By Kaushalendra Singh -
1,951,100 citizens and 742,994 expats
MUSCAT — The preliminary results of 2010 census show that the Sultanate’s population has gone up to 2,694,094 in 2010 from 2,340,815 in 2003. Out of the total population of 2,694,094 there are 1,951,100 Omanis and 742,994 expatriates.
The Omani and expatriate percentage in the total population comes at 72.4 and 27.6 per cent respectively. As per 2003 census there were 1,781,558 Omanis and 559,257 expatriates out of a total of 2,340,815 people.
The preliminary results relate to the housing units, households and individuals by governorate/area at the census reference moment that began on the midnight of December 12 and concluded on December 21.
The final results are likely to be published in the third week of January 2011.
The preliminary results were announced yesterday by Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy and Deputy Chairman of Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council. He is also the General Supervisor for Census 2010.
Commenting on the preliminary census results, Macki said there were no surprises in the results and they came on expected lines of Five-Year Plan’s development allocations.
The result shows housing units in Oman numbered 546,000 in 2010 census compared to 431,000 in 2003.
Household numbered 401,000, of which 259,000 or 64.6 per cent were Omani households compared to 343,000 of which 225,000 or 65.6 per cent were
Omani households in 2003.
Omani population covered by the enumeration was the totality of the members of Omani household residing in Oman, irrespective of their place of residence at the census reference moment.
The preliminary results indicate that most governorates and regions maintained relative weight, population size wise; proportion of expatriate population increased from 24 per cent in 2003 census to its current level of 27.6 per cent of the total population.
As per the results, average size of Omani household declined from 8 persons in the 2003 census to its current level of 7.5persons and proportion of Omani population below the age of 15 declined from 51.6 per cent in 1993 to 40.6 per cent in 2003 further down to 35.2 per cent in 2010. This decline indicates drop in the total fertility rate of Omani women as a direct response to investments in education and increases in educational attainment of the Omani population, particularly women.
There has been substantial increase in Omani women labour force in the Sultanate. “The participation of Omani women in labour force increased from 8.6 per cent in 1993 to 22.2 per cent in 2003 to its current level of 27 per cent. This increase in labour force participation is a direct result of the social development, awareness and educational attainment gained by the Omani women,” said Macki.
Decline in the proportion of Omani population below the age of 15 resulted in an increase in the proportion of those in the labour force age group of 15-64 years from 56.2 per cent in 2003 to its current level of 61.3 per cent of the total population.
In the field of education, illiteracy rate of Omani population dropped during the past 7 years. From 21.9 per cent in 2003, it achieved a decent level of 12.2 per cent, signalling an achievement of sustainable human developments indicators.
Concurrent with the educational attainments, preliminary results showed a substantial increase in personal use of computers and the Internet from 16.4 per cent in 2003 to the current level of 52.8 per cent in computer personal use, and from 7.1 per cent in 2003 to the current level of Internet use of 33.1 per cent.
In the area of housing and housing conditions, the results indicate an increase in the proportion of modern housing units like apartments and villas. The indicators show up from 40.9 per cent in the 2003 to its current level of 48.6 per cent.
Proportion of housing units supplied by water through water networks, government water points and bottled water as source for drinking water increased from 75.3 per cent in 2003 to its current level of 87.7 per cent. This carries positive impact on health conditions in general and on child health in particular.
The minister assured that the detailed information on census would be made available during the next month concerning the population and housing units, including specific report on housing, housing units tenure and household facilities; access to water networks and other domestic facilities; communication gear; access to education, educational enrolment by level, and gender-based equal opportunity to education; social and economic characteristics of the population, such as occupation and economic sectors, detailed account of difficulties and disability by age and gender and demographic characteristics such as age and sex distribution, rates of birth and death and place of residence.
Following is the population size results of governorates or regions:
Al Batinah Region: Total population amounted to 762,000 or 28.3 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Al Batinah, 620,000 or 81.4 per cent are Omani and 142,000 or 18.6 per cent are expatriates.
Muscat Governorate: Total population amounted to 735,000 thousand or 27.3 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Muscat Governorate, 405,000 or 55.2 per cent are Omani and 329,000 or 44.8 per cent are expatriates.
A’Sharqiyah Region: Total population amounted to 349,000 or 12.95 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of A’Sharqiyah Region, 292,000 or 83.8 per cent are Omani and 56,000 16.2 per cent are expatriates.
Ad Dakhiliyah Region: Total population amounted to 315,000 or 11.7 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Ad Dakhiliyah Region, 267,000 or 84.8 per cent are Omani and 48,000 or 15.2 per cent are expatriates.
Dhofar Governorate: Total population amounted to 249,000 or 9.3 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Dhofar Governorate, 163,000 or 65.5 per cent are Omani and 86,000 thousand or 34.5 per cent are expatriates.
Adh Dhahirah Region: Total population amounted to 148,000 or 5.5 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Adh Dhahirah Region, 119,000 or 80.3 per cent are Omani and 29,000 thousand or 19.7 per cent are expatriates.
Al Buraimi Governorate: Total population amounted to 72,000 or 2.7 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Al Burimi Governorate, 43,000 or 59.1 per cent are Omani and 30,000 or 40.9 per cent are expatriates.
Al Wusta Region: Total population amounted to 33,000 or 1.2 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Al Wusta Region, 19,000 or 58.02 per cent are Omani and 14,000 or 41.98 per cent are expatriates.
Musandam Governorate: Total population amounted to 31,000 thousand or 1.2 per cent of the total population of Oman. Of the total population of Musandam Governorate, 22,000 or 70.3 per cent are Omani and 9,000 thousand or 29.7 per cent are expatriates.
Commenting on the complexities of the census and challenges faced by the census team, Macki said: “Census preparations were not easy. We had to use comprehensive and advance methodologies, chief of which was linkage between and harmonisation of the Geographic Information System and the Statistical System for the conduct of the buildings listing operations during 2009, which were met with technical and operational difficulties that necessitated deferment of the census from April to December, 2010.”
“This census is fully electronic, employing the most advanced technology and methodologies put in practice for the first time ever. This in turn posed on the Census Administration an additional challenge and burden in the selection, training and orienting 38 field controller, 168 assistant controller, 1,042 field crew leader, 5,200 enumerator, more than 200 call and quality assurance operator in addition to technical, logistics, finance and administration support staff,” he said.
The census field staff met difficulties particularly with some of the expatriates despite the media support to the census and the census awareness campaigns.
Many expatriates could not be included in the census as the census enumeration coincided with the departure of expatriates to their respective nations to spend the festive holidays and many expatriates evaded the enumerators as they were scared of being documented.
There were difficulties enumerating camp workers due to the work conditions such as nature and time shifts of labourers as most of them are in the establishments.
“I wish to underline the fact that total population for Omani and expatriate population vary from administrative records statistics. This is due to differences in methodology followed in data collection as well as to differences in time and space reference. Source of census data is the field-based and depend on the reporting approach concerning the household members and their characteristics. Census puts emphasis on completeness and accuracy,” said Macki.
“I seize this opportunity to convey to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, on behalf of all census staff, our gratefulness and congratulations on the good results of the census,” he said.
He also expressed “deep and utmost appreciation and gratitude to His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq al Said, Minister of Heritage and Culture, Chairperson of the Census National Higher committee, and to the ministers and other members of the committee for their invaluable contributions and continued support for making this national project a success.”
He also thanked the Ministry of Information and media in general for their effective contributions in census awareness and extended gratitude to the Ministry of Defence and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) as well.
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