Demographics of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia population pyramid in 2020
Population32,175,224 (Saudi Census 2022)
Density14.967 people per sq. km of land (2022)[1]
Growth rate1.49% (2019)[2]
Birth rate13.9 births/1,000 population (2023)[3]
Death rate3.45 deaths/1,000 population
Life expectancy76.91 years
 • male75.33 years
 • female78.56 years
Fertility rate2.14 children born/woman (2022)[4]
Net migration rate590,000 (2017)[5]
Age structure
0–14 years24.44%
15–64 years72.36%
65 and over3.20%
Nationality
NationalitySaudis
Major ethnicArabs
Language
OfficialArabic
SpokenArabic
Demographics of Saudi Arabia, Data of FAO, year 2005; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

Saudi Arabia is the fourth largest state in the Arab world, with a reported population of 32,175,224 as of 2022.[6][7] 41.6% of inhabitants are immigrants.[8] Saudi Arabia has experienced a population explosion in the last 40 years,[9] and continues to grow at a rate of 1.62% per year.[8]

Until the 1960s, most of the population was nomadic or semi-nomadic; due to rapid economic and urban growth, more than 95% of the population is now settled. 80% of Saudis live in ten major urban centers: Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Medina, Hofuf, Ta'if, Buraydah, Khobar, Yanbu, Dhahran, and Dammam.[10] Some cities and oases have densities of more than 1,000 people per square kilometer. Saudi Arabia's population is characterized by rapid growth, far more men than women, and a large cohort of youths.

Saudi Arabia hosts one of the pillars of Islam, which obliges all Muslims to make the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, at least once during their lifetime if they are able to do so. The cultural environment in Saudi Arabia is highly conservative; the country adheres to the interpretation of Islamic religious law (Sharia). Cultural presentations must conform to narrowly defined standards of ethics.

Most citizens of Saudi Arabia are ethnically Arabs, the majority of whom are tribal. However, more than 40% of Saudi Arabia's population are non-citizens.[11] According to a random survey, most non-citizens living in Saudi Arabia come from the Indian Subcontinent and Arab countries.[12] Many Arabs from nearby countries are employed in the country, particularly Egyptians,[13] as the Egyptian community developed from the 1950s onwards.[14] There also are significant numbers of Asian expatriates, mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Syria and Yemen. In the 1970s and 1980s, there was also a significant community of South Korean migrant labourers, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, but due rapid economic growth and development in South Korea, most have since returned home; the South Korean government's statistics showed only 1,200 of their nationals living in Saudi Arabia (most of them being professionals and business personnels) as of 2005.[15][16] There are more than 100,000 Westerners in Saudi Arabia, most of whom live in private compounds in the major cities such as Riyadh, Jeddah, Yanbu and Dhahran. The government prohibits non-Muslims from entering the cities of Mecca.

Population

A graph showing the historical population of Saudi Arabia
Historical population
YearPop.±%
01,000,000—    
6002,500,000+150.0%
10002,000,000−20.0%
15002,000,000+0.0%
18002,000,000+0.0%
19002,140,000+7.0%
19503,121,000+45.8%
19604,041,000+29.5%
19705,772,000+42.8%
19809,801,000+69.8%
199016,139,000+64.7%
200020,045,000+24.2%
201027,448,000+36.9%
202032,013,414+16.6%
Source:[17][18]

As of 2022, the country had a reported population of 32,175,224.[19]

Structure

The following data has been retrieved from the CIA World Factbook as of 2020:

Population age distribution

0–14 years: 24.84%

15–24 years: 15.38%

25–54 years: 50.2%

55–64 years: 5.95%

65 years and over: 3.63%

Sex ratios

Population pyramid 2017

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0–14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15–24 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

25–54 years: 1.52 male(s)/female

55–64 years: 1.61 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female

According to the CIA World Factbook the population of Saudi Arabia has a large young population ages 0–19 years and an increasing middle-age population ages 20–35 years.[8] With a growing population reaching adulthood, global economists and the Saudi government have become concerned that there are more Saudis seeking jobs than are available.[20] The nation has also seen a rise in its older population as life expectancy has risen throughout the last 40 years.[20]

Life expectancy at birth

Life expectancy in Saudi Arabia

The following data has been retrieved from the CIA World Factbook as of 2018.

Total population:

Male: 74.2 years

Female: 77.3 years

Density

Population Density: 15.322 people per km2 of land (2017)[1]

Vital statistics

Births and deaths[21][22] [23]

Year Population Live births Deaths Natural increase Crude birth rate Crude death rate Rate of natural increase TFR Saudi TFR Non-Saudi TFR
2011 25,091,867 2.814 3.792 1.309
2012 26,168,861 2.797 3.735 1.370
2013 27,624,004 2.689 3.641 1.351
2014 28,309,273 2.695 3.625 1.380
2015 29,816,382 2.646 3.520 1.440
2016 30,954,198 2.665 3.470 1.577
2017 30,977,355 2.686 3.462 1.681
2018 30,196,281 2.683 3.383 1.659
2019 30,063,799 2.510 3.163 1.482
2020 31,552,510 2.289 2.985 1.167
2021 30,784,383 2.189 2.792 1.072
2022 32,175,224 484,719[24] 15.1 2.135 2.798 0.905

Population Estimates by Sex and Age Group (01.VII.2020) (Provisional Estimates):[25]

Age Group Male Female Total %
Total 20 231 425 14 781 989 35 013 414 100
0–4 1 477 523 1 421 656 2 899 179 8.28
5–9 1 536 843 1 479 509 3 016 352 8.61
10–14 1 343 659 1 297 303 2 640 962 7.54
15–19 1 228 939 1 177 551 2 406 490 6.87
20–24 1 429 072 1 248 976 2 678 048 7.65
25–29 1 850 713 1 492 533 3 343 246 9.55
30–34 2 002 357 1 393 121 3 395 478 9.70
35–39 2 394 363 1 414 266 3 808 629 10.88
40–44 2 181 209 1 227 215 3 408 424 9.73
45–49 1 676 347 850 177 2 526 524 7.22
50–54 1 208 823 549 702 1 758 525 5.02
55–59 807 534 404 701 1 212 235 3.46
60–64 500 209 296 964 797 173 2.28
65-69 241 585 201 494 443 079 1.27
70-74 153 697 140 182 293 879 0.84
75-79 94 134 82 602 176 736 0.50
80+ 104 418 104 037 208 455 0.60
Age group Male Female Total Percent
0–14 4 358 025 4 198 468 8 556 493 24.44
15–64 15 279 566 10 055 206 25 334 772 72.36
65+ 593 834 528 315 1 122 149 3.20

The following data has been retrieved from the CIA World Factbook as of 2020:

Saudi Arabia is ranked 111th in comparison to the world with a birth rate of 18.51 births per 1,000 people in 2019.[8] The nation's death rate is ranked 220th worldwide with 3.3 deaths per 1,000 people.[8] Although birth rates have decreased in the last two decades, rates of decline fail to match the significant decline in death rates.[27] Because of this, Saudi Arabia has experienced a population explosion in the last 40 years,[9] and continues to grow at a rate of 1.63% per year.[8] Saudi Arabia's population growth continues to be 0.295% higher than population growth rates in the Middle East and North Africa.[28] Infant mortality rates have declined dramatically in the past twenty years from 25.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1995 to 6.3 deaths in 2017, according to the World Bank.[29] Saudi Arabia has a substantially lower infant mortality rate in comparison to the Middle East and North Africa region, which continues to face a high of 19.3 deaths for every 1,000 live births as of 2017. This significant reduction can be attributed to rising access to modern healthcare across the country, ranking 26th worldwide for healthcare system quality.[30] The construction of new hospitals and primary healthcare centers across the Kingdom, as well as healthcare during pregnancy and increased use of vaccinations account for a decline in infant mortality and increased life expectancy.[31]

UN estimates

The Population Department of the United Nations prepared the following estimates. Population estimates account for under numeration in population censuses.[32]

Mid-year population (thousands) Live births (thousands) Deaths (thousands) Natural change (thousands) Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate (TFR) Infant mortality (per 1000 live births) Life expectancy (in years)
1950 3 090   165   77   88 53.3 24.8 28.5 7.58 196.4 40.99
1951   3 184   169   79   90 53.2 24.9 28.3 7.58 194.7 41.21
1952   3 279   174   80   93 52.9 24.5 28.4 7.58 191.4 41.73
1953   3 377   178   81   97 52.8 24.1 28.6 7.59 188.0 42.29
1954   3 478   183   82   100 52.5 23.7 28.8 7.59 184.7 42.84
1955   3 582   187   83   104 52.3 23.3 29.1 7.59 181.5 43.33
1956   3 690   192   84   108 52.0 22.8 29.3 7.59 178.2 43.87
1957   3 802   197   85   112 51.9 22.3 29.5 7.60 175.0 44.41
1958   3 917   202   86   117 51.6 21.9 29.8 7.60 171.7 44.88
1959   4 037   208   87   121 51.5 21.5 30.0 7.62 168.5 45.34
1960   4 166   214   87   126 51.3 21.0 30.4 7.63 165.3 45.94
1961   4 306   220   88   132 51.2 20.5 30.7 7.63 162.0 46.48
1962   4 459   227   89   138 51.0 20.0 31.1 7.64 158.8 47.10
1963   4 622   235   90   145 51.0 19.5 31.5 7.65 155.4 47.61
1964   4 795   244   91   153 51.0 19.1 31.9 7.67 151.9 48.15
1965   4 979   252   92   160 50.8 18.5 32.2 7.66 148.1 48.78
1966   5 173   261   93   168 50.6 18.1 32.6 7.66 144.0 49.34
1967   5 381   271   94   178 50.6 17.5 33.1 7.66 139.5 50.05
1968   5 605   281   94   187 50.3 16.8 33.5 7.63 134.5 50.92
1969   5 845   291   94   198 50.0 16.1 33.9 7.60 129.2 51.82
1970   6 106   303   93   209 49.8 15.4 34.5 7.58 123.6 52.72
1971   6 397   315   93   223 49.6 14.6 35.0 7.56 117.8 53.77
1972   6 724   330   92   237 49.4 13.8 35.6 7.54 111.8 54.79
1973   7 089   345   91   253 49.0 13.0 36.0 7.48 105.6 55.93
1974   7 484   361   91   270 48.6 12.2 36.4 7.43 99.6 57.02
1975   7 898   378   90   287 48.2 11.5 36.7 7.37 94.1 58.07
1976   8 320   387   90   297 46.9 10.8 36.0 7.33 88.6 58.97
1977   8 755   397   88   309 45.7 10.1 35.6 7.30 83.5 59.95
1978   9 211   409   87   322 44.7 9.5 35.3 7.26 78.7 60.87
1979   9 682   422   86   336 43.9 8.9 35.0 7.23 74.1 61.70
1980   10 172   436   84   352 43.2 8.3 34.9 7.19 69.6 62.70
1981   10 678   450   83   367 42.5 7.8 34.6 7.13 65.4 63.47
1982   11 201   464   82   383 41.7 7.3 34.4 7.05 61.4 64.30
1983   11 746   478   81   398 41.0 6.9 34.1 6.95 57.6 65.05
1984   12 310   492   80   412 40.2 6.6 33.6 6.84 54.0 65.69
1985   12 890   504   80   424 39.3 6.2 33.1 6.70 50.6 66.33
1986   13 483   514   79   435 38.4 5.9 32.5 6.55 47.3 66.92
1987   14 090   523   79   444 37.3 5.6 31.7 6.36 44.1 67.40
1988   14 714   533   78   455 36.4 5.3 31.1 6.17 41.1 67.97
1989   15 353   541   77   463 35.4 5.1 30.4 6.00 38.3 68.49
1990   16 005   547   77   470 34.4 4.8 29.6 5.83 35.6 68.95
1991   16 654   554   77   477 33.4 4.7 28.8 5.66 33.1 69.37
1992   17 281   558   76   482 32.4 4.4 28.0 5.49 30.9 69.93
1993   17 846   563   76   487 31.5 4.3 27.3 5.32 28.8 70.30
1994   18 368   564   75   489 30.8 4.1 26.7 5.14 26.9 70.71
1995   18 889   566   75   491 30.0 4.0 26.0 4.95 25.2 71.01
1996   19 410   570   75   495 29.4 3.9 25.5 4.77 23.6 71.27
1997   19 938   576   76   500 28.9 3.8 25.1 4.59 22.1 71.48
1998   20 473   582   75   507 28.5 3.7 24.8 4.42 20.8 71.88
1999   21 010   588   75   513 28.0 3.6 24.4 4.25 19.6 72.14
2000   21 547   596   75   521 27.7 3.5 24.2 4.12 18.5 72.47
2001   22 086   593   73   519 26.9 3.3 23.5 3.91 17.5 72.97
2002   22 623   586   73   513 25.9 3.2 22.7 3.71 16.5 73.34
2003   23 151   574   72   502 24.8 3.1 21.7 3.50 15.6 73.63
2004   23 662   563   70   493 23.8 3.0 20.8 3.34 14.8 74.15
2005   24 398   557   70   487 23.1 2.9 20.2 3.24 14.0 74.59
2006   25 383   581   70   511 23.1 2.8 20.3 3.21 13.2 74.81
2007   26 400   608   71   537 23.2 2.7 20.5 3.18 12.5 75.05
2008   27 437   619   72   547 22.7 2.6 20.1 3.06 11.8 75.27
2009   28 484   630   73   557 22.3 2.6 19.7 2.95 11.2 75.43
2010   29 412   641   73   568 21.9 2.5 19.4 2.85 10.5 75.76
2011   30 151   651   73   579 21.6 2.4 19.2 2.81 9.8 76.23
2012   30 822   654   74 580 21.2 2.4 18.8 2.78 9.3 76.46
2013   31 482   653   77   576 20.8 2.4 18.3 2.74 8.8 76.63
2014   32 126   647   80   567 20.2 2.5 17.7 2.69 8.2 76.76
2015   32 750   639   83   556 19.5 2.5 17.0 2.64 7.8 76.92
2016   33 416   632   87   545 19.0 2.6 16.4 2.59 7.3 77.06
2017   34 193   644   90   554 18.9 2.6 16.3 2.58 6.9 77.16
2018   35 018   653   93   560 18.7 2.7 16.0 2.55 6.6 77.21
2019   35 827   659   95   564 18.5 2.7 15.8 2.50 6.3 77.30
2020 35 997 666 106   560 18.2 2.9 15.3 2.47 6.0 76.24
2021   35 950   629   103   526 17.5 2.9 14.6 2.43 5.7 76.94
Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
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Nationality and ethnicity

Nationality

noun: Saudi(s)
adjective: Saudi or Saudi Arabian

Ethnicity

Ethnic makeup of Saudi citizens in Saudi Arabia[33]
Ethnic groups
Arabs
90%
Afro-Arabs
10%

The ethnic composition of Saudi citizens is 90% Arabs and 10% Afro-Arabs.[33] However, 38.3% of inhabitants (about 13.3 million people) are non-citizens,[8] most of them are migrant workers.[34]

Urbanization

The following data has been retrieved from the CIA World Factbook:[35]

Urban population: 85% of total population (2023)

Rate of urbanization: 1.69% annual rate of change (2020–25 est.)

Historically, some of the population of Saudi Arabia followed a nomadic lifestyle, while most lived in villages and small towns ran by emirs. Following the discovery of oil in the 1930s, the Kingdom became far more settled as people moved to centers of high economic activity.[8] Significant population growth can be seen in the rise of urbanization throughout Saudi Arabia, which has grown 2 percent in the past ten years.[36] The largest Saudi cities have become flooded with new residents as more people move to urban cities to find better employment opportunities, and overcrowding has become a major issue across the nation.[36]

Migration

Further information: Foreign workers in Saudi Arabia

Pakistani workers at Al Masjid Nabawi (the Prophet's Mosque) in Medina

Migration is a significant part of Saudi Arabia's tradition and culture, as the nation's thriving oil economy attracts large numbers of foreign workers from an assortment of countries throughout Asia and the Arab world.[26] Following economic diversification in response to the oil boom of the 1970s, the Saudi government encouraged skilled and semi-skilled workers to enter the Kingdom as the demand for infrastructure and development intensified.[37] Saudi Arabia is among the top five immigrant destination countries around the world, currently hosting 5.3 million international migrants in its borders. In 2017, non-native residents accounted for 38% of the Kingdom's total population, more than twice that of the United States whose immigrants make up 15% of the nation's total population.[38] The majority of Saudi Arabia's foreign born population are males between the ages of 25 and 45. These immigrants make up a larger percentage of the total population in this age group compared to native-born Saudis ages 25–45, according to the United Nations 2013 report.[39] 26.3% of the total migrant population in Saudi Arabia are from India, followed by Pakistan (24.2%), Bangladesh (19.5%), Egypt (19.3%), and finally the Philippines (15.3%).[39] Most immigrants of the Kingdom are skilled, unskilled, and service industry foreign workers. Although the living and working conditions for immigrant workers are harsh in Saudi Arabia, economic opportunity tends to be much greater than in their homelands.[26] There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.[40] There are over 118,000 Westerners in Saudi Arabia, most of whom live in compounds or gated communities.[41]

People from other immigration jurisdictions

Nationality Residents
Egypt Egypt 2,700,000[42]
Pakistan Pakistan 2,700,000[43]
India India 2,592,166[44]
Bangladesh Bangladesh 2,500,000[45]
Yemen Yemen >2,000,000[46]
Syria Syria 2,500,000[47][48]
Indonesia Indonesia 1,500,000[49]
Philippines Philippines 938,490[50]
Sudan Sudan 819,600[51]
Myanmar Myanmar 500,000 (Rohingya)[52][53]
Jordan Jordan 430,000[54]
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka 400,000[55]
Turkey Turkey 220,000 (2019*)[citation needed]
Nepal Nepal 215,000[56]
Somalia Somalia 165,000 (1991*)[57]
Lebanon Lebanon 100,000[58]

Religion

Further information: Religion in Saudi Arabia

See also: Islam in Saudi Arabia

Religions of Saudi Arabia (2012 )[33]
Religions percent
Sunni Islam
90%
Shia Islam
10%

The government does not ask about religion on their census surveys. However, according to official statistics, in 2020, 85-90% of Saudi Arabian citizens were Sunni Muslims, 10-12% are Shia.[59] The rest are other forms of Islamic minorities. Other smaller communities reside in the south, with Ismaili Shia's constituting around half of the population of the province of Nejran, and a small percentage of the Holy Islamic cities of Mecca and Medina.

In 2022, there is a Christian population in the country of approximately 2.1 million; there are also groups of Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs in the country.[60]

According to a poll in 2013 by WIN-Gallup International, 5% of 502 Saudi Arabians surveyed stated they were "convinced atheists".[61][62]

In 2022, the kingdom's total population was approximately 35 million; it was estimated that of these, over one-third were foreign workers.[63]

Languages

The official language of Saudi Arabia is Arabic. Saudi Sign Language is the principal language of the deaf community. The large expatriate communities also speak their own languages, the most numerous of which are Urdu (4,000,000) which after Arabic is widely used especially among the South Asian community, which makes the largest community of expatriate, Indonesian (850,000), Filipino/Tagalog (700,000), Malayalam (447,000), Rohingya (400,000), and Egyptian Arabic (300,000).[64][65][66][circular reference]

References

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External videos
video icon Why 82% of Saudi Arabians Just Live in These Lines -RealLifeLore