Aiming at high growth to cope with rising population

opulation growth in the Sultanate is high, according to the United Nations standards. The international organisation estimates that if each woman gives birth at the rate of 1.85 children, population will decline in the future.
The UN estimates for the upcoming years indicate that global population in 2025 will rise to 8 billion, and 9.2 billion in 2050. The highest estimate of reproduction rate is (2.35 child per woman), which is high for future population, while the lowest estimate is (1.35 child per woman), a figure prevailing in the last 20 years in Germany, which could lead to a decline in the Earth’s population beyond 2040.
According to the National Statistics and Information Center (NESC), the population growth rate of the Sultanate was 5.8 per cent for the years 2011-2016, rising between 8.6 per cent for expatriates to 3.7 per cent for Omanis.
Statistics also show the population of the Sultanate during those years increased by about 1.1 million to about 4.4 million people, with a change rate of 21 per cent for Omanis and 55 per cent for expatriates.
Sixty-three per cent of this increase has been attributed to the increase in the number of expatriates during that period.
Crude birth rate for Omanis in the Sultanate was 33 births/ per 1,000 population, while the total fertility rate of Omani women was (four births per woman of child-bearing age).
The population pyramid for Omanis by gender for 2016 shows the percentage of males is roughly equal to that of females by 50.5 per cent and 49.5 per cent respectively.
What should be noted is that the number of expatriates in the Sultanate is more than double that of Omanis — 20 expats versus nine Omani births. Gender-wise, the percentage of males among Oman’s total population stood at 65 per cent compared with 35 per cent for females, while males constitute 84 per cent of the total expat population.
The gender ratio among Omanis amount to 102 males for every 100 females, while among expats it is 510 males to 100 females. Thus, the two categories of youth and children under the age of 29 is the largest segment of Omanis accounting for two-thirds of the Omani population (65 per cent), and children under the age of five years is the largest segment with 15 per cent.
In terms of population growth, Oman’s population has nearly tripled since 1985 compared with 2015, with an increase of more than six-fold between 1985 and 2015.
The number of expatriates was not exceeding 314,000 in 1985, which was equivalent to 22.2 per cent of the Sultanate’s total population at the time, while the population of Omanis only doubled twice.
According to the US Census Bureau, the global population reached more than 7,346 billion on August 23, 2016. Thousands of years ago, population growth had been slow, but in recent centuries it has jumped dramatically, with the global population increasing three-fold throughout the entire history of mankind.
Between 1900 and 2000, the world’s population grew from 1.5 billion to 6.1 billion in a span of just a century, thanks to higher living standards and improved health conditions.
In this regard, the Sultanate is seeking to achieve a high economic growth rate and raise the GDP rates to cope with the increase in the population by working on several scenarios of population growth, including keeping the percentage of expatriates at the current level (44.5 per cent) or adopting a policy to gradually reduce this percentage to 33 by 2040.

Haider Al Lawati
haiderdawood@hotmail.com