Iraq Demographic Between 2007 and 2014

By | December 19, 2021

State of Southwest Asia. The Iraqi population has grown significantly in recent years, despite the climate of constant political uncertainty. In the absence of official data, the estimates show that from 2007 to 2014 Iraqis increased by more than 20%, reaching a population of 34,768,761 in 2014, according to an estimate by UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs). The Iraqi population is ethnically fragmented: the predominant ethnicity is Arab (75-80%, according to CIA, Central Intelligence Agency estimates), flanked by a relevant Kurdish minority (15-20%) and other smaller groups, such as the Yazidis, the Turcomans, the Assyrians (altogether about 5%). Almost all of the population is Muslim (about 99%), divided between the Shiite majority (60-65%) and a substantial Sunni minority (32-37%), often in conflict with each other (see fig. 1)).

Annual population growth is 2.9%, supported by the high fertility rate (4.1 children per woman). Given the conflict situation, life expectancy remains low (69.4 years, 2013), however, the estimates on essential services continue to be acceptable due to the structures set up by the old regime. Access to water is guaranteed in the city, where 69% of the population lives, while it is scarce in rural areas (just 68.5% is covered). Essential medical care is provided to almost all Iraqis (85%), while the figure on illiteracy begins to weigh, with almost 20% unable to read and write. Baghdād is confirmed as by far the most populated city (6,036,000 residents), Followed by Mōsul (1,494,000), Basra (942,000) and Erbil (1,039,000). For Iraq 2008, please check

Economic conditions. – It is difficult to offer reliable estimates on the Iraqi economy, however the country’s economic structure follows some constants. The sector on which most of the exports (over 90%) and the employment of the workforce depend is the oil sector. Iraqi crude oil production is strongly affected by the country’s difficulties. Under Ṣaddām Ḥusayn the embargo reduced the export possibilities to smuggling and the Oil for food program. After the war of 2003, international investments resumed for the modernization of extraction and refining plants. Between 2007 and 2013 Iraqi oil production jumped 50%, placing the country in seventh place as a producer in the world and fourth in export earnings. Refining capacity increased by nearly 25% over the same period. However, despite the undeniable progress, the advance of the IS (Islamic State) in the North-West of the country in 2014 and the state of war removed numerous oil wells from state control, endangering the state’s ability to subsidize itself, given that 90% of the budget depends on oil-related activities. Moreover, although the country is only partially exploiting its extraction capacities, the price war launched in 2014 by Saudi Arabia is a further element of instability. Due to the difficulties in controlling the territory, no industrial diversification program has been implemented. The primary sector, which affects almost 25% of the active population, shows a significant production deficit compared to the needs of consumption, so as to force imports. The main crops, wheat and barley, have gone down in production, while that of dates increased in the southern regions. Any further possibility of development is linked to internal pacification and the arrival of investments from abroad, which are indispensable for rebuilding communications and transport.

Kurdistan. – Autonomous region of Iraq whose population is estimated by the regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan at around 5,200,000 residents, mostly concentrated in urban areas. The harsh anti-Kurdish policy adopted under Ṣaddām Ḥusayn pushed a large part of the population into the cities, where the capital, Erbil, which has 1,039,000 residents, stands out in size, followed by Dahuk and As-Sulayma niyah. The Kurdish economy is closely linked to the oil industry, as it holds about 20% of Iraqi resources. This is why the main dispute with the central government concerns the delimitation of the borders of the autonomous region. The resulting Kurdish decision to conclude numerous investment contracts from abroad was aimed at developing the extractive infrastructure.

Iraq 2008