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1. Geography
2. Political situation
3. Economy
a. Figures
4. Health
5. Education
a. Universities
6. Media
7. Demographics
8. Religions
a. Freedom
9. Peoples
10. Languages
11. History
12. Cities and Towns

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Index / Peoples
Open map of BahrainFlag of BahrainBahrain /

Ethnic groups
Figures in 1000.
610 55.0%
410 37.0%
120 11.0%
80 7.3%
70 6,4%
400 36.0%
20 1.8%
5 0.5%

Bahrain is a society with a large presence of foreign workers, but was until recently considerably less so than in other Gulf states. Until the early 2000's, the pre-oil population was a clear majority, representing 3 of 4 inhabitants. Today it is closing in on 2 of 4.
The two Arab groups both originate in the lands corresponding to modern Saudi Arabia. The Baharna are of the same stock as the people of the al-Hasa Oasis, and is the indigenous population that has lived in Bahrain for at least 5,000 years.
The other group of Arabs immigrated from Najd some 200 years back in time, and have since long established a Bahrain identity.
The Persians of Bahrain are called Ajam and have a history here of 400 years, meaning that they classify as natives. Still, immigration from Iran happened all up until 60 years ago. There is very little social and cultural interaction between them and the Arabs.
The Baharna is the original population of Bahrain, living here since pre-Islamic times. The Baharna are ethnically and linguistically closely related to the Shi'is of Qatif in Saudi Arabia. Baharna largely live in Manama.
There is considerable statistical insecurity here, both from estimates a few years back being rough, but also from a very fast population groth in the 2000's. Bahrain passed 1 million in 2008, and between 40 and 50% were non-nationals.

By Tore Kjeilen