Migration in Saudi Arabia: Present and Prospects

  • Rshood M. Khraif
  • Asharaf Abdul SalamEmail author
  • P. S. Nair
  • Ibrahim Elsegaey


As compared with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Saudi Arabia has distinct demographic features. This leads the Saudi government to take measures to revisit its existing policies and schemes concerned with population. With this brief outline, migration data used in this article are pitched to understand five dimensions: (1) to look at the Saudi citizens’ migration trends within the Kingdom, (2) to analyse the impact of migration on the Kingdom’s population growth and also on the neighbouring GCC countries, (3) to look at the changes taking place annually in the Kingdom’s migration trends and in the other GCC countries, (4) to examine the migrants, looking at their origin place and (5) to analyse the variation between immigrants and Saudi Arabia citizens in terms of demographic parameters like population growth, sex ratio, broad age groups and age-sex distribution. Various databases available at both national and international levels were taken to address the five dimensions. The findings showed that push and pull factors and infrastructure differentials are taken into consideration while Saudi population internally migrate. All the GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, experience international migration streams subject to the labour requirements and governmental regulations for both Arabs and non-Arabs. Immigrant demographics are characterized by Saudi Arabia’s labour demand controlled by adult males from other countries.


Immigration Emigration Sex ratio Labour laws Employment 



An earlier version of this paper was included in the International Seminar on migration, care economy and development held at Center for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, on 17–19 September 2004. Its abstract is available on Accessed date: 3 March 2015.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rshood M. Khraif
    • 1
  • Asharaf Abdul Salam
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. S. Nair
    • 2
  • Ibrahim Elsegaey
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Population StudiesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.International Centre for Gandhian StudiesThiruvananthapuramIndia

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