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Nation Home > Spotlight
Abu Dhabi population grows tenfold in 36 years

Nissar Hoath / 6 November 2012

In 36 years, the resident population of Abu Dhabi, the fastest growing emirate in the country, has risen tenfold, to reach 2.12 million by June last year.


1975               211,812

2005              1,374,200

2009              1,826,700

2010              1,967,700

2011               2,120,700

In 1975, the population was a mere 211,812. The population data are estimates of both locals and expatriates who are usually resident in the emirate, Abu Dhabi’s Statistic Centre (SCAD) said in recently released statistics.

According to the report, the Emirati population of the Emirate was 439,100, while the rest — 1,681,600 — were expatriate residents, accounting for 80 per cent of the total population.

The biggest influx of population began in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the government pumped billions of dirhams for infrastructure and civic projects in addition to start of skyscrapers taking shape, following the discovery of oil.

There were further influxes in  the mid-90s, when most of the city’s old buildings and houses were replaced with modern and luxury high-rise structures and villas, while another population boom began in the early 2000s when projects like Yas Island were launched.

About 54 per cent of people live in the Abu Dhabi region, 41 per cent in Al Ain Region and just five per cent in Al Gharbia, the report showed.

More than 70 per cent of the population of the Emirate is male, due to an influx of male migrant workers.

The report suggests that fertility rate is higher in the Emirate than most developed regions of the world, and mortality remains extremely low.

Last year’s birth and death rates among UAE citizens were 15.1 and 1.4 per 1,000 people, respectively, while life expectancy at birth for Abu Dhabi Emirate was 77 years for males and 78 years for females. Life expectancy at birth was 77 years for citizens, and 78 years for non-citizens.


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