Qatar has experienced spectacular economic growth over the past decade. Between 2004 and 2010, real GDP grew by an annual average of around 16.2%, and over this period Qatar's economy grew faster than any other. Measured in purchasing power parity terms, its per capita GDP is now among the highest in the world. With huge and increased revenues from its exports of gas and oil, Qatar has invested heavily in economic and social infrastructure, as well as, in the well-being of its people. There have been remarkable increases in all socioeconomic indicators and resultant gains in human development. Accompanying the various modernization changes, family formation and childbearing behaviour are also in transition.

Against this background, this paper examines changes in period and cohort trends in nuptiality and fertility of Qataris. Utilizing time-trends in civil registration data and population census data, the paper will review the pattern of changes in Qatari marriage and fertility behaviour. It applies demographic techniques, including multivariate analysis of socio-economic and cultural variables, to explain the factors associated with the changes. The paper will conclude with an assessment of the implications of demographic changes for population and social policy, and the linkages to the programmes of Qatar's National Development Strategy, 2011–2016.


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