So recently the government made an interesting non-announcement in parliament. Apparently, according to a statement by the Central [dis]Informatics Organization (CIO) to parliament, Bahrain's population finally reached a million. Hurrah!
Now, setting aside the question as to why we remain in the dark when it comes to official statistical figures of the CIO, something just doesn't add up...
If we go back to 2001, the official statistics were as follows:
Total population = 650,604
Bahraini = 405,667
Non-Bahraini = 244,937
Total population growth rate of 2.7%
Bahraini population growth rate: 2.5%
[Note that the Middle East growth rate was 3.62 in 2001]
Fast forward to 2007:
Total Population = 1,046,814
Bahraini = 529,446
Non-Bahraini = 517,368
Total population growth rate = 10.1%
Bahraini population growth rate = 5.1%
Yes, I'm not kidding and the CIO is not kidding either. As opposed to a 2007 Middle East growth rate of 3.3 (other countries are apparently cleaning up their act), we shoot all the way up, higher than any growth rate in the world (by the way the global rate is around 1.1%).
Depressed enough? OK here is more:
If we assume that the 2.5% growth rate of 1991-2001 is the "natural" rate, and we assume that it stays the same (very conservative assumption since it was actually declining.. the rate was 3% in 1981-1991), here is what the Bahraini citizens' population should have naturally become: 470,450
This can only mean one thing. Yes. God created 60,000 Bahrainis just like he created Adam and Eve, for no such number can possibly be born here by accident. Otherwise, we may actually have to believe that the government is lying when it says it is not naturalizing all the people we see mushrooming around us. Either way, even this number does not make much sense if we consider that the CIO itself had declared a the 2006 population growth figure of 2.6%.
More notes on the parliament dicussion:
The Minister of justice said that the growth rate now is 5.1% (neglected to mention that it's actually 10% if we include expats), and said the increase is due to the recent "economic development" which lead to a surge in expatriate labor. Of course, our parliamentarians, the geniuses, didn't bother to ask whether the 5.1% actually includes expats-- or even wonder how can a growth rate that was decreasing since the 1950s all of a sudden double in 6 years (or a year, if we take the mysterious 2.6% of 2006).
Seriously, does anyone in the ruling establishment, government, or our genius parliament realize the kind of crisis we're getting ourselves into at this point? Do we all have amnesia and Math retardation?
Read More here.