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Qatar

Qatar

Summary

Qatar has been controlled by the same family for over one hundred years, and has been spared from the effects of much of the regional unrest and violence that has plagued the Middle East. However, because of Qatar’s affiliation with extremist groups, other nations placed sanctions on the nation in 2017 in order to punish their political alignments, which have damaged the economy.1 Because of its oil wealth, Qatari citizens enjoy a high quality of life and many social services. However, there are major human rights abuses carried out on migrant workers, and women are still treated as a lesser class with few legal rights.2 1 https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/qa.html
2 https://www.britannica.com/place/Qatar#toc485603main

Demographics

Nationality
Qatari
Population
2,042,444 (July 2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups
Languages
Religions

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Environment
Family
Human Rights
Education
Poverty
Religion
Clean Water
Economy
Government
Health
Children
Animals

Environment

The rising sea level caused by an increase in global temperatures is a concern for the future of Qatar. As a low-lying coastal zone with most of the population living near the coast, rising sea levels have hindered economic development and made it difficult to plan future infrastructure. Despite the challenges it is facing, Qatar has been a leader in the international community for creating climate change mitigation groups and research centers.1 Qatar has also made strides in becoming food secure, and it is a leader in innovating ways to produce food in arid regions.2

Family

The divorce rate, while still under 1,000 divorces each year, is steadily rising as the nation modernizes and grows increasingly secular.1 In Qatar, there is no law that criminalizes domestic violence, and women are required by law to obey their husbands. Domestic abuse and marital rape are not illegal.2

Human Rights

Qatar is unique because of its high number of migrant workers who outnumber the native Qataris. This has created a challenge for the country in upholding human rights. The government and labor unions recruit foreign workers who have to pay an enormous fee, and this causes workers to have high levels of debt and become vulnerable to exploitation. Freedom of expression is repressed, and those who express controversial or oppositional beliefs could be detained or arrested.1

Education

Qatar has one of the most advanced education systems in the Arab world. Their government spending has developed their school system to be inclusive and internationally competitive. Because of their relatively advanced system, the country has enjoyed foreign investment in its education sector.1 There are numerous opportunities for foreign teachers and students, and the literacy rate is 97%.2

Poverty

Among native Qataris, poverty is nearly non-existent; the nation is very prosperous and almost all of its native citizens have greatly benefited from the wealth. The level of unemployment among Qataris is less than 1%.1 The level of poverty among the migrant workers, however, is extremely high. These workers often suffer continual abuse and are not afforded the same human rights as natural born citizens. Migrant workers are often not paid for several months, and when they are paid, their wages are usually less than promised.2

Religion

Around 77.5% of all people who live in Qatar practice Islam, 8.5% follow Christianity, and 14% adhere to other religions.1 Despite their liberal interpretations of Islam and religious tolerance, the government has received criticism for providing support to radical Islamist groups in other countries in the region. Qatar does not readily adopt counterterrorism efforts to extinguish these groups from its borders.1 Additionally, Qataris often discriminate against non-Muslims, and those who convert to Christianity from Islam receive the most abuse.2

Clean Water

Qatar has provided all of its citizens with clean water access, and the water situation is very secure because of desalination engineering.1 There is an efficient wastewater treatment system where the water is treated and subsequently recycled for irrigation in agricultural fields and landscapes. Because of Qatar’s location in the desert surrounded by the Arabian Sea, it is necessary to reuse fresh water, and they have been able to use this system because there are numerous advanced water treatment plants across the country.2

Economy

Qatar has a history of being a prosperous nation, mostly due to the oil industry. The GDP continues to grow each year, and the majority of the economy is centered on oil and energy. These two industries make up 50% of the GDP, 50% of government revenues, and 85% of the export earnings. The oil reserves in Qatar are the third largest in the world, making up 13% of all total reserves.1 Reforms are needed in order to increase the public’s confidence in the government to promote economic transparency, but the Qatari economy is one of the most transparent and private in the Middle East.The unemployment rate in Qatar is very low at under 1%.2

Government

Qatar is an emirate style government, meaning it is ruled by a dynastic Arab monarch or emir. There is also a prime minister as the head of government, but the chief of state is Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Because of low poverty rates, one of the world’s highest rates of income per capita, and strict government rules on protests, the current political dynasty has enjoyed stability and did not experience an Arab Spring uprising like many of its neighbors. There are stringent anti-corruption measures and laws in place, and these laws have earned Qatar its status as one of the least corrupt countries in the Middle East.2

Health

In Qatar, 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness and 3 of the 5 top causes of disability in the country are caused by mental illnesses. Due to the stigmas surrounding mental illness, this percentage of the population suffering from mental health issues is not actively seeking treatment.1 The life expectancy is 80, and the two top causes of death are heart disease and diabetes.2

Children

1 in every 5 Qatar children is subject to abuse in the home or at school during their childhood. 22% of all at home abuses occur against children, with the highest percentage of perpetrators being the mother. 38% of children have reported that they have been abused or bullied at school.1

Animals

Gazelle, oryx, sand cats, and honey badgers are plentiful in the deserts of Qatar, and the government has implemented programs aimed at keeping these animals safe.1 Because of the harsh climate, most wildlife comes out at night, but some of the habitat these creatures used to roam in is now being urbanized and destroyed.2

Qatar

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