Qatar is a sovereign Arab nation in Southwest Asia, sharing direct borders with Saudi Arabia only. Independence in Qatar wasn’t achieved until 1971, and since then, Qatar has been ruled by the Al Thani family. Today, the absolute head of state in Qatar is Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani. According to the country’s constitution, the Sharia law is the main source of Qatari legislation.
As of 2016, Qatar's estimated total population amounts to more than 2.5 million inhabitants. It is estimated that by 2020, the total population in Qatar will reach almost 2.8 million. Because of the growing infrastructure and living conditions in Qatar, there was a very large population growth in the years of 2005 until 2009, which reached its peak in 2007. Nowadays, Qatar is among the countries with the highest population growth in the world.
Qatar’s economy has been mainly supported by the immense natural and conventional gas reserves, as the country is among the leading nations with the largest natural and conventional natural gas reserves in the world. Natural gas production in Qatar helps the economy growth and is a very secure source of profit for the nation. Additionally, a thriving export business has helped Qatar establish itself as one of the world’s richest nations per capita: In 2013 alone, Qatar exported goods with a value of over 136 billion U.S. dollars. The high value of exports has, of course, increased the positive trade balance over the past decade. Since the economic crisis, the trade surplus increased by more than 50 billion U.S. dollars, but has been decreasing again to crisis-levels nowadays - which is still higher than the pre-crisis trade surplus.
Another indicator of Qatar's wealth is its significantly high gross domestic product and, subsequently, its gross domestic product per capita. It is estimated that in 2016, Qatar had the sixth largest gross domestic product per capita in the world, which not only means economic strength, but most of all, a high standard of living for its inhabitants.
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