A total of 4.5 million people live in Oman, of which around 2 million are foreigners, mainly from India and South Asia.
The population of Oman is very young. Through the consistent investment in the health sector, the child mortality rate has fallen dramatically, which in 1970 was at 118 per thousand births. Today, statistically speaking, there are only seven children die per 1000 births. As a result, the average number of children per household has increased from six to eight. Half of all Omanis today are children and adolescents! This demographic peculiarity presents the country with the challenge of providing training and jobs in sufficient numbers. Since the beginning of the 1970s, Oman has been investing heavily in education and training. Job allocation has been regulated for almost two decades with preference given to Omani citizens through successively increasing quotas.
This "Omanization" has meant that in some sectors, where only 20 years ago predominantly guest workers were employed, today Omani citizens are almost exclusively at work. This also applies in some low-wage sectors such as supermarket cashiers.