Saudi Arabia Population

Population now

34,936,848
  • World: 41st
  • Asia: 16th
Male:20,209,255(57.83 %)
Female:14,727,593(42.17 %)
Births in 2020:717,024
Deaths in 2020:151,424

Life expectancy & Rates (2020)

Male:74.08 years
Female:76.92 years
Total:75.28 years
Median Age:30.80 years
Birth Rate:16.81
Death Rate:3.55
Growth Rate:3.74 %
Fertility Rate:2.24

Population Data Graphs

  • Total population
  • Birth & Death rate
  • Life expectancy
  • Median Age
  • Population structure (mid 2020)
  • Urbanization

Saudi Arabia Population Review

Officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this Middle Eastern country is home to 34.8 million people. Geographically the largest sovereign state in Western Asia, Saudi Arabia spans over 2,150,000 km2. It is surrounded by other countries and bordered by Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. It is the only country that has a coast on both the red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

It is notoriously difficult to estimate the true population of the kingdom, since Saudi’ leaders have historically inflated census results to make the country look more populous. Since the 1960s, the population of Saudi Arabia has grown quickly when it was estimated to only be around 4 million residents. It has an annual growth rate of 2.52% and has one of the higher birth rates in the world at 16.81.

A militarized country with a controversial history

Saudi Arabia spends 8% of its GPD on its military, which is the highest in the world after Russia and Oman. As one of the world’s largest military spenders and one of the world’s largest arms importers, Saudi Arabia is the 28th most militarised country in the world and has the best military equipment in the region, after Israel.

Half of the arms the US exports to the Middle East go to Saudi Arabia. However, in recent years there has been a call for the halting of the sale of arms to the kingdom after alleged war crimes sanctioned by the Saudi’ leaders surfaced in Yemen and the death of author, journalist and Saudi Arabian dissident, Jamal Khashoggi. The kingdom has also attracted criticism for its sponsorship of Islamic terrorism, its failure to take adequate action against human trafficking, its problematic treatment of women, and its excessive use of capital punishment and state-sponsored discrimination against religious minorities.

An unwelcoming country to other religions

The vast majority of Saudi citizens are Muslim and, officially, all are. The Sunni population of Saudi Arabia is between 75% and 90%, and the remaining percentage is Shia Muslim. There are also an estimated 1,500,000 Christians in Saudi Arabia, though almost all of these are foreign workers. The kingdom does allow Christians to enter the country as foreign workers, but they are prohibited from openly practicing their faith. Since Saudi Arabia forbids religious conversion from Islam and it is a crime punishable by death, there are no official Saudi Arabian citizens who are considered Christian.

There may also be a significant faction of atheists or agnostics in the country. However, they do not reveal themselves as they are considered “terrorists” and would be punished with death if they were revealed. In 2017, the US State Department named the kingdom a Country of Particular Concern in a religious freedoms’ report.

An uneasy relationship with foreign workers

While it’s estimated that there are over 10 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia and that they make up about 21% of the population, their relationship with their host country is a delicate one. The large majority of foreign workers are Indian, Pakistani, Egyptian, and Yemeni and they live together in compounds of gated communities—separated from the native population. While foreign workers who are Muslim and they have resided in the country for ten years or more, they may apply for Saudi citizenship, these rules exclude Palestinians—unless they married to a Saudi national—and priority is given to those who hold scientific degrees.

As the population of Saudi Arabia is expected to hit 44.5 million by 2050, there is growing pressure for the replacement of foreign workers by Saudis. In 1990 and 1991, the Saudi government expelled 800,000 Yemenis and built a Saudi-Yemen barrier. The country also expelled thousands of Ethiopian residents in 2013 and have deported or detained over 500,000 undocumented migrant workers in the past 10 years.

Review Updated: August 13, 2020

Saudi Arabia Population History

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YearTotalMaleFemaleSex RatioGrowth rateBirth rateDeath rateFerti­lity rate
Life exp., total
Life expectancy
Life exp., maleLife exp., femaleMedian AgeUrbani­zation
Density, people / km2
Density, people/km2
19604M2M2M1.011.34%47.5820.327.2245.6443.6847.7617.4731.25%2.08
19614M2M2M1.011.39%47.5819.937.2346.1544.1948.2617.3732.37%2.15
19624M2M2M1.011.43%47.5619.547.2446.6744.7248.7717.3033.52%2.23
19635M2M2M1.011.48%47.5119.127.2547.2145.2649.3117.2535.01%2.30
19645M2M2M1.021.54%47.4418.687.2647.7845.8449.8817.2136.87%2.39
19655M2M2M1.021.60%47.3418.207.2648.4146.4750.5017.1738.77%2.47
19665M3M2M1.021.67%47.2417.667.2649.1147.1851.2017.1040.70%2.56
19675M3M3M1.021.76%47.1217.087.2649.8947.9651.9817.0542.67%2.65
19685M3M3M1.031.86%47.0116.457.2750.7548.8252.8417.0244.65%2.75
19696M3M3M1.031.97%46.9015.777.2751.6949.7653.7817.0046.66%2.86
19706M3M3M1.042.11%46.7715.067.2852.7050.7854.7916.9548.67%2.98
19716M3M3M1.042.25%46.6114.327.2953.7751.8655.8416.9350.69%3.11
19726M3M3M1.052.42%46.4013.577.3054.8753.0056.9116.9252.71%3.26
19737M3M3M1.062.60%46.1412.837.3155.9854.1557.9816.9354.71%3.42
19747M4M3M1.072.79%45.8412.117.3157.0855.3059.0216.9456.70%3.60
19757M4M4M1.082.99%45.5111.427.3158.1556.4360.0316.9758.35%3.78
19768M4M4M1.13.19%45.1810.777.3159.1857.5261.0117.0359.90%3.98
19778M4M4M1.113.42%44.8910.157.3060.1758.5661.9517.1261.42%4.19
19789M5M4M1.133.67%44.639.567.2861.1259.5662.8617.2362.93%4.41
19799M5M4M1.143.93%44.399.017.2562.0260.4863.7417.3264.41%4.66
198010M5M4M1.154.20%44.128.497.2162.8661.3564.5717.3965.86%4.94
198110M6M5M1.174.46%43.778.017.1463.6662.1665.3617.5267.28%5.26
198211M6M5M1.184.73%43.297.557.0564.4162.9366.1117.6668.67%5.60
198312M6M5M1.194.99%42.677.126.9365.1263.6566.8217.8370.03%5.97
198412M7M6M1.25.24%41.896.716.8065.8064.3467.4818.0371.36%6.33
198513M7M6M1.225.47%40.986.336.6566.4365.0068.1118.2772.65%6.69
198614M8M6M1.235.68%39.975.986.5067.0365.6068.7218.1273.90%7.04
198714M8M6M1.245.86%38.925.676.3467.5966.1669.3118.1274.59%7.37
198815M8M7M1.266.02%37.865.396.1968.1266.6769.8818.2075.27%7.69
198916M9M7M1.276.18%36.825.136.0568.6167.1370.4418.3275.93%7.99
199016M9M7M1.276.29%35.804.915.9169.0867.5570.9818.4876.58%8.28
199117M9M7M1.276.37%34.784.725.7669.5267.9571.5118.5177.22%8.55
199217M10M8M1.276.42%33.744.555.5969.9568.3372.0018.4677.85%8.82
199318M10M8M1.266.44%32.674.395.4170.3568.7072.4518.3978.19%9.06
199418M10M8M1.266.43%31.594.255.2070.7369.0672.8718.3578.43%9.29
199519M10M8M1.246.41%30.534.124.9871.1069.4273.2418.3678.67%9.51
199619M11M9M1.236.38%29.514.004.7571.4569.7873.5618.6378.91%9.71
199719M11M9M1.226.33%28.583.904.5371.7770.1273.8418.9879.15%9.90
199820M11M9M1.26.26%27.743.824.3372.0670.4474.0719.4379.38%10.09
199920M11M9M1.26.20%27.003.754.1472.3370.7474.2719.8779.62%10.30
200021M11M9M1.196.15%26.383.693.9772.5671.0274.4420.2979.85%10.54
200121M12M10M1.26.08%25.853.653.8372.7671.2574.5720.7180.08%10.81
200222M12M10M1.216.04%25.403.613.7172.9271.4574.6721.1480.30%11.12
200322M12M10M1.235.96%24.993.593.6073.0571.6274.7421.6080.53%11.45
200423M13M10M1.245.87%24.613.583.5173.1671.7674.8122.1180.75%11.80
200524M13M11M1.265.81%24.243.563.4273.2671.8874.8822.6780.98%12.15
200624M14M11M1.275.72%23.853.553.3373.3672.0174.9723.1081.20%12.50
200725M14M11M1.275.65%23.463.533.2573.4772.1475.0723.5481.43%12.85
200826M15M11M1.285.56%23.043.513.1673.6072.2875.2023.9981.65%13.20
200927M15M12M1.285.48%22.603.493.0773.7572.4575.3624.4681.87%13.58
201027M15M12M1.295.39%22.123.462.9773.9272.6375.5325.0082.08%13.99
201128M16M12M1.295.28%21.613.442.8774.0972.8175.7125.7482.30%14.42
201229M16M13M1.35.16%21.083.422.7774.2572.9875.8726.5082.52%14.87
201330M17M13M1.35.02%20.533.412.6874.4073.1576.0227.2982.74%15.33
201431M18M13M1.314.86%19.973.412.5974.5373.2976.1528.1182.96%15.77
201532M18M14M1.324.69%19.413.412.5174.6573.4376.2628.9883.18%16.18
201632M19M14M1.334.50%18.863.432.4474.7673.5576.3729.2683.40%16.55
201733M19M14M1.344.31%18.323.452.3774.8773.6776.4929.5983.62%16.88
201834M19M14M1.364.13%17.803.472.3275.0073.8076.6229.9783.84%17.19
201934M20M14M1.374.13%17.803.472.3275.0073.8076.6230.3784.07%17.48
202035M20M15M1.373.74%16.813.552.2475.2874.0876.9230.8084.29%17.76

Saudi Arabia Population Projections

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YearTotalMaleFemaleSex RatioGrowth rateBirth rateDeath rateFerti­lity rate
Life exp., total
Life expectancy
Life exp., maleLife exp., femaleMedian AgeUrbani­zation
Density, people / km2
Density, people/km2
202135M20M15M1.373.52%16.363.622.2175.4374.2377.0931.0984.51%18.03
202236M21M15M1.373.31%15.913.692.1875.5974.3977.2631.3884.73%18.28
202336M21M15M1.363.12%15.453.752.1675.7474.5477.4431.6884.95%18.53
202437M21M16M1.352.93%15.003.822.1375.9074.7077.6131.9985.17%18.77
202537M21M16M1.352.74%14.553.892.1076.0574.8577.7832.3285.39%19.00
202638M22M16M1.342.54%14.184.012.0876.1975.0077.9332.6285.61%19.22
202738M22M16M1.342.35%13.824.132.0576.3375.1578.0932.9485.83%19.44
202839M22M17M1.332.16%13.454.252.0376.4775.3078.2433.2886.05%19.65
202939M22M17M1.332.00%13.094.372.0076.6175.4578.4033.6386.27%19.86
203039M22M17M1.331.83%12.724.491.9876.7575.6078.5533.9886.48%20.06
203140M23M17M1.321.69%12.524.651.9676.8975.7578.6934.2686.70%20.25
203240M23M17M1.321.56%12.324.811.9477.0375.9078.8434.5286.91%20.43
203340M23M17M1.311.45%12.134.961.9177.1876.0478.9834.7787.12%20.61
203441M23M18M1.311.33%11.935.121.8977.3276.1979.1335.0287.33%20.79
203541M23M18M1.31.22%11.735.281.8777.4676.3479.2735.2987.54%20.95
203641M23M18M1.31.13%11.665.471.8577.6176.4979.4135.5587.75%21.11
203742M24M18M1.291.05%11.595.661.8477.7576.6479.5535.8087.95%21.25
203842M24M18M1.290.97%11.535.861.8277.9076.8079.6836.0588.15%21.39
203942M24M18M1.280.89%11.466.051.8178.0476.9579.8236.3188.35%21.53
204042M24M19M1.280.83%11.396.241.7978.1977.1079.9636.5888.55%21.66
204143M24M19M1.270.76%11.366.451.7878.3477.2580.0936.8388.74%21.79
204243M24M19M1.270.70%11.326.661.7678.4977.4080.2237.0988.93%21.92
204343M24M19M1.260.65%11.296.861.7578.6477.5480.3537.3489.12%22.04
204443M24M19M1.260.59%11.257.071.7378.7977.6980.4837.6089.30%22.15
204544M24M19M1.250.54%11.227.281.7278.9477.8480.6137.8789.48%22.26
204644M24M20M1.250.49%11.157.501.7179.0977.9980.7438.1289.66%22.37
204744M24M20M1.240.44%11.077.711.7079.2478.1480.8638.3789.84%22.47
204844M24M20M1.230.39%11.007.931.7079.4078.3080.9938.6390.01%22.56
204944M24M20M1.230.34%10.928.141.6979.5578.4581.1138.9090.18%22.65
205045M25M20M1.220.30%10.858.361.6879.7078.6081.2439.2090.35%22.73

Highest City Populations in Saudi Arabia

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RankCityPopulation, Urban AreaPopulation, City
1Riyadh7,267,0344,205,961
2Jiddah4,629,8192,867,446
3Mecca2,050,3331,323,624
4Medina1,495,7561,300,000
5Ad-Dammam1,259,306768,602
6Al Hufuf839,703293,179
7Taif690,351530,848
8Buraydah672,829391,336
9Tabuk659,252455,450
10Jubayl612,081237,274
11Khamis Mushayt549,802387,553
12Najran411,802258,573
13Ha'il401,351267,005
14Hafar al-Batin354,126271,642
15Yanbu336,802200,161
16Khubar331,027165,799

Map of Saudi Arabia

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