Qatar - Statistics & Facts

Qatar is a sovereign Arab nation in Southwest Asia, sharing a direct border only with Saudi Arabia. This single border has been problematic since May of 2017, when Saudi Arabia began a blockage against Qatar. Independence in Qatar wasn’t achieved until 1971. 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, Sharia law is the main source of Qatari legislation.

As of 2017, Qatar's estimated total population amounts to more than 2.7 million inhabitants. It is estimated that by 2020, the total population in Qatar will reach more than 2.8 million, with growth essentially stopping. Because of the growing infrastructure and living conditions in Qatar, as well as immigration to support the natural gas boom, the country experienced significant population growth. Population growth has diminished, and Qatar's population remains among the lowest in all the MENA countries.

Qatar’s economy has been mainly supported by its immense 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 economic growth and is currently a reliable source of profit for the nation. Additionally, the gas industry drives a thriving export business which 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 Global Financial Crisis, the trade surplus increased by more than 50 billion U.S. dollars but has been decreasing again due to the drop in commodities prices in 2015. Due to political tensions caused by the Saudi blockade, Qatar has withdrawn from OPEC, the political and economic effects of which remain to be seen.

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 2017, Qatar reported the seventh largest gross domestic product per capita in the world. This not only means economic strength, but also a high standard of living for its inhabitants.

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