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1. Geography
2. Political situation
a. Rulers
3. Defense
4. Economy
a. Figures
5. Health
6. Education
a. Universities
7. Media
8. Demographics
9. Religions
a. Freedom
10. Peoples
11. Languages
12. Human rights
13. History
14. Cities and Towns

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Index / Peoples
Open map of KuwaitFlag of KuwaitKuwait /

Ethnic groups
Figures in 1000.
2,200 80.0%
1,250 45.0%
250 9.0%
120 4.5%
200 7.0%
50 2.0%
40 1.5%
12 0.4%
550 20.0%
South Asian
250 9.0%
90 3.3%
20 0.7%
2.5 0.1%
300 11.0%

Inhabitants of Kuwait belong to three categories:
  1. Nationals with Kuwaiti citizenship, about 45%.
  2. Nationals without any citizenship, about 4.5%
  3. Immigrants with foreign citizenship, about 50%

Kuwaiti policy does not allow a non-citizen to obtain Kuwaiti citizenship, no matter how many years he or she lives in the country. Even children born to non-citizens are not allowed citizenship.
Natives of Kuwait are either citizens or Bidoon. Citizens are those who have ancestors that lived in larger settlements and living off the land at the time when Kuwait was formed; that is around 1960. At this time, the ancestors of today's Bidoon were fishermen living in smaller communities. The Bidoon appear (sources are conflicting) to be the true natives of Kuwait, living here before the first groups' ancestors arrived here in the early 18th century.
Minorities of Kuwait are largely Egyptians, Indians and Iranians, together with several other ethnic groups. A clear percentage of immigrants are men, because of them 60% of the total Kuwait population are males. Many immigrants have wives in the home countries.
The Iranian population has a long history in Kuwait. Judging from most sources, Persians seem to dominate this group, but no definite information has been found for the preparation of Contents (Iranians of neighbouring Iran constitute several peoples).
Before 1990, and the Gulf War, about 400,000 Palestinians lived and worked in Kuwait, but due to the Palestinian support of Iraq, their numbers today is considerably reduced. The numbers of Iraqis in Kuwait is also reduced, and the Iraqis living in Kuwait today are largely political refugees of some kind.
In the early 1990's, "real" Kuwaitis represented 25% of the total population, but due to government programmes, this percentage is now up to 45%, or 50% if Bidoons are included. Regulation on immigration and residence together with high birth rates among citizens are the direct reasons. After the Gulf War, there is great anxiety in Kuwait about being outnumbered by foreigners.

By Tore Kjeilen