Riyadh City


Riyadh is the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its largest city, located in the center of the Kingdom, and it is one of the fastest expanding cities in the world in terms of area, and one of the largest Arab cities in terms of area (3,115 km2). Riyadh has a population of 6.5 million (2017). They constitute one sixth of the population of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The percentage of Saudis of the total population in Riyadh is about 68%, while non-Saudis constitute 32%. Riyadh is divided administratively into fifteen municipalities, as well as each municipality, in turn, divided into neighborhoods.

Population studies in the city of Riyadh

 Development of population studies in the city of Riyadh: The Supreme Commission for the Development of Riyadh has conducted a series of population studies during the past thirty years starting from the year 1407 AH, and these studies continued in the year 1411 AH and then in the year 1417 AH and then in the year 1425 AH, and in the year 1437 AH the fifth study was conducted And these studies are considered the basic infrastructure in preparing plans, formulating policies and taking decisions, and provide accurate, integrated and modern data that enables monitoring and analysis of the city's reality and extrapolating the future and its different directions.

The comprehensive strategic plan for Riyadh has been keen to alert one of the facts facing the city of Riyadh, which is that the city of Riyadh is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Its population has more than doubled two hundred times and its area more than a thousand times since 1350 AH. Which places many burdens and requirements in all social and economic aspects. In order to avoid the negative impacts that may accompany this growth on the city’s society, its environment, culture, identity, and heritage, the need seems to be urgent towards adopting multiple studies to address the dimensions of these important issues, helping decision makers and planners to adopt effective programs in order to achieve the set goals.

The databases represent one of the basic inputs for building quantitative goals in the planning process, as well as one of the basic criteria and indicators in the evaluation processes for strategic planning operations in all areas. One of the most important data related to aspects of population and housing is the basis for all plans and programs.

The population study in 1437 AH is considered the most recent study in the series of population studies in the city of Riyadh and includes data and information on many aspects of population, economic, social, transportation information and residential complexes.

The size and type of the study sample: The sample size for this study was (16508) households. The selected sample represents an estimated rate (1.5%) of the total number of housing units in Riyadh within the limits of the protection of development amounting to (1,217,996) units according to the results of the land use survey for the year 1437 AH.

The choice of the type of sample on the basis of (stratified random sample) was also appropriate to achieve the possibility of analyzing data at the neighborhood level in Riyadh.

The final response rate to complete the study questionnaire reached (97.5%), which is one of the accepted percentages in population surveys.

Population surveys are conducted immediately after the completion of the field survey of land uses, so that the sample is drawn from the residential use data (housing units) and after the completion of the field survey of the chosen housing units within the sample, a comprehensive field survey of housing complexes that includes doctors and nurses housing complexes and student and female housing complexes is conducted Residential housing complexes for the military and private residential complexes.

The most prominent results of the study: 

The most important initial points of the study results can be addressed through the following axes:

Population aspects:

1. The population of the city of Riyadh in 1437 AH was 6,506,700. And this size exceeds the population of the city of Riyadh in 1425 by (2,246,700) people, at which time it was (4,260,000) people.

2. The population growth rate for the city of Riyadh (4%) during the period (1431-1437 AH). This rate decreased when compared to the period (1425-1431 AH), where the rate was (4.2%).

3. The age distribution of the city of Riyadh is characterized by the distribution of a boy in which the proportions increase for young ages, as the proportion of the population is less than 15 years (26 56%) of the total population.

4. The Saudi population in the city of Riyadh constitutes (64.19%) of the total population, while the non-Saudi population constitutes (35.81%). The percentage of Saudis is lower than what was recorded in 1425 AH, when it was (66%).

5. Indian nationality topped the list of the first ten nationalities by (13.7%), and the Pakistani nationality came second, with a percentage (12.4%).

6. (70%) of the heads of families in Riyadh changed their homes two or three times, and (10%) of them changed their homes four to five times during their stay in Riyadh.

Social aspects:

1. The percentage of those who completed primary education who are over the age of 15 years is about 10%, those who have completed middle school are about 18%, those who have completed secondary education have reached 32%, those with a university degree 22%, and those with a higher degree 2%.

2. The total illiteracy rate was 4%. This percentage has decreased significantly when compared to the year 1425H, which recorded a rate of (8%).

3. The illiteracy rate varied between male and female Saudi women, as it was between male (1.8%) and female (6%).

4. The percentage of married people (68%) of the total population aged 22 years and over. As for the percentage of the population who were not married before, it reached (28%). The percentage of divorced and widowed women reached the remainder, which represents 3.9%.

5. The single family pattern represented (76%) of all families in the year 1437 AH. This pattern witnessed a slight increase from what was recorded in the year 1425 AH, where the ratio was (75%).

6. The average family size in Riyadh reached (5.7) persons. That average decreased from 1425 AH, when there were 6.3 members of the family. The average family size for Saudis was 6.3 members in the family, while this average was 4.5 individuals for the non-Saudi family.

7. The total percentage of the use of computers was recorded among households (73%). These percentages increase among Saudi families, reaching (83%), while reaching (56%) for non-Saudi family members.

Internal migration:

1. The city of Riyadh received during the period (1425-1437 AH) approximately (276,000) new residents from various regions of the Kingdom, with an annual average of (23,000) new residents, and this number is less than what Riyadh received during the period (1417-1425 AH) where it was Average number of new residents (32,500) annually.

2. Males formed the majority of the heads of migrant families from inside the Kingdom, at a rate of (96.6%). The educational situation of migrants was characterized by the high percentage of those who obtained secondary and university qualifications, where they constitute (65%).

3. The Riyadh region represented the highest source of immigrants among heads of households, at a rate of (23.7%), and the Makkah Al-Mukarramah region came second (15.6%).

Economic aspects:

1. The size of the workforce reached (2.2) million. With an increase of (900) thousand individuals from the year 1425 AH, the percentage of the total workforce in relation to the population in the city of Riyadh has increased (49%), compared to what was recorded in the year 1425 AH, when it was (47%).

2. The percentage of the workforce clearly varies between Saudis to reach (34%), while among non-Saudis (73%). The decrease in this percentage among Saudis is mainly due to the presence of a large segment of the population who are still in the field of study of students by (30%), as well as another high percentage, which is the percentage of housewives, which represents (20%).

3. The total unemployment rate in the city of Riyadh (6%), which is slightly higher than the year 1425 AH, which recorded the rate (5.6%). The unemployment rate among the Saudis was recorded (11.8%), while it was in the year 1425 AH (12%).

4. The private sector accounted for the largest percentage of workers by (65%), while the percentage in the government sector (35%).

5. The percentage of Saudi workers in the government sector was 96%.

Transport and trips:

1. The average car ownership for families in the city of Riyadh was 1.8 cars per household. This average varies to reach (2.2) cars in Saudi families per family. And in non-Saudi families to (1.1) cars.

2. Private cars are considered one of the most important means of transportation in the city of Riyadh, where it achieved a rate of (77%). The bus / van came second (16%). Taxis (taxi / limousine) contributed (3.7%) of transportation.

3. (48%) of trips start from home and (25%) from work, and the school and university come to the third station with (17%).


1. The number of housing units reached (1217996) housing units, an increase of (513996) housing units in the year 1425 AH. As this period witnessed abundant production of housing units, it was offset by the increase in the number of families, whose total number in Riyadh was 1116,339 families.

2. The percentage of vacant housing units reached (8%) in the year 1437 AH, and this percentage was up to (7%) in the year 1425 AH.

3. The housing unit of type (villa) represented (52%) of the housing units. Then the apartment came second (42%). As for the Arab building, it came third (2.5%) only.

4. The percentage of housing ownership for Saudi families is (56%).

5. Personal funds are the main source of financing for housing construction, at a rate of (46%). Then the financing comes from the Real Estate Development Fund (30%). As for the third source, it came from private institutions such as banks and real estate companies (21%).