Qatar/People

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Natives of the Arabian Peninsula, many Qataris are descended from a number of migratory tribes that came to Qatar in the 18th century to escape the harsh conditions of the neighboring areas of Nejd and Al-Hasa. Some are descended from Omani tribes. Qatar has over 0.5 million people, the majority of whom (about 90%) live in Doha, the capital. Foreign workers with temporary residence status make up about four-fifths of the population. Most of them are South Asians, Egyptians, Palestinians, Jordanians, and Iranians. About 3,000 U.S. citizens resided there as of 1996.

For centuries, the main sources of wealth were pearling, fishing, and trade. At one time, Qataris owned nearly one-third of the Persian Gulf fishing fleet. With the Great Depression and the introduction of Japan's cultured-pearl industry, pearling in Qatar declined drastically.

The Qataris are mainly Sunni "Wahhabi" Muslims. Islam is the official religion, and Islamic jurisprudence is the basis of Qatar's legal system. Arabic is the official language and English is the lingua franca of business. Education is compulsory and free for all residents 6-16 years old. Qatar has an increasingly high literacy rate.

Population: 744,483 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 26% (male 99,702; female 95,960)
15-64 years: 71% (male 378,741; female 152,978)
65 years and over: 3% (male 12,120; female 4,982) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 3.35% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 16.07 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 4.19 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 21.58 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.48 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 2.43 male(s)/female
total population: 1.93 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 22.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.37 years
male: 69.92 years
female: 74.94 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.25 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Qatari(s)
adjective: Qatari

Ethnic groups: Arab 40%, Pakistani 18%, Indian 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%

Religions: Muslim 95%

Languages: Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.4%
male: 79.2%
female: 79.9% (1995 est.)