Saudi Arabia hosted 24.8 million pilgrims from all over the world over the past 10 years.
Over the past decade the largest number of pilgrims was witnessed in 2012 when 3.16 million of them performed hajj and the lowest in 2013 with only 1.98 million pilgrims, Al-Eqtisadiah daily reported.
Last year the number of pilgrims dropped due to the government’s decision to cut the number of foreign pilgrims by 20 percent and domestic pilgrims by 50 percent because of the ongoing expansion projects in Makkah and Madinah.
This year about 2.1 million people performed hajj, consisting of 1,297,000 men and 843,000 women.
Indonesia sent the largest number of pilgrims this year. With 293,200 pilgrims, Indonesians accounted for about 21 percent of the total number of foreign pilgrims -1.39 million.
Pakistan with 189,500 pilgrims and India with 151,500 occupied second and third places respectively.
Egypt, with 126,600 pilgrims, came fourth and Bangladesh fifth with 102,900 pilgrims.
Around 67,000 Egyptians accounted for 10 percent of the 696,200 domestic pilgrims while 41,900 Pakistanis accounted for about 6 percent.
Indians accounted for about 2 percent of domestic pilgrims while Indonesians and Yemenis each accounted for about 1 percent.
The Saudi government has spent more than $100 billion (SR375 billion) to improve pilgrimage facilities.
According to official data, there were 2.26 million pilgrims in 2005, increasing to 2.38 million in 2006.
This number further increased by about 3 percent in 2007 to reach 2.45 million but came down by 2 percent in 2008 to stand at 2.41 million.
The number of pilgrims decreased by a further 4 percent in 2009, reaching 2.31 million.
In the following three years the number of the pilgrims showed steady increases, reaching 2.79 million in 2010, 2.93 million in 2011 and 3.16 million in 2012, increasing by 8 percent annually.
The rise in the number of foreign pilgrims over the past 100 years was phenomenal, thanks to the advancement in transportation means and tremendous efforts by the Saudi leadership to develop infrastructure facilities in the two holy cities as well as the pilgrimage sites.
According to data collected from relevant official bodies, fewer than 60,000 foreigners performed hajj in the year 1920.