1887
Volume 2013, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2220-2749
  • E-ISSN:

Abstract

The ethnic profile of Qatar is a combination of its indigenous peoples () and non-resident foreigners (). Its population has increased dramatically during the last 30 years to around 1.9 m (although only 15% are Qataris) leading to an increase in the number of local births. A recent unexpected surge in births has lead to a need to re-evaluate the trends in birth numbers and develop more reliable predictions for both near- (2015) and far-term (2025) annual numbers of births to support the many healthcare planning initiatives which are currently underway. There is considerable information already available in Qatar which can facilitate such a study. This paper collates these various data, charts and investigates their visible trends and develops a simple mathematical model which projects the annual number of births which might reasonably be expected to emerge later in this decade and beyond. The Qatari sub-population has maintained a reliable linear increase in birth numbers since data first began to be collected. The births among the non-GCC and Asian sub-populations are the primary cause of the recent nonlinear increase which can be well-described in the near-term by a simple quadratic curve. Far-term projections require a non-linear mathematical model which combines the regular linear increase among the Qataris with an exponentially decreasing demand for “in-Qatar” births from the non-Qataris. The trend for multiple births in Qatar (i.e. the annual number of live-born twins, triplets etc.) has shown significant increases during the last 20 years but may be reaching a plateau. Among Qataris the numbers have been higher but – at least for triplets and higher-order births – this gap has decreased in the last few years. It appears that the increase in multiple births has been associated with the current expansion of IVF programs and other forms of assisted conception in Qatar. The annual number of births in Qatar has recently shown a significant departure from its previous trend, requiring a radical reassessment of future projections. There has also been a concomitant increase in multiple births which has been associated with the expansion of IVF programs and other forms of assisted conception. A simple quadratic model predicts that there will be ∼22,500 births in 2015, of which ∼8,000 will be Qatari. A far-term projection for 2025 suggests that this number is likely to rise to ∼27,000 but with some small additional increase yet to come.

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2013-09-01
2019-11-15
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): , birth projections , birth statistics , birth trends , multiple births and Qatar
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