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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Iraq, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

The 2009 IMF population estimate of Iraq is 31,234,000.[1]



Iraq is the region known outside the Islamic world as Mesopotamia, the population estimate in 1920 was 3 million. The ruins of Ur, Babylon, and other ancient cities are situated in Iraq, as is the legendary location of the Garden of Eden. Almost 75% of Iraq's population lives in the flat, alluvial plain stretching southeast from Baghdad to Basra and the Persian Gulf. The Tigris River and the Euphrates River carry about 70 million cubic meters of silt annually from this plain down to the delta. The water from these two great rivers, and the fertility of the soil in the alluvial plain and the delta, allowed early agriculture to sustain a stable population as far back as the 6th millennium BC.

Over its long history, many civilizations grew and flourished in the region. Following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was formed by the League of Nations from three Ottoman vilayets (regions), gaining independence in 1932.

Ethnic divisions

Iraq is home to several ethnic groups, the most numerous being Arabic speakers, followed by Kurds, Iraqi Turkmen and Assyrians. Other distinct groups are Armenians, Persians, Adyghe,[2][3] Shabaks and Lurs. Arabic is the most commonly spoken language. Kurdish, Iraqi Turkish and Syriac are spoken in the north, and English is the most commonly spoken European language. [4]

The Semitic Iraqis today are an overall indigenous Mesopotamian people, who are closely related to the indigenous ancient people, much like the case with the people of the Levant. While modern-day Iraqi Arabs form part of the Arab collective by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history — they are in fact largely a blend of the various Aramaic speaking groups indigenous to the region, as well as other groups like the Kurds and Turks, and not the direct descendants of the tribes of Arabia. However, during the Arab expansion period, Muslim Arabs from Arabia controlled the area and there was some amount of immigration.

Shia Islam is the predominant religion, followed by Sunni Islam and Christianity. Small communities of Bahá'ís, Mandaeans, and Yezidis also exist. Until 1948, there was also a 150,000 strong community of Jews, but the community has dwindled down to no more than a handful today. Most Kurds are Sunni Muslim, with about 10% being Shi'a Faili Kurds in central Iraq.

Demographic statistics

Iraq has a young population.

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.



31,234,000.[1] (April 2009 IMF est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 39.7% (male 5,398,645; female 5,231,760)
15-64 years: 57.3% (male 7,776,257; female 7,576,726)
65 years and over: 3% (male 376,700; female 423,295) (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.66% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

31.45 births/1,000 population (2006 est)

Death rate

5.37 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate

48.64 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 69.01 years
male: 67.76 years
female: 70.31 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.18 children born/woman (2006 est.)


noun: Iraqi(s)
adjective: Iraqi

Ethnic groups

Arabs 75-80%, Kurds 15%-20%, Turkmen, Assyrian and other 5%.[5]


Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian and other 3%.[1]

Iraqi religion
religion percent
Shi'a Islam
Sunni Islam


Arabic, Kurdish, Persian, Turkish, Aramaic; Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, and Armenian


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 74.1%
male: 84.1%
female: 64.2% (2000 est.)

Median Age

Total Population: 19.7 years
Male: 19.6 years
Female: 19.8 years (2006 est.)

See also


External links


  • Nakash, Yitzhak (2003). The Shi'is of Iraq. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11575-3. 
  • Jabar, Faleh A. (2004). The Shi'ite Movement in Iraq. Saqi Books. ISBN 0-86356-395-3. 


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