The population of United Arab Emirates in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 2,995,000, which placed it as number 131 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 1% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 26% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 186 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 1.94%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 3,588,000. The population density in 2002 was 42 per sq km (108 per sq mi).
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 86% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Abu Dhabi, had a population of 904,000 in that year. Estimated populations of the other individual emirates were Dubai, 501,000; Sharjah, 314,000; Ra's al-Khaimah, 130,000; 'Ajman, 76,000; Fujairah, 63,000; and Umm al-Qaiwain, 27,000. The population of each emirate is concentrated largely in its capital. The towns of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the most important urban centers; Abu Dhabi grew rapidly into a metropolitan area by attracting large numbers of internal and external migrants to its booming oil industry. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 2.0%.