1 Iraq Country Profile


Geographic Location: The Republic of Iraq is located in western Asia and shares borders with Turkey from the north, Iran from the east, Kuwait from the south, Saudi Arabia from the south, Jordan from the west, and Syria from the west. It has a small coastline of just 36 miles (58 km) along the north of the Arabic Gulf.

Language: The first official language in Iraq is Arabic, which is understood almost universally, and the Kurdish language is the second official language in Iraq. The Arabic language is used for official communications with government departments throughout Iraq but it's preferable to use the Kurdish language for official communications with government departments in the KRI, in addition to other languages spoken in Iraq. Other unofficial languages are Turkmen, Syriac, Chaldean, or Assyrian.

Country size: 169,234 square miles (438,317 square kilometers), Highest Point: Cheekha Dar at 11,847 feet (3,611 meters), Lowest Point: Arabic Gulf at 0 feet (0 meters).

Population: The estimated population of Iraq is 41,428,544 (2021), nearly 70% of Iraq's population lives in urban areas. The largest population by far is at the nation's capital, Baghdad, with a population of 9.5 million. The cities of Basra and Mosul both have populations exceeding 2 million. Erbil, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, and Hilla have populations of over one million. According to current projections, Iraq’s population will continue to grow for the rest of the century, surpassing 100 million people by the end of 2085. Iraq is currently growing at a rate of 2.32% per year, adding just under 1 million every year. Despite the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, resulting in both a rising death rate and an exodus of refugees, the population continues to grow. This is explained by Iraq’s fertility rate of 3.588 births per woman and a drop in its infant mortality rate. The fertility rate, however, is decreasing as more women have access to education and professional opportunities.

Ethnic Group: Almost 75% of Iraq's population is made up of the dominant ethnic group, the Iraqi, or Mesopotamian Arabs. Other major ethnic groups include Kurds (17%), Turkmen (3%), Assyrians (2%), and Persians (2%). There are about 20,000 Marsh Arabs in the southern part of the country.

Religion: Islam is by far the most common religion in the country as 97% of the population is Muslim. Non-Muslims, mostly Assyrian Christians, Sabaeans, or Yezedi make up 3% of the population. The Christian community in Iraq has existed for nearly 2,000 years and most are descended from the pre-Arab Mesopotamians-Assyrians. It has been believed that 65% of Muslims are Shia while the remaining 35% are Sunni. Najaf and Karbala are two of the holiest places for Shia Muslims that are located in the southern regions of the Capital, Baghdad.

Political History: From 1980 to 1988, Iraq was involved in the Iran-Iraq war, which devastated its economy. Due to several wars and subsequent conflicts since 80th until 2003, the following activities, such as social instability was ongoing. In  2003, Iraq was invaded by the coalition.. In June 2004 the Iraqi Interim Government was established. In January 2005, the country held first elections after the invasion and the Iraqi Transitional Government (ITG) took power. In December 2005, another election was held which established a new four-year constitutional government that took power in March 2006.Despite its new government, however, Iraq was still highly unstable during this time and violence was widespread throughout the country.

Current political situation: The politics of Iraq take place in the framework of a federal parliamentary representative democratic republic. It is a multi-party system whereby executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister of the Council of Ministers as the head of government, as well as the President of Iraq, and legislative power is vested in the Council of Representatives and the Federation Council.

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