Report: The Bidoon in Kuwait, History at a Glance

In several countries of the Gulf there are stateless persons referred to as the Bidoon, from the Arabic bidūn jinsīya (‘without nationality’ or ‘without citizenship’).1 The most prominent case is in Kuwait where there is a particularly large Bidoon population, often estimated at around 100,000-120,000, although some Bidoon activists believe the number to be 150,000-160,000, or even higher.2 Either way, this is a significant population size, especially for a small country like Kuwait. According to official Kuwaiti estimates, there were some 4.4 million people living in the country in 2019, of whom 1.3 million – just short of 30% – were Kuwaiti nationals.3Even if one accepts the lower estimate of the Bidoon population (100,000 persons) this would equal just under 8% of Kuwaiti nationals.

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