Uae Population Will Swell To Five Million
(Muawia E. Ibrahim)
UAE population will swell to five million
ABU DHABI ? The UAE population is expected to touch the five million mark this year and double in the next 10 to 15 years. According to an official report, calculated as per the current population growth rate, the population was expected to be 20 times more than what it was in 1971. The UAE's population growth rate is estimated at 6.9 per cent. It is among the highest in the world, says the UAE Year Book 2006 released by the Ministry of Information and Culture.The population was estimated to be 4.32 million at the end of 2004, compared to 4.041 million in 2003.
More accurate figures will be available once Tedad 2005', the fifth census in the UAE's history, is completed. The previous four population censuses were conducted in 1975, 1980, 1985 and 1995. Concerning the outcome of the current census, officials, however, declined to give any figures saying it is premature to forecast now. Shaikha Lubna Al Qassimi, Minister of Economy and Planning, earlier refused to give any estimates."I do not like estimates. Let us look forward to accurate results of Census 2005," she said.
Preparatory work commenced in March 2005 and field work which involves around 11,000 enumerators counting and marking buildings and gathering all related data, began on September 2005, culminating in a head-count on December 5. According to the book, the most significant demographic development in recent years was the sharp and constant decline in the gross fertility rate, particularly among national females in the 15 to 24 age groups, suggesting that natural population growth factors may not be enough to balance the population structure in the near future.
The population is concentrated in urban areas where the maximum economic activity takes place. Thus, the two leading emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, account for almost 60 per cent of the country's population. There is also a concentration of population in the age groups of 25 to 40 years, and males outnumber females by two to one because they constitute the majority of the expatriate workforce. "If the current trends in economic expansion and demand for expatriate labour plus the natural population growth rates continue, the UAE's population is likely to double again in the next 10 to 15 years," the book noted.
It said these growth rates would lead to further demand for infrastructure support, e.g. roads, utilities, residential and commercial accommodation, as well as education and health services.
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