The People of Kuwait

The People of Kuwait Last updated on Tuesday 20th April 2010

There are essentially five levels of Kuwaiti society: the ruling family, the old Kuwaiti merchant families, former Bedouins who settled in Kuwait, Arabs from other countries and foreigners. Arabic is the official language and 90% of the population is Muslim.

In per-capita terms, Kuwait has one of the highest incomes in the world.

Before the Iraqi invasion in August 1990, less than 40% of the population were Kuwaiti and of the work force, less than 20% were Kuwaiti. Non-Kuwaitis enjoyed most of the welfare benefits of Kuwaiti citizens. The vote, on the other hand, was restricted to about 65,000 Kuwaiti males descended from men living in the country before 1920.

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