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Kuwait plans to slash migrant share of population ‘from 70 to 30 percent’

Kuwait plans to slash migrant share of population ‘from 70 to 30 percent’

The Kuwaiti government aims to reduce number of migrants in the country from 70 to 30 percent of the population, to “resolve the demographic imbalance.” Like its Gulf Arab neighbors, oil-rich Kuwait has a large foreign-born population mostly made up of Middle Eastern and Asian workers.

Out of 4.8 million inhabitants, some 3.3 million are foreign nationals, according to Prime Minister Sabah Al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah.

“The ideal demographic situation would be that Kuwaitis make up 70 percent of the population and non-Kuwaitis 30 percent,” he told a gathering of local newspaper editors. “We face a big challenge in the future to rectify this demographic imbalance,” AFP quoted him as saying.

Kuwait’s state budget has been hit by tumbling oil prices sparked by the novel coronavirus pandemic, putting pressure on the government to provide employment for its citizens.