Oman’s population, currently growing at 3.5% per year, reached 4.8 million in 2018 up from 2.2 million in 2000. The population growth rate reached 4.2% in 2018, where the rate of expatriates is at 9.1%.[1] Expatriates in Oman made up 43.7% of the total population in 2018 compared to 27% in 2005.[2] Life expectancy has increased from 72 years in 2000 to 77 years in 2015, [1] and the levels of maternal and infant mortality reached 17 per 100,000 live birth and 9 per 1,000 live births in 2016 respectively.[3]

Education in Oman is offered for everyone from grade 1 till grade 12, though attendance is not mandatory at any level.[4][5] The gross primary enrollment rate grew up to 107.2% in 2017, from 93.4% in 2000; at the primary level, the Gender Parity has been achieved; and at the tertiary level, the gross enrollment ratio jumped to 44.6% in 2016 (latest updates) with a Gender Parity Index (GPI) of 1.3.[3] Additionally, adults literacy rate averaged 96.1% in 2017, rising up from 81.4% in 2000.[6]

Oman’s GDP (Purchasing Power Parity, constant 2011 prices), being the second lowest among the GCC countries, leveled at Int$ 175.9 billion in 2017, with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (Purchasing Power Parity) at Int$ 40,240, surpassing the average GNI per capita in the Arab region ofInt$16,997.[5] Oman’s economy is growing at an annual rate of 2.1% in 2018, and is projected to increase to 5.7% in 2019.[7] At the same time, the country recorded the lowest inflation rate among the GCC countries in 2015 at 0.2%, but increased to 2.5% in 2018.[7] Mining and quarrying, particularly the oil sector, remains the biggest contributor to economic growth (34.5% of GDP in 2015); moreover, the Omani government relies on the oil revenues, which constituted 78.7% of total government revenues in 2014, to finance its budget.[2] Oman has experienced fiscal deficits for several years over the last decade. Recently affected by the oil price decline and increased public expenditures, the fiscal deficit accounted 2% of GDP in 2018.Without further fiscal adjustments, the debt-to-GDP ratio, estimated at 48.7% in 2018, is expected to rise to high levels if fiscal buffers were to be preserved.[7] The Omani Government is increasingly under pressure to speed up a more diversified economy, raise non-oil revenues, and enhance the competitiveness of the private sector. 

Oman is trade-dependent with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 76.8 in 2016, down from 116.5 in 2013.[3] Recording a trade surplus of 1.9 billion Omani Rials in 2015, Omani imports from Arab countries have quadrupled in the last fifteen years reaching 5.3 billion Omani Rials.[2]


Despite the government’s nationalization policies, Oman’s private sector is highly reliant on expatriates. Out of the 1.7 million private sector employees, the non-national workers, with valid labor cards, reached 1.5 million in 2013. [1] However, in 2014, the Government has further limited the participation of expatriates in the private sector in an attempt to encourage the national labor force to join the private sector. This strategy has been adopted in response to an unemployment rate levelling at 16% in 2015, which continued to increase reaching 17.3% in 2018.[8]


This overview has been drafted by the ADP team based on most available data as of 26 December 2018. 



[1] World Population Prospects, Population Division, United Nations

[2] National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), Oman

[3] World Development Indicators, The World Bank

[4] Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Education, 2008, “Inclusive education in the Sultanate of Oman

[5] UNESCO and International Bureau of Education, 2011, “World Data on Education: Oman

[6] UNESCO Institute for Statistics

[7] International Monetary Fund (IMF)

[8] KILM – International Labour Organization (ILO)


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Data Highlighted

  • The gross primary enrollment rate grew up to 110% in 2015, from 93.4% in 2000; at the primary level, the Gender Parity has been achieved.

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