Demographics of Qatar

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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Qatar, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Natives of the Arabian Peninsula, many Qataris are descended from a number of migratory tribes that came to Qatar in the 18th century to escape the harsh conditions of the neighboring areas of Nejd and Al-Hasa. Some are descended from Omani tribes. Qatar has over 900,000 people, the majority of whom (about 90%) live in Doha, the capital. Foreign workers with temporary residence status make up about four-fifths of the population. Most of them are South Asians, Egyptians, Palestinians, Jordanians, and Iranians. About 5,000 U.S. citizens resided there as of 2001.

For centuries, the main sources of wealth were pearling, fishing, and trade. At one time, Qataris owned nearly one-third of the Persian Gulf fishing fleet. With the Great Depression and the introduction of Japan's cultured-pearl industry, pearling in Qatar declined drastically.

The Qataris are mainly Sunni Muslims. Islam is the official religion, and Islamic jurisprudence is the basis of Qatar's legal system. Arabic is the official language and English is the lingua franca of business. Education is compulsory and free for all residents 6–16 years old. Qatar has an increasingly high literacy rate.


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