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The number of Indian workers in Kuwait reached 535,083 last December Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Cairo: Indians took the lead among expat workers in Kuwait last year, accounting for 25 per cent of the overall workforce in the country against 24.4 per cent in 2022, according to official figures.

The number of Indian workers in Kuwait reached 535,083 last December against 497,087 in the previous year, according to figures from Kuwait’s Central Statistical Bureau.

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Despite a drop in their numbers, Egyptian expatriates came second with 476,866 against 483,183 in December 2022, or 22.4 per cent of the overall workforce against 23.8 per cent in 2022.

Kuwaitis, who ranked third, numbered 454,038 last December with an increase of around 12,000 or 2.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

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The latest figures also showed an increase in the number of Bangladeshis by around 18,000, reaching 179,800 and making up 8.4 per cent of Kuwait’s overall workforce.

They were followed by Pakistani workers whose number rose from 68,843 to reach 80,313, accounting for 3.7 per cent of the overall figure.

Nepalese nationals last year showed a jump at Kuwait’s labour market, reaching 803,313 last December with a marked 27 per cent rise compared to 2022.

Kuwait’s workforce last December totalled 2.13 million, an increase of 4.7% against 2022. Expatriates constituted 78.7 per cent of the overall workforce in the country.

Kuwait has an overall population of 4.8 million people including around 3.3 million foreigners.

The country is endeavouring to redress its population imbalance and replace foreign workers with its citizens as part of an employment policy dubbed “Kuwaitisation”.

Calls have recently grown in Kuwait for curbing foreigners’ employment along accusations that migrant workers have strained the country’s infrastructure facilities amid economic repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic.