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Demographics of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's 2001 population is estimated to be about 22.7 million, including about 6.4 million resident foreigners. Until the 1960s, most of the population was nomadic or seminomadic; due to rapid economic and urban growth, more than 95% of the population now is settled. Some cities and oases have densities of more than 1,000 people per square kilometer (2,600 per sq. mi).

Saudi Arabia is known as the birthplace of Islam, which in the century following Muhammad's death in 632 A.D. spread west to Spain and east to India. Islam obliges all Muslims to make the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once during their lifetime if they are able to do so. The cultural environment in Saudi Arabia is highly conservative; the country adheres to a strict interpretation of Islamic religious law (Shari'a). Cultural presentations must conform to narrowly defined standards of ethics. Men and women are not permitted to attend public events together and are segregated in the work place.

Most Saudis are ethnically Arab. Some are of mixed ethnic origin and are descended from Turks, Iranians, Indonesians, Indians, Africans, and others, most of whom immigrated as pilgrims and reside in the Hijaz region along the Red Sea coast. Many Arabs from nearby countries are employed in the kingdom. There also are significant numbers of Asian expatriates mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines. There are less than 100,000 Westerners in Saudi Arabia.

Population: 22,023,506
note: includes 5,360,526 non-nationals (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43% (male 4,781,695; female 4,607,038)
15-64 years: 55% (male 7,093,567; female 4,969,848)
65 years and over: 2% (male 309,638; female 261,720) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.28% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 37.47 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 6.02 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.36 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.43 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.18 male(s)/female
total population: 1.24 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 52.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.77 years
male: 66.11 years
female: 69.51 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.3 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Saudi(s)
adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian

Ethnic groups: Arab 90%, Afro-Asian 10%

Religions: Muslim 100%

Languages: Arabic

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 62.8%
male: 71.5%
female: 50.2% (1995 est.)

See also : Saudi Arabia



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