February 28, 2021

Al-Watani: The highest annual decline in Kuwait’s population in 30 years


68.7% The ratio of foreigners to citizens … the lowest in 7 years

5.2% decrease in the employment of expatriates, and 2.1% increase in the employment of citizens

– 493,000 citizens under the age of 15 … a third of Kuwait’s population

The National Bank of Kuwait reported that the population of Kuwait witnessed the highest annual rate of decline in 2020 in about 30 years, as the number of expatriates decreased sharply, while the number of Kuwaiti citizens continued to increase.

In its economic summary, Al-Watani attributed the decline in the number of expatriates to the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, coinciding with the proposed amendments to the residency law and the continued application of nationalization policies. Expatriate workers will leave during the coming period. According to NBK’s estimates, which are based on scientific qualifications data issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information, about 95 percent of expatriate workers who lost their jobs were among the simple-skilled workers.

Jamal Al-Barrak

According to the latest demographic data issued by the Public Authority for Civil Information, the population of Kuwait decreased by 2.2 percent year on year in 2020 to 4.68 million, after an increase of 3.3 percent in 2019, referring this change to the modest growth in the number of Kuwaiti citizens. (+ 2%) and the sharp decline in the number of arrivals (-4%), as the proportion of the total population decreased to 68.7%, which is the lowest level recorded in 7 years.

Al-Watani explained that since the start of the pandemic and the subsequent imposition of precautionary measures and closures, more than 130,000 expatriates have left the country, and the number of expatriates joining the family has decreased by 0.4 percent year-on-year in 2020 after a 0.3 percent drop in 2019.

The expansion of the youth segment

The report showed that despite the continuous slowdown in the growth of the number of citizens under the age of 15 years (it decreased to 0.2 percent on an annual basis in 2020 compared to 0.4 percent in 2019, while it reached 2 percent in 2013), but that segment of the population About 493 thousand citizens still constitute more than a third of the Kuwaiti population, and at the same time, the growth of the number of working-age citizens over the age of 15 has remained stable at 2.7 percent over the past two years, indicating that the increase in this age group of young people confirms the urgent need To create a large number of job opportunities in the coming years.

The report stated that after the total number of jobs grew by 4.9 percent on an annual basis in 2019, they returned to record in 2020 the largest decline in nearly 30 years, about 4.2 percent, and this was reflected in the growth of employment activity among citizens at a modest rate, with a severe decrease. In the jobs of expats.

Employment rates

He pointed out that the growth of citizens’ employment rates declined from 2.4 percent in 2019 to 2.1 percent in 2020, in light of the repercussions of the pandemic, which severely affected the private sector (-1.2), while the public sector performed well (+ 2.7 percent). Compared to the private sector, due to some extent to the Kuwaitization efforts.

The report continued, “On the other hand, expatriate employment decreased 5.2 percent in 2020 after an increase of 5.4 percent in the previous year on the back of declining employment opportunities in both the public (-3 percent) and private sectors (-5.3 percent, but looking at the number). Overall, we notice that domestic worker jobs were less affected due to their decline by only 1.5 percent in 2020, ”while excluding domestic workers, the number of expatriate workers decreased by 6.7 percent.

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