The chart shows striking changes in the fertility rate of women in six Gulf countries – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain between 1990 and 2000.
In the ten year period, there was a decline in the number of births per woman in all countries. The biggest declines were in two countries which had low fertility rates at the start of the decade, Bahrain and the UAE.
Fertility rates vary greatly between the six countries. Oman and Saudi Arabia had the highest rates, with over seven births per woman in 1990. This compared with around 4 births per woman in Bahrain and the UAE, and just 3.75 in Kuwait
By 2000, the rate had fallen below three births per woman in Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE, with a drop of over 25% in a decade in the UAE. However, in Saudi Arabia and Oman, the rates fell by just 20%, from 7.0 to 5.5.
In summary, there were major decreases in birth rates in all countries, but some countries in the region have double the fertility rate of others.