The population of Sa'udi Arabia in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 24,217,000, which placed it as number 45 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 43% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 116 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.92%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 32,728,000. The population density in 2002 was 11 per sq km (29 per sq mi). Much of the population is concentrated on the coasts or internal oases; desert regions are largely uninhabited.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 86% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Riyadh, had a population of 3,183,000 in that year. Estimates of the population in other major metropolitan areas were: Jeddah, the principal port, 1,812,000; and Mecca (Makkah), containing Islam's holiest shrine, 920,000. Other major cities include At-Ta'if, 204,857; Medina (Al-Madinah), the second-holiest city of Islam, 500,000; Ad-Dammam, 127,884; and Al-Hufuf, 101,271. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 3.4%.