Socio-demographic changes and future challenges for the GCC countries

Khan, Hafiz T. A. (2013) Socio-demographic changes and future challenges for the GCC countries. In: Old and New Challenges in the Arab countries of the Gulf and the Levant, 6 November 2013, University of Oxford. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


Population change is dramatic in many parts of the world mainly because of economic reason on the one hand, the society and culture also reshapes quite rapidly as a result of continuous improvement in human capital, social development, technological improvement and proper utilization of modern health care on the other. The success of a country is largely embedded with clear targeted visions and long-term policy actions. This requires rigorous action plans based on population information and thus a regular cycle of data collection along with high quality assurance is necessary. While referring to the recent Arab Spring one might say that this is due to the huge youth bulge in the Gulf population. Demographic challenges are often embedded with socio-economic, cultural and political system of a country.

Although the dynamics of population and socio-economic linkages are evident for developed countries, however, it is a bit unclear for some oil rich wealthy countries particularly in the Middle-East. Yet little is known about the socio-demographic changes of Middle-Eastern countries and its human resources. Therefore, this talk is to examine the level and trends of population in six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries - Saudi, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait and its continuous growth of human resources and development. Secondary sources of data are used and our attempt is to make a comparative study among all six neighboring nations. The mechanisms of population change are reviewed in the paper and it is revealed that fertility is falling dramatically in all GCC countries and so does the life expectancy. They are the main determinants of future population changes and ageing in GCC countries. The paper indicates how the GCC countries can utilize its large bulge of youth and older population for nation building purposes by investing in people for capacity building. It has clearly indicated that in the long term the problem of the region is an “aging population” and for which it is even less prepared. GCC countries should seriously take its future ageing issues and should act now on its policy programmes. Finally, the talk briefly lays out some policy implications.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 12845
Depositing User: Hafiz Khan
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2013 14:20
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 11:30

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