Dubai: Bahrain's population grew almost 41 per cent and crossed 1 million people last year as the foreign population nearly doubled over 2006, the state's central bank said yesterday.

The population of the smallest Gulf economy was 1.05 million people at the end of December, compared with 742,560 a year earlier, the Central Bank of Bahrain said in a statement on its website.

The non-Bahraini population jumped 82.5 per cent to 517,368 people, nearly half of the total population, the data showed.

Annual inflation in Bahrain hit 4.1 per cent in December spurred by housing and food costs, data showed last month. Inflation in Bahrain was 2.05 per cent in 2006.


Oil producers in the world's largest oil-exporting region are facing accelerating inflation as their economies surge on a near five-fold rise in oil prices since 2002, which is fuelling population growth.