Iraq Population and Economy

By | December 19, 2021


The events of the population began in Iraq in ancient times, linked to the exploitation of the fertile lands of Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates; in the 8th century. AD, at the point where the rivers come closest, Baghdad was founded, which soon became one of the greatest Islamic centers. Then began in those territories, probably at the time of the Mongol invasion, a phase of progressive decline, during which the residents began to abandon the agricultural economy in favor of nomadism. The general conditions of economic backwardness also heavily influenced the processes of demographic growth and even in the years in which the British implemented their interventions to modernize the Iraqi economic apparatus, and up to the Second World War, the increase was always modest. Between 1940 and 1950 a progressive increase began, which, in the second half of the 1970s, reached the value of 3.5%. The political events that have affected the country during the 1980s and 1990s have significantly altered the demographic and settlement framework. Despite this, and despite the uncertainties and economic difficulties that still grip the Iraq, the population continues to increase at a rapid pace. The birth rate is still very high (30 ‰ in 2009), even if offset by a high infant mortality rate. The urban population represents 67% of the total, but the proper urban functions are performed only by a few cities, among which Baghdad, Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk predominate.and as-Sulaymaniyah. There are numerous nomads (perhaps 350,000; according to the latest estimate, dating back to 1957, there were 260,000), who live in the steppe or desert regions, mainly in the south-western part of the country. Under the ethnic profile there are no major differences, since, compared to the dominant Arab component (65%), only that represented by the Kurds (23%), who occupy the northernmost section of the country, constitutes a significant entity (see fig. ) The national language is Arabic, but ethnic minorities often speak their own languages ​​or dialects, for example Kurdish, the Iranian language, is spoken among the Kurds. It is estimated that over 90% of the population profess the Islamic religion (Shiites 62.5%, Sunnis 34.5%).

Economic conditions

After the proclamation of the republic, the Iraqi economy had taken on a strong managerial character and the process of nationalization of the sources of production, in the hands of landowners linked to the monarchy, began. In the early 1980s the Iraq it could be considered the Arab country with the greatest potential for development, thanks to the enormous oil resources, the relatively large population compared to that of the other states in the region, the availability of workforce and the possibilities for growth in the agricultural sector. However, every economic development project and program has been swept away by the conflicts that have come and gone over the course of a few years. In particular, the consequences of the first Gulf War were very serious, as the country has not only suffered the almost complete destruction of its infrastructures, but has also been subjected to international sanctions applied by the UN for the failure of the Baghdad government to comply with the peace agreements. The devastation of the 2003 war was added to the picture already so seriously compromised. The subsequent civil war made any prospect of recovery very difficult. For Iraq business, please check

As regards the various production activities, it is difficult to draw a picture, given the poor reliability of the statistics. Despite growing food needs, agricultural production records a slow but steady decline (approximately −2.3% per year) and the number of livestock also decreases, except for poultry and sheep, the only resource. of nomadic groups (6,200,000 heads in 2005). The secondary sector contributes a modest part to the formation of GDP and employs less than a fifth of the workforce; it is represented by heavy industries (all owned by the state), military production and light industries, for which there has been an opening to the private sector. The country’s main resource remains oil, the reserves of which would amount, according to an estimate, to over a tenth of the world’s oil reserves and would be equal to those of Saudi Arabia. Also in this case, the production trend was affected by the war events that affected the Iraq in the 1980s and 1990s: from the 168 million tonnes extracted in 1979, in fact, production increased in 1991 to 13.4 million, to then settle around 30-35 million tonnes; however, in the second half of the 1990s production started to rise again and in 2005 it reached almost 100 million tonnes, against a negligible internal consumption. Among the mineral resources of the Iraq the huge reserves of natural gas, whose production is still very limited (1.5 million m3 in 2005) and intended for internal consumption.

In May 2001, the railway connection with Turkey was restored after twenty years. The main port is Basra on the Shatt al-Arab.

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