Demography, migration, and labour market in Qatar
Title: Demography, migration, and labour market in Qatar
Author: DE BEL-AIR, Françoise
Series/Report no.: Migration Policy Centre; GLMM; Explanatory note; 8/2014
In 2013, Qatar ranked second worldwide in terms of per capita GDP. This is due to its huge endowment in hydrocarbons and the small size of its national population, the smallest in all GCC countries. Exploiting the resources and channeling them into ambitious development policies required massive imports of foreign labour. The country's total population has quintupled since the mid-1980s; moreover, foreign nationals made an estimated 85.7 per cent of all residents and up to 94.1 per cent of all employed population in 2013. The awarding of the 2022 FIFA World Cup to Qatar in December 2010 turned the spotlight on the country's dilemma regarding the 'number vs. rights trade-off' issue: Qatar has one of the most constraining kafala systems in the region. Paradoxically, however, demographic data also indicate that a growing share of foreigners live with their families, give birth in the country, and intermarry with Qataris. The strict separation between nationals and migrants could thus start slowly eroding.
Subject: Qatar; Foreign population; National population; Nationals and foreign labour; Migration policy; Statistics; Labour camp; Human rights; Sponsorship; Family reunification; Second generation
GLMM - Gulf Labour Markets and Migration
Type of Access: openAccess