Population of Saudi Arabia
According to Countryaah, the average annual growth rate of the indigenous population is 3.27% (2002). In 1974-92 the population grew from 6.72 to 16.95 million people. The population is growing especially rapidly in the age group of 15-24 years.
Birth rate 37.25‰, mortality 5.86‰, infant mortality 49.59 people. per 1000 newborns, average life expectancy is 68.4 years, incl. men 66.7, women 70.2 (2002).
Sex and age structure of the population (2002): 0-14 years old – 42.4% (men 5.09 million people, women 4.88 million); 15-64 years – 54.8% (men 7.49 million people, women 5.40 million); 65 years and older – 2.8% (men 362.8 thousand people, women 289.8 thousand). Urban population 85.7% (2000). 78% of the population aged 15 and over is literate (84.2% of men and 69.5% of women) (2002).
Ethnic composition: Arabs – 90%, Afro-Asians – 10%. Indigenous Saudis stand out, whose ancestors lived in the country for centuries – approx. 82%, Yemenis and other Arabs who arrived in the country after the 1950s during the oil boom – approx. 13%, nomadic Berbers, whose numbers are declining. Languages: Arabic, European languages are also used.
The state religion is Islam. Almost all Muslims are Sunnis. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam, founded by the Prophet Muhammad. The whole life of the country is subject to strict laws and rules that have a thousand-year history. Men and women are not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages. The breeding of pigs and the consumption of pork is prohibited. Mecca is the cradle of Islam and the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed; there is the main shrine of the Muslim world – the ancient sanctuary of the Kaaba. The second religious center is Medina, where the prophet is buried. Among the duties of a Muslim is the observance of fasting during Ramadan, the 9th month of the Muslim calendar (from late February to late March), when Muslims abstain from food and drink, avoid spectacles and other pleasures until sunset. One of the pillars of Islam is the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. which must be done at least once in a lifetime. Mecca attracts millions of pilgrims from all over the world.
History of Saudi Arabia
In the 1st millennium BC. On the coast of the Red Sea, the Minyan kingdom arose with its capital in Karna (modern Khoyda in Yemen). On the east coast was Dilmun, which was considered a political and cultural federation on the shores of the Persian Gulf. For almost 1,500 years, no important events took place on the territory of modern Saudi Arabia. In 570 AD Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca, and the teachings of Islam literally turned the whole history of Saudi Arabia upside down. Muhammad’s followers, known as caliphs (caliphs), conquered almost the entire Middle East.
The Arabs of the Arabian Peninsula were aware of many technical and construction achievements. In agriculture, already in the 5th-6th centuries. an iron plow was used, iron ore was mined and metal was smelted, already in the pre-Islamic era, the Arabs created their original script – the Sabaean script in South Arabia and later, in the 5th century. – Nabataean script, on the basis of which the modern Arabic script developed.
With the advent of the caliphate, whose capital was first in Damascus and later in Baghdad, the role of the prophet’s homeland became less and less significant.
In 1269, almost the entire territory of modern Saudi Arabia was under the rule of Egypt. In 1517, power passed to the rulers of the Ottoman Empire. All R. 18th century The state of Nejd was founded, which was independent from the Ottoman Empire. In 1824 Riyadh became the capital of the state. In 1865, a civil war broke out in the country, and the weakened country was divided among neighboring states. In 1902, Abdelaziz ibn Saud captured Riyadh, and by 1906 his troops controlled almost all of Najd. He achieved the recognition of the state by the Turkish Sultan. Based on the Wahhabi doctrine, Ibn Saud continued the unification of the country under his rule, and by 1926 he was able to practically complete this process. The USSR was the first to establish normal diplomatic relations with the new state in February 1926. In 1927, Ibn Saud achieved recognition by Great Britain of the sovereignty of his state. In 1932 he gave the country the name Saudi Arabia. After that, the penetration of foreign, primarily American, capital into the country, connected with the exploration and development of oil, increased. After the death of ibn Saud in 1953, his son Saud ibn-Abdelaziz became king, who continued to strengthen the position of the country, taking into account the position of the League of Arab States on pan-Arab issues. In 1958, the need for a more modern policy led to the transfer of the powers of the prime minister to the king’s brother Emir Faisal, who expanded the capitalist transformations in the economy. November 7, 1962 was passed a law abolishing slavery. which expanded capitalist transformations in the economy. November 7, 1962 was passed a law abolishing slavery. which expanded capitalist transformations in the economy. November 7, 1962 was passed a law abolishing slavery.
In August 1965, a 40-year dispute between Saudi Arabia and Jordan over the border was resolved. Since 1966, an agreement was signed with Kuwait on the division into equal parts of the neutral zone on the border of the two countries. Saudi Arabia has acknowledged Jordan’s claim to the port city of Aqaba. In 1967 – the 1st floor. 1970s Saudi Arabia took an active part in defending the interests of the Arab countries, began to provide large financial assistance to Egypt, Syria, Jordan. The increase in the role of the country was facilitated by the multiple expansion of oil production and export. In 1975, an agreement was signed with Iraq on the equal division of the neutral zone on the border between the countries.
In October 1973, Saudi Arabia imposed an oil embargo on the United States and the Netherlands. Since the 1970s the kingdom began to play an increasingly important role in OPEC. March 25, 1975 Faisal, who became king in November 1964, died in an assassination attempt. From 1975-82, Khaled was the king of S.A., and Emir Fahd was the prime minister. With the active participation of Fahd, state building and economic modernization of the country began at an accelerated pace. Under the influence of the threat factor in the region from Iran and the Marxist regime in Yemen, Saudi Arabia initiated the strengthening of the armed forces of the monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula and encouraged the strengthening of the American military presence. The Kingdom took an active part in the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991.