Kingdom served 54 million Haj pilgrims over 25 years: GaStat

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Time : August 08, 2018

RIYADH — According to official statistics released by the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat), the total number of Haj pilgrims who were served by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the last 25 years reached 53,928,358.

The lowest number of pilgrims was registered in the Haj season of 1995 (1415H) when the number of pilgrims was 1,781,370. On the other hand, the highest number of pilgrims was registered was in 1433H when 3,161,573 performed the annual pilgrimage.

During the last 10 years, the number of pilgrims was 23,834,151.

GaStat spokesman Taiseer Al-Mofarrej said counting the numbers of pilgrims each year has been one of the important tasks performed by the authority. The counting of pilgrims started in 1390H in order to obtain accurate information to help all governmental entities to plan and develop the services provided to the pilgrims. However, the task has been performed for many years, with a lot of developments in the methods of counting and enumeration so that they can be applied in an accurate, comprehensive, and professional way.

Al-Mofarrej said the Haj statistics program helps plan the necessary services for pilgrims, whether social, health, security, food or transportation. It is done by using a time series of accurate data on the numbers of pilgrims, the estimates of manpower needed to serve the pilgrims and to maintain their safety and comfort during the Haj season of each year. The data and numbers of pilgrims are used by the entities concerned in studies to prepare facilities in Makkah and the holy site. In addition, it provides accurate information and data on Haj for researchers, students, beneficiaries and those interested in this field.

The data is also used for the evaluation of activities and events conducted by the entities concerned with serving the pilgrims, as well as to identify ways of arrival of domestic pilgrims and the pilgrims coming from outside the Kingdom.

The GaStat spokesman revealed the statistics on services provided by various government agencies to pilgrims would be announced periodically from the first of Dhul Hijjah. The authority will release the final and official number of pilgrims this year on Dhul Hijjah 9, through a Haj statistics bulletin in detail including the number of internal pilgrims, the number of pilgrims from abroad, pilgrims by sex, nationality and destination, number of vehicles used for transporting pilgrims as well as their types, and other detailed data.

During the past 25 years, the number of pilgrims exceeded 3 million pilgrims only once, while their number exceeded 2 million pilgrims 12 times. On the other hand, during two seasons, their number fell below 2 million, with the lowest number of pilgrims recorded in 1415H (1995 AD).

This article was first published in  Saudi Gazette

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