Bahrain’s population change highest in Gulf

BAHRAIN has recorded the highest population change in the Gulf since 2015, according to a United Nations report.

The UN Population Fund has released the State of World Population 2020 Report, which covers different regions and advises developing countries about the social and economic implications of population growth.

Bahrain’s population has reached 1.7 million this year, which the report divided into the following age compositions: 79.1 per cent (15 to 64), 18.3pc (zero to 14), 16.1pc (10 to 24) and 2.7pc (above 65).

Latest statistics also show that Bahrain has the highest average rate of population change among Gulf countries at 4.3pc (2015-2020) compared with Oman at 3.6pc, Qatar at 2.3pc, Kuwait at 2.1pc, Saudi Arabia at 1.9pc and the UAE at 1.3pc.

“Life expectancy at birth (in 2020) is 77 years,” said the report under the Bahrain section.

The total fertility rate per woman this year in Bahrain is 1.9pc, while a 100pc rate was recorded between 2014 and 2019 under the category of births attended by skilled health personnel.

The report also mentions that Bahrain, Egypt, Iran and Jordan experienced excess female mortality, while attributing to 2012 statistics.

“But in these countries, according to the researchers, gender-biased sex selection does not occur,” added the report.

Meanwhile, the report also revealed that about 140m females are considered ‘missing’ around the globe.

It said investments totalling $3.4 billion a year until 2030 would be needed to end global child marriage and female genital mutilation, thereby ending the suffering of an estimated 84m girls.

The report highlights at least 19 harmful practices taking place in various countries, of which the three most prevalent ones are female genital mutilation, child marriage, and extreme bias against daughters in favour of sons.

“Harmful practices against girls cause profound and lasting trauma, robbing them of their right to reach their full potential,” said UNFPA executive director Dr Natalia Kanem.

While progress has been made in ending some of the harmful practices worldwide, the report warns that the Covid-19 pandemic threatens to reverse the gains.

“A recent analysis revealed that if services and programmes remain shuttered for six months, an additional 13m girls may be forced into marriage and 2m more girls may be subjected to female genital mutilation between now and 2030,” warns the UN report.




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