Hi Caroline. As I said to Bing, my sources are very carefully documented - - but obviously a newspaper article doesn’t have the space for reproducing all the documentation. You can get a copy in e-reader or paper editions through muslimtide.com
My figures for Total Fertility Rate (TFR) come from the 2010 revision of the ongoing count compiled by the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, found at www.un.org/esa/population
- - these are regarded as the most accurate and dependable counts of fertility, though in some cases I’ve augmented them with other counts that are more recent or that focus on specific population sub-groups such as Muslims in the West.
TFR is a measure of the number of children born to the average woman in a country during her entire reproductive life. As such, it is not really affected by differences polygamous or monogamous societies - - the number of children born to a woman is not impacted statistically by the identity of the father (and thus it remains an accurate way to determine population-growth rates - - which in the UAE are negative among citizens). The UAE is one of a small handful of countries where polygamy remains legal and widely practiced among some classes, so it’s a good question.
The 1.9 figure would refer only to citizens of the UAE (who are ethnically and linguistically Arabic). You’re correct in noting that a majority of people living in the Emirates are guest workers who do not have citizenship, even though they’ve often lived there a long time. Their offspring would contribute to the TFR statistics for their country of birth - - so if they’re Bangladeshi (the largest group of UAE workers), their children would figure in the TFR statistics for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, by the way, has one of the world’s fastest-falling fertility rates; it’s down to 2.4 children per mother. (Polygamy, by the way, is not generally a Bangladeshi custom).