foreign workers.

         Many important implications are mentioned such as population growth, decline of nomadism, growth of urbanism and emergence of new growth zones.

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