Exodus of 30,000 Expats From Kuwait in First Week of May

Kuwait presently has 30/70 ratio of expats and local population; it aims 50/50 ratio in next seven years

The country has a purchasing power parity-adjusted GDP per capita of US$67,000 in 2018, according to the World Bank

DESPARDES News Monitor – The number of expatriate residents in Kuwait fell by approximately 30,000 in the first four days of May, according to local media reports.

Citing anonymous ‘official sources’, the Kuwait Times reported that the figure comes from Ministry of Interior data provided to the Public Authority of Civil Information and show expats who have cancelled their residency visas or were issued with new ones.

“The number showed that expats dropped by around 30,000 in the first four days of May,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying. Further, the sources explained that as of last Saturday, the total number of Kuwaiti citizens in the country was 1,412,264 (29.7 percent of the population) compared to 3,333,027 expatriates (70.3 percent).

The total number of residents in the country was calculated at 4,745,291.

In November, another Kuwait newspaper, Al-Qabas, reported that Kuwait could reduce its number of expats by at least 1.5 million over the next seven years as it aims to achieve a demographic balance with nationals. It said the government’s legal body had requested a national committee dedicated to demographic management. It would have the power to achieve a population consisting of 50% Kuwaitis.

The Kuwaiti national population is expected to increase to 1.7 million within seven years, although they currently stand at 1.4 million compared to 3.2 million expats, according to figures by the Public Authority for Civil Authority (PACI).

In a related development, Kuwait’s Public Authority for Manpower plans to impose new conditions on transactions for expats older than 65 who hold no university degrees, said informed sources., according to Zawya.

The sources added that some labor departments had already started banning visa transfers from one company to another for this particular category.

The total number of expats older than 65 is 23,500 in the private sector.

As one of the wealthiest countries in the Gulf and with $32bn-worth of public projects in its pipeline, Kuwait is striving to fulfill its economic promise.

The country has a purchasing power parity-adjusted GDP per capita of US$67,000 in 2018, according to the World Bank.