Useful country information
Total area: 4,416 sq mi (11,437 sq km)
Population : 2,623,160 (growth rate: 3.58%); birth rate: 9.95/1000; infant mortality rate: 6.42/1000; life expectancy: 78.38; density per sq mi: 455
Capital (2011 est.): Doha, 767,000
Monetary unit: Qatari riyal
National name: Dawlat Qatar
Languages: Arabic (official); English a common second language
Ethnicity/race: Arab 40%, Pakistani 18%, Indian 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%
Religion: Religion Muslim 77.5%, Christian 8.5%, other 14% (2004 census)
National Holiday: December 18 Qatar National Day
Literacy rate: 96.3% (2010).
Qatar occupies a small peninsula that extends from the east side of the Arabian Peninsula.
Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar transformed itself from a poor British protectorate noted mainly for pearling into an independent state with significant oil and natural gas revenues.
Oil and natural gas revenues enable Qatar to have a per capita income not far below the leading industrial countries of Western Europe.
Despite challenging times, Qatar remains one of the most competitive and powerful economies in the region. known for its gas reserves, Qatar has not been affected by the drop in the price of oil to the extent of other countries who heavily rely on oil exports. Qatar has maintained its position at the top of the international table for GDP per capita.
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