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## YYMMDD ext Source Title and Notes (if any) *Title from filename
1 020212 htm WashPost Population Bomb Saudi Arabia
  1. Abdullah is a social conservative who has shown little interest in confronting his country's demographic dilemma. Saudi Arabia has been probably the fastest-growing nation on Earth. Its population, now about 18 million (plus 5 million or 6 million foreign workers) grew about 4.4 percent a year from 1980 to 1998. The average Saudi family now has six or seven children. A population of 33.7 million is projected for 2015.
  2. Per-capita income has dropped from a peak of $19,000 in 1981 to $7,300 in 1997, measured in constant 1997 dollars -- a stunning reversal. Forty-three percent of the kingdom's 22 million people are 14 years of age or younger, and unemployment is rampant, according to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
  3. Saudi schools and universities are graduating students -- 343,000 in 1999 -- far faster than the economy is creating jobs. However, Saudi young people have shown little interest in taking over the lower-paying jobs held by foreigners working in the kingdom.
  4. The government can no longer support the generous social welfare system it created at the height of the oil boom. Nor can it spend to revive its stagnant economy. From a peak of $227 billion in 1981, its oil revenue dropped to only $31 billion five years later, and remained at less than $60 billion annually throughout the 1990s (in constant 2000 dollars), according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This year, oil revenue is projected to reach only about $48 billion.
  5. Despite their vast reserves, the Saudis have little influence on oil revenue, which is determined more by global supply and demand than by anything they can do unilaterally
  6. Falling state revenue has contributed to a sharp decline in the number of Saudi students coming to the United States for higher education, a fact that worries some Saudis. "Our children won't be as close to Americans as we have been," said one successful Saudi businessman.

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