Since 1970, the government has given high priority to education in order to develop a domestic work force, which the government considers a vital factor in the country's economic and social progress. In 1986, Oman's first university, Sultan Qaboos University, opened. Other post secondary institutions include a law school, technical college, banking institute, teachers' training college, and health sciences institute. Some 200 scholarships are awarded each year for study abroad.
Nine private colleges exist, providing 2-year post secondary diplomas. Since 1999, the government has embarked on reforms in higher education designed to meet the needs of a growing population, only a small percentage of which are currently admitted to higher education institutions. Under the reformed system, four public regional universities will be created, and incentives are provided by the government to promote the upgrading of the existing nine private colleges and the creation of other degree-granting private colleges.
note: includes 577,293 non-nationals (July 2005 est.)
0-14 years: 42.6% (male 652,028; female 626,698)
15-64 years: 54.9% (male 978,183; female 668,814)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 41,366; female 34,494) (2005 est.)
Population growth rate: 3.28% (2006 est.)
Birth rate: 36.73 births/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Death rate: 3.86 deaths/1,000 population (2005 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2005 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.46 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.2 male(s)/female
total population: 1.26 male(s)/female (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 19.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.13 years
male: 70.92 years
female: 75.46 years (2005 est.)
Total fertility rate: 5.84 children born/woman (2005 est.)
Urbanisation: About 78% of the population is urban.
total population: 75.8%
female: 67.2% (2003 est.)