Saudi Arabia’s population crosses 32 million, census results show


The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT)  has  announced on Wednesday the first results of the Kingdom’s 2022 census, which puts the population of Saudi Arabia at 32,175,224 million.

Of the total number, Saudis make up 18.8 million (58.4%), while non-Saudis, 13.4 million, constitute 41.6% of the population.

The census also shows that the Kingdom has a young population, with the median age of 29 and a population of Saudis under 30 making up 63% of the total.

The Kingdom’s population consists of 19.7 million males, making up 61 percent, and 12.5 million females, representing 39 percent. Riyadh, followed by Jeddah, Makkah, Madinah, and Dammam, is the most populous city in Saudi Arabia.

The census reveals that the Kingdom has a youthful population, with an average age of 29 years and 63 percent of Saudis under the age of 30. The average age for Saudis is 25 years. The Kingdom has more than eight million residential units, with apartments accounting for 51 percent.

Regarding family composition, the census shows a total of 4.2 million Saudi families with an average size of 4.8 persons per family. The percentage of males and females among Saudis is nearly equal, with males comprising 50.2 percent and females 49.8 percent. Non-Saudi families have an average size of 2.7 members, with males making up 76 percent of the total non-Saudi population in the Kingdom.

The Saudi census of 2022 provides detailed data on population, households, and housing. Information on education, health, employment, income, migration, and diversity will be announced in the coming months. 

The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) will publish the census results on a dedicated website, featuring interactive dashboards, maps, reports, tables, and charts. Additionally, GASTAT plans to conduct a live-streamed webinar to explain the census methodology and highlight key findings.

Faisal Al-Ibrahim, the Minister of Economy and Planning and Chairman of the Board of Directors of GASTAT, emphasizes the significance of the 2022 census as a foundation for planning, decision-making, policy development, sectoral plans, and achieving the goals of Vision 2030. 

He expresses gratitude to King Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their guidance and support throughout the census project.

The Saudi 2022 census stands as the most comprehensive and accurate population survey in the history of the Kingdom, with an accuracy rate of over 95 percent. It employed advanced methodologies, including follow-up phone calls to validate data with a sample of over one million individuals. International experts have recognized the census methodology as one of the most accurate in the world.

The 2022 census utilized the best international practices and modern technologies such as satellites and self-enumeration. Error monitoring, automated data correction techniques, over one million phone calls, 900,000 field visits, and advanced data analysis methods were employed to ensure data accuracy. The census data was cross-checked against five different sources and reviewed using over 200 indicators.

To account for changes in methodology compared to the 2010 census, GASTAT backcasted the population figures from previous years based on the results of the 2022 census. This approach aligns with international best practices and aims to reflect improvements in census data resulting from enhanced methodologies. 

The backcasted figures for previous years will be published on GASTAT’s website, providing the most accurate dataset available.

Comparing the 2022 census data with the backcasted 2010 data, Saudi Arabia’s total population has increased by 8.2 million (34.2%), Saudis by 4.8 million (33.8%), and non-Saudis by 3.5 million (34.7%) since 2010.

Dr. Fahad Aldossari, the President of GASTAT, highlights the release of comprehensive and accurate census data as a testament to advancements in international methodologies and data-capture technology. He expresses pride in the coordination between government agencies, the digital infrastructure, and the abilities of the census team.

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