The Sultanate’s population could almost double in the next 20-odd years, swelling to eight million by 2040. At least that’s the verdict of the National Centre for Statistics & Information (NCSI), which released the results of a study this week.
The study envisages three scenarios with regard to population growth: high, medium and low increase. Assuming a high increase scenario – based on a fertility rate of 4.5 births per woman – the number of inhabitants of the Sultanate will reach 8.17 million by 2040 if expatriates account for 44.5 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, the number would stand at 6.7 million, if expatriates only account for 33 per cent of the total population.
This boom in population will also result in a number of development projects in the housing, electricity, water, health and education sectors, which will entail an aggregate spending of over RO2.9 billion, the study said.
Annual increase in GDP is estimated at RO19.8 billion if the percentage of expatriates remains lower.
Assuming a higher annual growth in per capita gross domestic product at RO37,545 (according to a World Bank study), the increased output will reach RO269 billion (keeping expatriates at 44.5 per cent) while it will be RO216 billion if expatriates make up 33 per cent of the population.
Oman will also require 576,000 new housing units consuming 11,120,000 GigaWatts per hour of extra electricity and an additional RO336 million to cover the costs of maintaining electricity production.
The Sultanate will also require 63.8 billion additional gallons of water entailing an additional spending of RO377.2 million for the production of household water.
This flux in population will also mean the health sector will have to be revamped. An additional 13,115 doctors, 2,146 pharmacists and 25,832 nurses will be required to tend patients. This translates to a spending of RO758.6 million.
During this period, 2.2 million students are expected to join the school education system. 64,242 additional teachers and 21,796 classrooms with an estimated expenditure of RO1.428 billion will be required to meet the rising demands.