What is happening to all the Arab women?

One of my favourite web sites is the CIA World Fact Book. Everything you have ever wanted to know about a country, you will probably find here. Comparisons between countries are also interesting.

While doing some research recently for some possible Aquaculture/Aquaponic opportunities, I came across some very interesting statistics specifically relating to the people. The country I was researching was Qatar, an Arab country in the Gulf bordered by Saudi Arabia. This is what I found.


Sex Ratio

at birth:1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years:1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.211 male(s)/female *****
65 years and over:2.887 male(s)/female *****
total population:1.852 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

This I found particularly strange. At birth and up to 15 there are about the same ratio of males and females. Suddenly from 15 – 64 years and over, there are over 2 males for every female !! What happened to all of the women?

So then I looked at the median age. Look at this.

Median Age

total: 31.9 years
male: 37.3 years
female: 23.1 years (2007 est.) ****

Are they dying young or leaving the country? (or having sex-changes)

So then I looked at life expectancy.

Life Expectancy (at birth)

total population: 74.14 years
male: 71.6 years
female: 76.82 years (2007 est.)

Well they are clearly not dying (thank goodness), but leaving the country? Highly unlikely in an Arab country. Women can hardly walk alone in public, never mind about leave the country.

So then I looked at another Arab country and strangely enough, found the same trend. Look at this.


Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.047 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 2.743 male(s)/female ****
65 years and over: 1.849 male(s)/female ****
total population: 2.19 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Median Age

total: 30.1 years
male: 32 years
female: 24.5 years (2007 est.)

Life Expectancy (at birth)

total population: 75.69 years
male: 73.16 years
female: 78.35 years (2007 est.)

WTF ??

At stage I started to get really worried. They are clearly not dying (for more sobering life-expectancies, have a look at South Africa below) We know they can’t leave the country. I give up.

Let’s look at South Africa as a comparison.


Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.012 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.951 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.628 male(s)/female
total population: 0.947 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Median Age

total: 24.3 years
male: 23.5 years
female: 25.1 years (2007 est.)

Life Expectancy (at birth)

total population: 42.45 years
male: 43.21 years
female: 41.66 years (2007 est.) *** scary, but just blame Mbeki/Manto

Other than the fact that we are dying like flies, nothing unusual. The ratio of males/females about 1:1.

Just for some normality I looked at the UK.


Sex Ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.025 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Median Age

total: 39.6 years
male: 38.5 years
female: 40.7 years (2007 est.)

Life Expectancy (at birth)

total population: 78.7 years
male: 76.23 years
female: 81.3 years (2007 est.)

So what is happening to all of the Arab women? I would be intrigued to hear your comments.




8 thoughts on “What is happening to all the Arab women?”

  1. This is something I would like to know as well…. Though I know for sure, it is not as true for UAE. Culture and life is quite free and you will find an equal amount of women and men on the road. As for other countries who’s progress is still limited, I think they’re still into female infanticide and other medieval practices like stoning women at the first sign of doubt….. don’t you think so?

  2. I think that because Arabs usually think of women as property ( Just like medieval Europeans), when the census man comes around to ask questions about wives , they are told to get lost and never give in the informmation

  3. Is it because the population numbers include foreign workers? Expats generally outnumber nationals in the GCC and are disproportionately men of working age.

  4. Don’t know for sure, but I do know this: A little girl who was half American caucasian and half saudi who went to the same school as our child was kidnapped from a birthday party by her estranged muslim father.

    When he was caught they found in his possession Plane tickets to an Arab country, notes from phone conversations discussing details of transportation upon arrival, lodging information, an envelope containing $2000 US dollars, and a letter which after they found someone to read it turned out to be promising a remaining $8000 dollars to be paid on receipt also mentioning the $2000 dollars down payment for one female American mixed race child, very light skin age 11 and the plane tickets.

    You call your wife “child bride”, it’s cute and she does look young but a man selling his 11 year old daughter for $10,000 American, jeez I wouldn’t sell my tomcat for $10,000. Something to do with that sort of thing may be what is happening to the women, they may be getting sold.


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