AJMAN // The emirate's population grew, fewer people got married and divorced, building dropped considerably, yet more people found work, according to statistics released yesterday.
The Ajman authorities released the numbers for the first time, providing a portrait of social and economic life in the smallest of the UAE's seven emirates.
The 2009 statistics also include figures that provide a snapshot of the emirate's traffic and fire accidents, trade, education and health, among other categories. The release coincided with World Statistics Day, which was celebrated yesterday at the Ajman University of Science and Technology.
"Statistics are important in all government development programmes, especially when it comes to making budgets," said Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Humaid al Nuaimi, the head of the Ajman cultural and information department.
"We are here to acknowledge the contributions of statistics toward informing public policy and improving human welfare," he said.
The National Bureau of Statistics is working to improve coordination among the various government departments to get all their data and ensure regular publication, Sheikh al Nuaimi said. Emirates such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi already publish such information in one form or another.
The figures showed that Ajman's population rose last year at a 5.8 per cent rate to 237,000 people, with its male population of 153,000 almost double that of females. The growth of the male population was at 6.2 per cent, outstripping the overall gain, while the female growth rate was at 5 per cent.
However, the report showed there were more female students registered last year compared to boys, with girls making up 51.1 per cent of the 11,975 students in the emirate's 32 post-kindergarten schools.
There were 4,709 births in the emirate last year, a 6 per cent gain from 2008 and a 12.6 per cent jump from 2007, indicating that Ajman's population was expanding on a fairly rapid basis.
The report showed a decrease in marriages as well as divorces. There were 1,104 weddings recorded last year compared with 1,267 in 2008. Divorce figures fell by more than a third from 2008 levels to 264.
Data on the construction sector indicated some setbacks. For example, there were 1,045 building licences issued last year, a drop of nearly 50 per cent from 2008. The labour picture in Ajman was somewhat more encouraging.
The emirate's Department of Labour and Works issued 70,872 new work permits last year, a 43 per cent increase from the previous year. However, it cancelled a third more work permits than in 2008.
Data on traffic accidents showed a grim picture, with the number of road incidents handled by ambulance and rescue teams rising 12.7 per cent to 582.