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Posted On: 30 March 2010 05:30 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Poor expats becoming poorer: Survey

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A survey of income distribution trends among families in the country shows that poor expatriate families have become poorer over the past 25 years while their rich counterparts have become richer. On the contrary, the income of poor Qatari people has increased over the past 25 years while that of rich citizens has declined. The survey reveals that a majority 66 percent of Qatari families have high-income while the percentage of low-income Qatari families was barely six in 2007. Contrast this to the fact that 61 percent of expatriate families were classified as low-income and only 11 percent fell in high-income groups. However, the average income of Qatari families has always exceeded by as much as twice that of non-Qatari families. Inequitable distribution of income among expatriates has been found to be greater than among their Qatari counterparts, shows the findings of the survey. The survey has been conducted by Noora Al Merekhi for the Supreme Council of Family Affairs. Due to economic growth and comprehensive development, inequitable distribution of income among Qatari citizens has declined steadily over the past 25 years (between 1982 and 2007). This in other words means that fair income distribution among Qatari families has increased in the period under review, but it decreased in the case of non-Qatari families. In the Qatari families, inequality of income is more common among low-income categories, while it is higher in high-income categories of non-Qatari families. Qatari families have benefited from high economic growth and increasing per capita income, low rate of unemployment and growing rate of economically active population. High spending on education and health has led to an increasing number of citizens being able to work and narrowed the gaps in the educational levels of workers, who in turn receive equal or nearly equal incomes. State-sponsored privatisation and initial public offerings (IPOs) by companies have led to redistribution of income among Qatari families. As a result, low income families benefited immensely. The middle-class does not account for a larger percentage of society, whether in the Qatari community or the population as a whole, but its size has of late relatively increased, says the survey.