Population. – According to the 1947 census, the Iraqi population amounted to 4,816,185 residents, of which about 220,000 are nomads. The last census, held in 1957, announced a total population of 6,538,109; it is estimated that the nomadic tribes amount to about 300,000 individuals. The demographic increase, in the decade considered, was therefore over 2 million (36%), and is largely due to natural growth, as evidenced by the fact that about one third of the population is composed of individuals below the 10 years of age. From an ethnic point of view, the absolute majority of the Arab element remains.
Agriculture. – Limited to irrigated areas (dams and reservoirs on the Tigris, Euphrates, Dijala, Piccolo and Grande Zab, etc.), agriculture has not changed its traditional configuration based on cereal cultivation, as well as on the production of dates. Among the cereals, wheat covers an area of almost 1.5 million ha, with annual production of over 15 million q; barley follows with a slightly smaller extension and a production of 12-13 million q per year. Rice (lower Mesopotamia) is also present with 91. 000 ha and 1.5-1.8 million q per year. THERE. it currently supplies over 70% of the world production of dates (over 3 million q per year), largely destined for export, and has about 32 million date palms. However, there is no lack of temperate fruit crops in the north and Mediterranean ones, such as citrus fruits, in the south of the country. Cotton growing is also under development, which in 1957 had 65,000 ha, and whose production is around 140,000 q of fiber per year. Other noteworthy industrial plants are tobacco and opium, grown in Mesopotamia. Various projects, including the filling of some depressions and the transformation of lake Ḥabbāniyyah into a reservoir, should allow a significant increase in irrigated areas, currently estimated at 29,000 km opium, grown in Mesopotamia. Various projects, including the filling of some depressions and the transformation of lake Ḥabbāniyyah into a reservoir, should allow a significant increase in irrigated areas, currently estimated at 29,000 km opium, grown in Mesopotamia. Various projects, including the filling of some depressions and the transformation of lake Ḥabbāniyyah into a reservoir, should allow a significant increase in irrigated areas, currently estimated at 29,000 km2. For Iraq 2000, please check neovideogames.com.
Breeding. – The livestock population has remained more or less unchanged, except for the sharp decrease in camels (from 300,000 to 200,000). Cattle 721,000, buffaloes 28,000, sheep about 10 million, horses 300,000, donkeys 1,000,000, mules 500,000 (estimates between 1953 and 1957).
Mining production. – From 1949 to 1959 the production of Iraqi oil wells increased considerably, as appears from the following table:
The main fields are those around Kirkuk and Basra, the first connected by a system of oil pipelines to the Mediterranean coast (Bainiyas, Tripoli di Syria, Sidon and Haifā); other fields near Mosul and az-Zubair. Refineries have sprung up in Kirkuk, Khanaqin, Daura and Basra. The inflow of oil to the Mediterranean is often discontinuous due to the difficult relations with neighboring countries (the oil pipeline to Haifā has been unused for years); therefore, the expansion of oil deposits on the Persian Gulf is planned.
Communications. – In addition to the railway that crosses the country from North to South, a new line is planned between Baghdād and Basra, via Kut and en-Nāşiriyyah, with which the railway network will develop about 2,600 km. The road network was 5,810 km in 1957. Baghdād and Basra have civilian airports also served by international lines.
Finances. – The Iraqi Development Agency was established in 1950 and is credited with a large percentage of the payments the government receives from oil companies. The coordination and financing activities carried out by this body are concentrated in the agricultural and infrastructure sectors (roads, bridges, dams, etc.). There is also considerable funding for various industrial sectors and for social projects (public buildings, schools, hospitals, etc.). The balance of payments developed satisfactorily on the whole, the surplus recorded by transactions in the oil sector having served to offset the deficit accrued in the exchanges of other goods and services.
Since 1947, the Iraq has a central bank: the National Bank of Iraq. In September 1949, the new gold parity (z, 48828 grams of fine per 1 dinar) and the official exchange rate with the dollar (2.8 US dollars for the dinar) were declared.