DOHA: Qatar’s population has passed the 2.6 million mark as the emirate draws in thousands of workers to build the infrastructure for the 2022 football World Cup, official figures showed Wednesday.
The tiny Gulf state has seen a more than four-fold increase in its population since 2000 as oil and gas revenues have fuelled a rapid economic transformation.
A total of 2,611,522 people were resident in the emirate in October, the figures released by the ministry of development planning and statistics showed.
The population passed the 2.5 million mark in February.
The figures also revealed a huge gender imbalance, thought to be one of the highest in the world.
Qatar counts almost two million male residents — many of them migrant workers — and just 637,866 women.
The figures did not give a breakdown for the proportion of expatriate residents but estimates suggest they make up as much as 90 percent of the population.
The population increase may not be sustained.
A sharp fall in world energy prices since 2014 has created a major hole in public finances with deficits projected for the next three years.
The government says all World Cup infrastructure will be completed but other projects have been put on hold, resulting in job losses for foreign workers.