Kuwait wants nationals to make up at least 50% of total population

February 18, 2010

Al Afassi - Al Watan

Kuwait has a plan to boost its native population to at least 50 per cent of the total number of people living in the northern Arabian Gulf emirate, a Kuwaiti minister said. The plan includes further reducing the number of foreigners staying illegally in the country.

“Under the recently approved development plan, there will be greater opportunities for Kuwaiti nationals to contribute to the growth of their country,” Mohammad Al Afassi, the social affairs and labour minister, said. “Kuwaitis now make up between 25 and 30 per cent of the total population, but the government wants to use the development plan to boost their number to 50 per cent of the total population,” the minister told Kuwaiti daily Al Rai

Part of the plan includes reducing the number of foreigners staying illegally in the country, he said.

“We have succeeded in bringing down the number of foreigners staying illegally in the country in 2009 by 10 per cent or around 200,000 people. We have resorted to deportation and to a better management of work permits,” the minister said.

Al Afassi said that the measures would touch more foreigners in the future as the country implements its development plan.

“We have suffered in Kuwait for years from numerous serious demographic issues that have resulted, among other things, in a rise in the crimes perpetrated by marginal foreigners. We are serious about our zero-tolerance policy and anyone who violates the law will be deported or severely punished,” the minister said.

Kuwait has a total population of 3.4 million.


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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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