The General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) announced today the first results of the Kingdom’s 2022 census, which puts the population of Saudi Arabia at 32,175,224 million. Of the total number, Saudis make up 18.8 million (58.4%), while non-Saudis, 13.4 million, constitute 41.6% of the population.
The census also shows that the Kingdom has a young population, with the median age of 29 and a population of Saudis under 30 making up 63% of the total.
The latest Saudi census data provides crucial statistics and insights required by government entities and the private sector to make decisions. It is also critical to the drive to boost the investment environment in Saudi Arabia and deliver on the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals.
Minister of Economy and Planning, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Authority for Statistics Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim said “the Saudi census 2022 is an important national project, and its outputs will be a key pillar for planning and decision making, developing economic and social policy, creating development plans for various sectors and services, and supporting the investment environment in the Kingdom and achieving the Vision 2030 goals.”
He added: “We are exceptionally proud to have delivered a comprehensive and accurate census, and to have become an example of the best statistical practices in the world. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, and to the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, for their generous guidance and unlimited support for the census project at all its stages.”
The Saudi 2022 census is the most comprehensive and precise population survey conducted in the Kingdom’s history. The results are accurate more than 95%; they were based on follow-up phone calls to check data with a random sample of over one million people. The methodology used has been acknowledged by a large number of international experts as one of the most accurate in the world.
The 2022 census has been conducted in line with the best international methodologies, and with the help of the latest technologies, such as satellites and self-enumeration technology. In order to ensure the accuracy of census data, error monitoring and automated data correction techniques were deployed, such as more than one million phone calls, 900,000 field visits, and the use of advanced methods of data analysis and statistics. Comparisons included five different data sources, and the data was reviewed by more than 200 indicators to confirm its accuracy.
In view of the evolution and change in the methodology used in the 2022 census, compared to that of 2010, (which relied mainly on field and paper work), GASTAT has backcasted the population from the previous years based on the results of the Saudi census 2022. The use of backcasting is in line with international best practices and is utilized to reflect changes in census data resulting from improved methodologies. The backcasted figures for previous years will be published on GASTAT’s website, in order to provide interested parties with the most accurate dataset available.
Comparing the 2022 census data with the backcasted 2010 data shows that the total population of Saudi Arabia has increased by 8.2 million (34.2%) since 2010, the number of Saudis has increased by 4.8 million (33.8%), and the number of non-Saudis has increased by 3.5 million (34.7%).
Reflecting on the 2022 census, President of the General Authority for Statistics Dr. Fahad Aldossari said: “The release of such comprehensive and accurate census data is a testament to improvements in international methodologies and data-capture technology, such as satellites and self-enumeration technology, as well as to the coordination between government agencies and our excellent digital infrastructure. These results reflect accuracies not just for 2022, but for the preceding years as well, thanks to backcasting capabilities. We are now able to provide the most comprehensive and accurate data, and this dataset is available publicly on our website.
“We are deeply proud that the international experts who were invited by the authority to review the census’ methodologies as quality assurance expressed their admiration for the level of organization and numbers, the innovations applied in the Kingdom, and the capabilities of the country’s dedicated census team. My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone involved in this process.”
The Saudi census 2022 results included detailed data on three main categories: population, households, and housing. Results on education, health, employment, income, migration and diversity will be announced over the next few months.
GASTAT will make the census results available on a dedicated website featuring interactive dashboards, easy-to-use interactive maps, reports, tables and charts. GASTAT will also host in the coming month a live-streamed webinar about the census methodology and key findings.
The 2022 census was conducted in May 2022 and is the fifth census in the history of Saudi Arabia. It was originally due to be carried out in 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest standards of security and integrity of information and data were followed to ensure its confidentiality and protection, in alignment with the National Authority for Cybersecurity standards.
GASTAT also stressed its commitment to the highest levels of privacy and confidentiality regarding participants' data.