A total of 52,683,893 Muslims performed the annual Muslim Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 24 years, the General Authority for Statistics (GaStat), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has said.
In a report obtained by Daily Trust, the statistics for this year shows that a total 2,371,675 comprising 1,327,127 males and 1,044,548 females performed this year’s pilgrimage.
The breakdown of the statistics from 1995 (1416H) to 2016 (1437H) shows that 16,027,649 Muslims males and females performed hajj from inside the Kingdom, 31,932,447 from outside the Kingdom bringing the total to 47,960,096 for 22 years.
The 2017 statistics that gave the 2,352,122 total only stated that 1.33 million males and 1.02 million females performed the hajj.
The total for the 24 years of 1995 (1416AH) to 2018 (1439AH) stood at 52,683,893 male and female pilgrims.
The difference between the last two years shows that there was an increase of 19,553 pilgrims in 2018 above the number of 2017 pilgrims.
The reports were obtained in e-mail exchanges and other information on the website of the agency.
While the highest number of pilgrims was recorded in 2012 with 1,408,641 domestic pilgrims and 1,752,932 from outside the Kingdom bringing the total to 3,161,573; the lowest number of pilgrims was in 1998 with a total 1,831,998 pilgrims comprising 775,268 and 1,056,730 from inside and outside the kingdom respectively.
The main foundation of the agency include implementation of the statistical work and technical supervision and regulation of the Saudi Statistics and Information Sector, as part of the tasks assigned to the General Authority for Statistics in its capacity as the only official statistical reference; and provision of statistical work and technical and consultancy services to public entities and private establishments.
There had been a 20 percent cut in the quota for foreign pilgrims coming from each country, while the number of people allowed to perform hajj within the Kingdom was also reduced by 50 percent to ensure the safety of pilgrims during the expansion works of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
Nigeria’s allocation was 92,000 until in 2013 when it was reduced to 76,000 before it was restored and increased to 95,000.
Daily Trust reports that the expansion work seemed to have either been completed or reached advanced stage of completion, especially at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, as observed by our correspondent, hence the ease of accommodating the increased number of pilgrims for this year’s pilgrimage.