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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Qatar Gov launches new statistics website

A new statistics website has been launched for Qatar at http://www.qsa.gov.qa/ - which is great, because as things are changing so fast many of the statistics quoted not just on websites but on major and respected news and facts sources are now out of date.

The new website, for example, gives the current population of website as 1,448,446. This contrasts to the 928,635 given by the CIA world factbook, which it says is a July 2008 estimate, and the 841,000 given by the BBC. Only Wikipedia, often criticised for its inaccuracies, gets it right with its estimate of over 1,400,000.

This increase in population is down to the huge expansion in the expatriate work force. A quick look at the birth and death rate shows that Qataris are multiplying rapidly: the number of deaths (1750) is outsripped by a factor of 9 by the number of births (14120).

It would be nice if the website provided dates - presumably these refer to 2007, but I wasn't sure exactly. It was also interesting that the number of visits to museums stood at 31,309 - as every musuem in the country seems to be shut at the moment (see Museum Frustrations or Why it is hard to be tourist in Qatar) I wonder how the statistics authority came to that conclusion.

It would be nice if there was more information included - I would like to know their estimates for Doha's population, which in 2004 was put at 400,000 but which, according to unpublished statistics a friend passed on to me, is now around 900,000. However, this may be available from their publications section, which for some reason I can not access from work!

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