Foreigners Now Majority of Bahrain's Population


The number of foreigners living in the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain in 2010 overtook the number of local nationals for the first time, the statistics office announced on Monday.

The office's website said a census carried out in April 2010 indicated that out of Bahrain's 1.234 million inhabitants, about 54 percent or 666,172 were foreigners, while 568,399, or 46 percent, were nationals.

At 562,040, Asian nationals made up 84.3 percent of the foreign residents and 45.5 percent of the total population of the country.

A 2001 census found that Bahrainis, at 405,667 out of 650,604 residents, made up 62.3 percent of the population.

And in 2007, the population was estimated at 1,046,814 people, with 529,446 Bahrainis and 517,368 foreigners.

Bahrain has a Shiite majority ruled by a Sunni dynasty. Shiite opposition members have accused the government of giving citizenship to Sunni foreigners to tip the sectarian balance.

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