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Kuwait - DEMOGRAPHICS - Info


Kuwaiti citizens are a minority of those who reside in Kuwait. The government only rarely grants citizenship to non-citizens (who are generally referred to as expatriates). About 57% of the Kuwaiti population is Arab; Arab expatriates include a large group of stateless Arabs, locally known as Bidoon (an Arabic word meaning "without" and different from Bedouin), along with Egyptians, Lebanese and other Arabs. Other large groups of expatriates include Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis and Filipinos. Kuwait formerly had a large Palestinian population, though most of them were forced out of the country after PLO leader Yassir Arafat's support of Iraq during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. The official language is Arabic, although English is generally understood. Some immigrants also speak their own local languages. About 85% of Kuwait's population are Muslims, it is estimated that around 81% of them are Sunni, and around 19% or slightly more are Shia Muslims. Of the Kuwaiti citizen population, however, about 65% are Sunni, and about 35% are Shia Muslims.