Kuwait Emigration and Immigration

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Online Sources[edit | edit source]

British Subjects in Kuwait[edit | edit source]

Finding the Town of Origin in Kuwait[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in Kuwait, see Kuwait Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

Kuwait Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.


Immigration into Kuwait[edit | edit source]

  • In the late 18th century, Kuwait was a haven for Basra (Iraqi) merchants fleeing Ottoman persecution. Kuwait was the center of boat building in the Persian Gulf, its ships renowned throughout the Indian Ocean.
  • In the 1890s, threatened by the Ottoman Empire, Kuwait signed an agreement with the British government in India making Kuwait a British protectorate.
  • During the reign of Mubarak, Kuwait was dubbed the "Marseilles of the Persian Gulf" because its economic vitality attracted a large variety of people. The population was cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse, including Arabs, Persians, Africans, Jews and Armenians.
  • In 1950, a major public-work program began to enable Kuwaitis to enjoy a modern standard of living. By 1952, the country became the largest oil exporter in the Persian Gulf region. This massive growth attracted many foreign workers, especially from Palestine, India, and Egypt. [1]

Current Expatriates in Kuwait[edit | edit source]

  • There are a large number of expatriates in Kuwait, with most residing in Kuwait City. Expatriates are primarily attracted by the employment opportunities in Kuwait. Expatriates account for 69% of Kuwait's total population.
  • The Indian community in Kuwait includes Indian expats (mostly hailing from the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu), as well as Kuwaiti citizens of Indian origin. According to the Indian ministry of external affairs, there are around 989,000 Indians as on 31 December 2020,[1] constituting the
  • Egyptians are the second largest expat community in Kuwait, numbering more than 666,000 workers (December 2020).
  • The population of Pakistanis in Kuwait is around 100,000 (December 2020). The former Pakistani chargé d'affaires in Kuwait has given a higher estimate of 150,000 in 2009.
  • There are around 161,000 Syrian expats in Kuwait. Syrians were among the first educated work force in Kuwait, the first Syrian expats immigrated to Kuwait in the 1960s.
  • In 2012, there were 45,000 Iranian expats according to the population census. Iranians are heavily concentrated in the Bneid al-Gar suburb of Kuwait City. Most Iranians are employed in the private sector. In 2011, there were 42,795 Iranians in Kuwait; 699 were employed in the public sector, 24,684 in the private sector and 16,577 were on dependent visas.
  • There are 70,000 Palestinian expats in Kuwait.
  • There are roughly 241,000 (as of December 2020) Filipinos in Kuwait. Most are migrant workers, and approximately 60% of Filipinos in Kuwait are employed as domestic workers. In 2011, Kuwait was the sixth-largest destination of Overseas Filipino Workers, with 65,000 hired or rehired in the nation in 2011.
  • There are 4,000 Turkish expats in Kuwait. Most Turks work as barbers, engineers, businessmen and doctors.[2]
  • Lebanese people in Kuwait have a population exceeding 41,775 and other estimates report a total of 106,000 Lebanese in Kuwait. Lebanese people form one of the largest community of non-citizen Arabs in Kuwait. In addition, an increasing number of Lebanese students seeking education and career opportunities opted for the country in light of its relatively reputable institutions across the Middle East. Most of the Lebanese people in Kuwait live mainly in the capital city of Kuwait City.[3]

Emigration From Kuwait[edit | edit source]

  • In the early 1990s, Kuwait expelled approximately 400,000 Palestinian expats. Kuwait's policy was a response to alignment of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and the PLO with Saddam Hussein.
  • Kuwait also deported thousands of Iraqis and Yemenis after the Gulf War.
  • In addition, hundreds of thousands of stateless Bedoon (stateless people found in several Middle Eastern countries) were expelled from Kuwait in the early-to-mid 1990s.[4]
  • There are over 14,000 Kuwaiti students studying at universities across the U.S. Kuwaiti Students have created communities in certain cities or states. States like California (in cities such as Fresno), Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have large Kuwaiti populations. Population estimates are seen to have a very small diaspora, mainly because Kuwait provides students with more than adequate welfare benefits and Kuwait is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, removing the need for Kuwaitis to live and work in other developed countries.[5]

Records of Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to Wiki articles about immigration records for major destination countries below. Additional Wiki articles for other destinations can be found at Category:Emigration and Immigration Records.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Kuwait", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwait#Ethnic_groups, accessed 17 July 2021.
  2. "Expatriates in Kuwait", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expatriates_in_Kuwait, accessed17 June 2021.
  3. "Lebanese people in Kuwait", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_people_in_Kuwait, accessed 17 July 2021.
  4. "Kuwait", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwait#Ethnic_groups, accessed 17 July 2021.
  5. "Kuwaiti Americans", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwaiti_Americans, accessed 17 July 2021.