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Countries > Iraq Iraq Flag

Languages   5 languages are spoken in Iraq. We have 522 products available for those languages.


Capital: Baghdad
Population: 22,500,000
Click to Listen Play the National Anthem
Iraq Map

Geography

Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 44 00 E

Map references: Middle East

Area:
total: 437,072 sq km
land: 432,162 sq km
water : 4,910 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Idaho

Land boundaries:
total: 3,631 km
border countries : Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 242 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

Coastline: 58 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf: not specified
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows which melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq

Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Gundah Zhur 3,608 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Land use:
arable land: 12%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 9%
forests and woodland : 0%
other: 79% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 35,250 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural hazards: dust storms, sandstorms, floods

Environment - current issues: government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Shi'a Muslims, who have inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of Tigris-Euphrates Rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salinization) and erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban
signed, but not ratified : Environmental Modification

People

Population: 24,001,816 (July 2002 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 41.1% (male 5,003,755; female 4,849,238)
15-64 years: 55.9% (male 6,794,265; female 6,624,662)
65 years and over: 3% (male 341,520; female 388,376) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.82% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 34.2 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 6.02 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 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:0.88 male(s)/female
total population : 1.02 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 57.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 67.38 years
male: 66.31 years
female: 68.5 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.63 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Iraqi(s)
adjective: Iraqi

Ethnic groups: Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian or other 5%

Religions: Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

Languages: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 58%
male: 70.7%
female : 45% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
conventional short form: Iraq
local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
local short form: Al Iraq

Data code: IZ

Government type: republic

National capital: Baghdad

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit

Independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)
PRE-OCCUPATION INFORMATION:

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 17 July (1968)

Constitution: 22 September 1968, effective 16 July 1970 (provisional Constitution); new constitution drafted in 1990 but not adopted

Legal system: based on Islamic law in special religious courts, civil law system elsewhere; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state : President Ayad Alawi (since 1 June 2004)
head of government:President Ayad Alawi (since 1 June 2004)

Legislative branch:unicameral National Assembly or Majlis al-Watani (250 seats; 30 appointed by the president to represent the three northern provinces of Dahuk, Arbil, and As Sulaymaniyah; 220 elected by popular vote; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 27 March 2000 (next to be held NA January 2004)
election results:percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NA

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation

Political parties and leaders: Ba'th Party, SADDAM Husayn, central party leader

Political pressure groups and leaders: any formal political activity must be sanctioned by the government; opposition to regime from Kurdish groups and southern Shi'a dissidents

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note - Iraq has an Interest Section in the Algerian Embassy headed by Akram AL DOURI ; address: Iraqi Interests Section, Algerian Embassy, 1801 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; telephone: [1] (202) 483-7500; FAX: [1] (202) 462-5066

Diplomatic representation from the US: none; note - the US has an Interests Section in the Polish Embassy in Baghdad, which is in the Masbah Quarter (opposite the Foreign Ministry Club); address: P. O. Box 2447 Alwiyah, Baghdad; telephone: [964] (1) 719-6138, 719-6139, 718-1840, 719-3791; FAX: [964] (1) 718-9297

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with three green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; the phrase ALLAHU AKBAR (God is Great) in green Arabic script - Allahu to the right of the middle star and Akbar to the left of the middle star - was added in January 1991 during the Persian Gulf crisis; similar to the flag of Syria that has two stars but no script and the flag of Yemen that has a plain white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt that has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band

Economy

Economy - overview: Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. In the 1980s financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities by Iran led the government to implement austerity measures, borrow heavily, and later reschedule foreign debt payments; Iraq suffered economic losses from the war of at least $100 billion. After hostilities ended in 1988, oil exports gradually increased with the construction of new pipelines and restoration of damaged facilities. Iraq's seizure of Kuwait in August 1990, subsequent international economic sanctions, and damage from military action by an international coalition beginning in January 1991 drastically reduced economic activity. Although government policies supporting large military and internal security forces and allocating resources to key supporters of the regime have hurt the economy, implementation of the UN's oil-for-food program in December 1996 has helped improve conditions for the average Iraqi citizen. For the first six, six-month phases of the program, Iraq was allowed to export limited amounts of oil in exchange for food, medicine, and some infrastructure spare parts. In December 1999 the UN Security Council authorized Iraq to export under the program as much oil as required to meet humanitarian needs. Oil exports are now more than three-quarters prewar level. However, 28% of Iraq's export revenues under the program are deducted to meet UN Compensation Fund and UN administrative expenses. The drop in GDP in 2001 was largely the result of the global economic slowdown and lower oil prices. Per capita food imports have increased significantly, while medical supplies and health care services are steadily improving. Per capita output and living standards are still well below the prewar level, but any estimates have a wide range of error.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $59 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -5.7% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,500 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 6%
industry:13%
services: 81% (1993 est.)

Inflation rate - consumer price index:60% (2001 est.)

Labor force:
total: 4.4 million (1989)
by occupation: services 48%, agriculture 30%, industry 22%
note : severe labor shortage; expatriate labor force was about 1,600,000 (July 1990); since then, it has declined substantially

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget:
revenues : $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Industries: petroleum, chemicals, textiles, construction materials, food processing

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - capacity: 6.83 million kW (1996)

Electricity - production: 27.3 billion kWh (2000)

Electricity - consumption per capita: 25.389 billion kWh (2000)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, other fruit, cotton; cattle, sheep

Exports: $15.8 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: crude oil
partners: US 46.2%, Italy 12.2%, France 9.6%, Spain 8.6% (2000)

Imports:$11 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
commodities: manufactures, food
partners: France 22.5%, Australia 22%, China 5.8%, Russia 5.8% (2000)

Debt - external:$62.2 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: $327.5 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Iraqi dinar (ID) = 1,000 fils

Exchange rates: Iraqi dinars per US dollar - 0.3109 (fixed official rate since 1982); black market rate - Iraqi dinars per US dollar - 2,000 (December 2001), 1,910 (December 1999), 1,815 (December 1998), 1,530 (December 1997), 910 (December 1996); note - subject to wide fluctuations

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones: 675,000 (1997)

Telephone system: reconstitution of damaged telecommunication facilities began after the Gulf war; most damaged facilities have been rebuilt
domestic: the network consists of coaxial cables and microwave radio relay links
international : satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Intersputnik (Atlantic Ocean Region) and 1 Arabsat (inoperative); coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; Kuwait line is probably nonoperational

Radio broadcast stations: AM 19 (5 are inactive), FM 51, shortwave 4 (1998)

Radios: 4.85 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 13 (1997)

Televisions: 1.75 million (1997)

Transportation

Railways:
total: 2,339 km
standard gauge: 2,339 km 1.435-m gauge (2001)

Highways:
total: 45,550 km
paved: 38,400 km
unpaved: 7,150 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: 1,015 km; Shatt al Arab is usually navigable by maritime traffic for about 130 km; channel has been dredged to 3 meters and is in use; Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have navigable sections for shallow-draft watercraft; Shatt al Basrah canal was navigable by shallow-draft craft before closing in 1991 because of the Persian Gulf war

Pipelines: crude oil 4,350 km; petroleum products 725 km; natural gas 1,360 km

Ports and harbors: Umm Qasr, Khawr az Zubayr, and Al Basrah have limited functionality

Merchant marine:
total: 25 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 186,709 GRT/278,575 DWT
ships by type:cargo 14, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 1 (2002 est.)

Airports: 108 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 73
over 3,047 m: 20
2,438 to 3,047 m: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 7(2001 est)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total : 35
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m:6
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m : 10
under 914 m:12 (2001)

Heliports: 4 (2001)

Military

Military branches: Army, Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Force, Border Guard Force, Internal Security Forces

Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 6,135,847 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males : 3,430,819 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 274,035 (2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $1.3 billion (FY00)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: Iran and Iraq restored diplomatic relations in 1990 but are still trying to work out written agreements settling outstanding disputes from their eight-year war concerning border demarcation, prisoners-of-war, and freedom of navigation and sovereignty over the Shatt al Arab waterway; in November 1994, Iraq formally accepted the UN-demarcated border with Kuwait which had been spelled out in Security Council Resolutions 687 (1991), 773 (1993), and 883 (1993); this formally ends earlier claims to Kuwait and to Bubiyan and Warbah islands; dispute over water development plans by Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers