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Oman, The People of Oman

In 2002 Oman had an estimated population of 2,713,462, giving it an average density of 9 persons per sq km (23 per sq mi). The population has grown steadily, doubling between 1960 and 1993. In 2002 the growth rate was a relatively high 3.4 percent. Oman has a very young population; two-fifths of all native Omanis are under the age of 15. Only 84 percent of Omanis live in cities and towns. While most of the rest are settled in villages, a few Bedouins still practice their nomadic ways. Much of Oman’s urban population resides in the Greater Capital Area, which includes Masqat proper, the capital; Mattra?, a major port; and Ruwi, the commercial hub of Oman. The new port of Mina’ Qaboos is also in this metropolitan area, as is Mina’ al Fa?l, a loading terminal for oil supertankers. Other important cities include Nizwa, the historic seat of the Ibadi imamate (Muslim community headed by an imam) in interior Oman; Sur, an important fishing port located south of Masqat, and Salalah, the largest city and principal port of Dhofar.

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