Dubai: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world and is expected to touch 53 million by 2020, a new research report has revealed.
The report from the Economist Intelligence Unit named `The GCC in 2020: The Gulf and its People` discusses implications for the future of Gulf.
"The GCC has one of the youngest populations in the world, and the future development of the region ultimately depends on the success of efforts to educate and employ these young people," author of the report Jane Kinninmont said.
"We see dramatic changes underway in the structure of the workforce, with an increasing number of educated women now keen to have careers. However, dependence on expatriate labour is likely to continue in the long term," she said.
The majority will be under 25 years of age, she said, adding the population will remain very young in Gulf, at a time when populations in US and Europe are increasingly
In 2020, about 24 percent of the GCC population will be under 15, higher than everywhere else in the world apart from Africa, the report said.
The number of working women will rise, they have already outnumber men in many Gulf universities while businesses will face pressure to adapt the working environment to accommodate childcare needs, but will not necessarily use the same models as the West, the report states.
The rising expatriate population will contribute to economic growth and an expanding pool of skilled professionals from overseas should help stimulate further economic diversification, the report said.
At the same time, GCC countries will face questions about how best to manage immigration, as they face competing pressures from groups that want to protect jobs for nationals and others that want more rights for immigrants, the report added.