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Iraq: Population
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Geography and Population > Population


In 2006 Iraq’s population was estimated at 26,783,000, and the estimated growth rate was 2.7 percent per year. A general census was scheduled for late 2007. Average population density was 61.9 persons per square kilometer in 2006. The population occupies predominantly the alluvial plain and the northeast, leaving the western and southern desert regions very sparsely inhabited. The most densely populated governorate (province) is Baghdad, near the northern end of the alluvial plain, followed by Ninawa in the western section of the uplands region. Urbanization has been a strong demographic trend; between 1985 and 2005, the proportion of the population in urban areas increased from 69 percent to 79 percent. In the 1990s and early 2000s, an estimated 1 million Shias fled from southern Iraq to Iran to avoid persecution. Migration from Iraq to neighboring countries increased sharply with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. In 2005 as an estimated 650,000 Iraqi refugees moved to Jordan and Syria; the latter received the great majority of the refugees, as it had since 2003. In 2006 the government estimated that 100,000 Iraqis had been internally displaced by sectarian violence.

Data as of August 2006

Last Updated: August 2006

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Iraq was first published in 1988. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Iraq Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 29 of 128


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