Sharjah's population has grown by 22 per cent to 1.8 million, from 1.4 million in 2015, new census figures released on Wednesday show.
The overall population includes 208,000 Emirati citizens – 11.5 per cent of the total population – almost evenly divided at 103,000 males and 105,000 females.
Similar to 2015, the figures also reveal there are twice as many males as females in Sharjah's 1.6 million expat population – 1.2 million males, up 30 per cent from 2015, and 600,000 females, an increase of 22 per cent.
The census, which began in September, will shape the future of the emirate and its development plans, Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, told local radio in October.
“It will help provide the information that is needed for wider studies, which will subsequently turn into projects, decrees, buildings and funding,” Sheikh Dr Sultan said.
The Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD) in Sharjah said the preliminary results were based on data collected from 10 towns, 97 suburbs, 356 districts and 7,961 residential blocks using latest technology and methods for data collection and analysis.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Humaid, chairman of DSCD, said more than 2,000 trained researchers had worked on the census and latest technology was used in the process.
“Sharjah is a big home for one diverse family and the census covered all layers of the community in Sharjah and all its sectors,” he said, speaking at the launch of the census and a ceremony held at the Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre.
"The census will have a strategic role in boosting development projects in the emirate as the results, which will be used to carry out further studies that will help improve life in the emirate, will be shared with the Ruler of Sharjah.”
Results show 61 per cent of the emirate’s population is employed – 1.1 million – a number that also increased by 22 per cent.
The number of young people at Sharjah educational institutions also increased by 23 per cent, from 253,000 to 310,000. The number includes 249,000 in private education and 61,000 in public education.
Those aged 20-39 make up the largest segment in the emirate with 914,000, which accounts for 51 per cent of the population.
The 40-59 age group is the next largest with 443,000 – representing 24 per cent. Those aged 19 and under account for 22 per cent of the population (399,000), while those aged over 60 represent only 3 per cent (55,000).
Sharjah city is home to the largest population with 1.6 million people. Khor Fakkan is the next largest with 53,000, followed by Kalba with 51,000, Al Dhaid 33,000, Al Hamriyah 19,000 and Al Madam 18,000.
The population of Dibba Al Hisn has grown to 15,000, Al Bataeh is home to 7,000, while 6,000 live in Mleiha.
The census results highlight the UAE's population boom.
The population of Dubai is projected to nearly double in the next 20 years, according to experts who predict a fresh wave of post-pandemic immigration.
Dubai Statistics Centre’s population counter, which records growth using residency visa data, showed the city hit 3.5 million in April 2022.
The emirate's population has since risen by a further 78,000 since then.
Fujairah has also experienced steady population growth in recent years.
The emirate's population increased from 292,358 in 2020 to 316,790 by the end of 2022, Fujairah Statistics Centre figures show.