Overview of Iraq

Overview of Iraq Last updated on Tuesday 20th April 2010

Overview Iraq

Official title

Republic of Iraq


Population 3,844,608 in 1987


Officially Islam, as Muslims form 95% of the population. Shiite Muslims (60%) live in the south, Sunni Muslims (40%) in the north. Christians make up the largest non-Muslim religious group, and belong to a number of sects. Smaller religious groups include the Yazidis and the Sabaeans (Baptists).

Main port

Population 616,700 in 1987, now thought to be closer to 1,500,000.

Additional urban centre

Mosul (Al-Mawsil)
Population about 570,900 (1985 estimate), now thought to be closer to 1,250,000


22,680,000 (estimation of July 2000).

Population profile

About 80% Arab and 15% Kurd. Minority ethnic groups include Jazirah /ITurkomans, Sabaeans, Jews, Yazidis, mostly in rural areas. Also, around 2.5 million Christians live in Iraq, mostly Chaldians and Assyrian Roman Catholics, speaking the old Aramaic (Assyrian-Chaldian) language.

Population Density

Young people under 15 years old


Population growth

2.9% (estimation of 2000)

Urban Population

75% (estimation of 1999)

Birth Rate

35.04 births/1,000 population (estimation of 2000).
Death Rate

6.4 deaths/1,000 population (estimation of 2000).
Infant Mortality Rate

62.49 deaths/1,000 live births (estimate 2000).
Life Expectancy at Birth

66.53 years old (estimate 2000).
Life Expectancy per Sex

Males 66 years old, Females 68 years old (estimation of 2000).


Officially Arabic; Kurdish is also spoken.


Iraqi dinar is divided into 1000 fils


Petroleum, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, food processing.
Agricultural products

Wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep.
Inflation Rate at Consumer Prices

135 % (1999), 110 % (estimation of 2000).
Labour Force by Economic Sector of Activity

Agriculture 20%, Industry and Services 80% (1999).
Nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$ 13.5 billion dollars (1999).
Real Gross Domestic Product -Growth rate

17% (estimation of 2000).
Gross Domestic Product -Per Capita purchasing power parity

$ 2,700 (estimation of 1999).

Major Export Products

Crude oil (regulated by the United Nations "Oil for Food Programme"
Major Import Products

Food, medicines, manufactures.
Merchandise Exports

$ 12.4 billion (1999).
Merchandise Imports

$ 8.4 billion (1999).
Merchandise Trade Balance

$ 3.9 billion (1999).
Current Account Balance

$ 0.3 billion (1999).

Time zone

GMT + 3 hours

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