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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Population rises to 4.89 million

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The total population in the Sultanate of Oman reached 4,890,110 against 4,527,446 by the end of December 2021, mainly driven by the increase in the number of expatriates.


According to the population clock at National Centre for Statistics and Information, the percentage of Omanis fell to 58.47 to reach 2,859,217 on November 14.


At the end of 2021, the number of Omanis stood at 2,804,117, representing 62 per cent of the total population, against 1,723,329 expatriates representing 38 per cent, a decrease of 1.25 per cent.


The number of expatriates reached 2,030,893, forming the remaining 41.63 per cent.


The new figures from the state-owned statistics agency come amidst the annual World Population Prospect report, coinciding with World Population Day, noting that the global population is growing at its slowest rate since 1950, having fallen to less than one per cent in 2020.


Significantly, the world's population reached 8 billion people on Tuesday, according to UN estimates. The latest projections suggest that the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100.


At the same time, the population of Oman grew from less than half a million in 1950 to more than four million in 2015 and is expected to reach seven million by 2055.


According to a report in Middle East Fertility Society Journal, Oman has been experiencing a period of youth bulge over the years, and it is expected to continue for at least the next 20 years.


In 2021, the categories of youth and children below 29 years of age represented the biggest sector of the population forming two-thirds of the Omani population, while children aged less than five years represented 14 per cent of the total Omani population.


"To reap the benefits of the emerged demographic dividend, necessary steps need to be taken in a timely manner to develop human resources," says the report "Demographic transition in Sultanate of Oman: Emerging demographic dividend and challenges" by M Mazharul Islam.


According to the scholarly report, understanding the demographic challenges must be a priority for the government of Oman and formulate policies to harvest the benefits of the demographic windows.


After 1970, the annual growth rate of the population in Oman accelerated due to increased immigration of the working-age population which has increased from less than 1 per cent in 1970 to 44 per cent in 2015.


The report points out that the fertility rate has declined from 8.6 births per woman in 1988 to 3.3 births per woman in 2008, a decline of 5.3 births per woman or a 62-per cent decline within a short period of 20 years.


Under-five mortality also declined from 359 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1950 to nine deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015.


In 2020, the death rate in Oman did not change in comparison to the previous year. The death rate remained at 2.42 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants. The crude death rate is the annual number of deaths divided by the total population expressed per 1,000 people.


The population density amounted to 14.6 persons per square kilometre by the end of December 2021.


Muscat Governorate has the highest density of population, with 327 persons, with five persons for each square kilometre, while Al Wusta Governorate has the lowest population density, with 0.6 persons for each square kilometre.


@samuelkuttyvp


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