Statistical information Syria 1992Syria

Map of Syria | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

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Syria - Introduction 1992
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Background: Following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire during World War I Syria was administered by the French until independence in 1946. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. Since 1976 Syrian troops have been stationed in Lebanon ostensibly in a peacekeeping capacity. Talks with Israel over the return of the Golan Heights have recently been revived.

Syria - Geography 1992
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Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 185,180 km²
Land: 184,050 km² (including 1,295 km² of Israeli-occupied territory)
Comparative: slightly larger than North Dakota

Land boundaries: 2,253 km total; Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km

Coastline: 193 km

Maritime claims
Contiguous zone: 6 nm beyond territorial sea limit
Territorial sea: 35 nm
separated from Israel by the 1949 Armistice Line; Golan
Heights is Israeli occupied; Hatay question with Turkey; periodic disputes with Iraq over Euphrates water rights; ongoing dispute over water development plans by Turkey for the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers

Climate: mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast

Terrain: primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west


Natural resources: crude oil, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum
Land use

Land use: arable land: 28%; permanent crops: 3%; meadows and pastures 46%; forest and woodland 3%; other 20%; includes irrigated 3%

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Syria - People 1992
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13,730,436 (July 1992), growth rate 3.8% (1992); in addition, there are at least 14,500 Druze and 14,000 Jewish settlers in the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (1992 est.)

Nationality: noun - Syrian(s; adjective - Syrian

Ethnic groups: Arab 90.3%; Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%

Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian;
French widely understood

Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%,
Christian (various sects) 10%, tiny Jewish communities in Damascus, Al
Qamishli, and Aleppo

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 44 births/1000 population (1992)

Death rate: 7 deaths/1000 population (1992)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1992)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification
Current issues note:
there are 38 Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied Golan

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 45 deaths/1000 live births (1992)

Life expectancy at birth: 65 years male, 67 years female (1992)

Total fertility rate: 6.9 children born/woman (1992)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 64% (male 78%, female 51%) age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Syria - Government 1992
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Country name
Conventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic

Government type: republic; under leftwing military regime since March 1963

Capital: Damascus

Administrative divisions:
14 provinces (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah); Al Hasakah, Al Ladhiqiyah, Al Qunaytirah, Ar Raqqah, As
Suwayda', Dar`a, Dayr az Zawr, Dimashq, Halab, Hamah, Hims, Idlib, Rif
Dimashq, Tartus

Dependent areas

Independence: 17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration; formerly United Arab Republic

National holiday: National Day, 17 April (1946)

Constitution: 13 March 1973

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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: universal at age 18
President: last held 2 December 1991 (next to be held December 1998); results - President Hafiz al-ASAD was reelected for a fourth seven-year term with 99.98% of the vote
People's Council:
last held 22-23 May 1990 (next to be held NA May 1994); results - Ba`th 53.6%, ASU 3.2%, SCP 3.2%, Arab Socialist Unionist
Movement 2.8%, ASP 2%, Democratic Socialist Union Party 1.6%, independents 33.6%; seats - (250 total) Ba`th 134, ASU 8, SCP 8, Arab Socialist Unionist
Movement 7, ASP 5, Democratic Socialist Union Party 4, independents 84; note - the People's Council was expanded to 250 seats total prior to the May 1990 election

Communists: Syrian Communist Party (SCP)

Executive branch: president, three vice presidents, prime minister, three deputy prime ministers, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Council (Majlis al-Chaab)

Judicial branch:
Supreme Constitutional Court, High Judicial Council,
Court of Cassation, State Security Courts

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation:

Diplomatic representation:
Ambassador Walid MOUALEM; Chancery at 2,215
Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20,008; telephone (202) 232-6,313

Ambassador Christopher W. S. ROSS; Embassy at Abu Rumaneh, Al Mansur
Street No. 2, Damascus (mailing address is P. O. Box 29, Damascus); telephone 963 (11) 333,052 or 332,557, 330,416, 332,814, 332,315, 714,108, 337,178, 333,232; FAX 963 (11) 718-687

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Syria:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with two small green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; similar to the flag of Yemen, which has a plain white band and of Iraq, which has three green stars (plus an Arabic inscription) in a horizontal line centered in the white band; also similar to the flag of
Egypt, which has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Syria - Economy 1992
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Economy overview:
Syria's state-dominated Ba`thist economy has benefited from the Gulf war, increased oil production, good weather, and economic deregulation. Economic growth averaged nearly 12% annually in 1990-91, buoyed by increased oil production and improved agricultural performance.
The Gulf war of early 1991 provided Syria an aid windfall of several billion dollars from Arab, European, and Japanese donors. These inflows more than offset Damascus's war-related costs and will help Syria cover some of its debt arrears, restore suspended credit lines, and initiate selected military and civilian purchases. For the long run, Syria's economy is still saddled with a large number of poorly performing public sector firms; investment levels remain low; and industrial and agricultural productivity is poor. A major long-term concern is the additional drain of upstream Euphrates water by Turkey when its vast dam and irrigation projects are completed by mid-decade.

GDP: exchange rate conversion - $30 billion, per capita $2,300; real growth rate 11% (1991 est.)

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 27% of GDP and one-third of labor force; all major crops (wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas) grown mainly on rainfed land causing wide swings in production; animal products - beef, lamb, eggs, poultry, milk; not self-sufficient in grain or livestock products

Industries: textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, petroleum

Industrial production growth rate:
growth rate 6% (1991 est.); accounts for 17% of

Labor force: 2,400,000; miscellaneous and government services 36%, agriculture 32%, industry and construction 32%; majority unskilled; shortage of skilled labor (1984)
Organized labor: 5% of labor force
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $5.4 billion; expenditures $7.5 billion, including capital expenditures of $2.9 billion (1991 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $3.6 billion (f.o.b., 1991 est.)
Commodoties: petroleum 40%, farm products 13%, textiles, phosphates (1989)
USSR and Eastern Europe 42%, EC 31%, Arab countries 17%,
US/Canada 2% (1989)

Imports: $2.7 billion (f.o.b., 1991 est.)
Commodoties: foodstuffs and beverages 21%, metal and metal products 16%, machinery 14%, textiles, petroleum products (1989)
EC 42%, USSR and Eastern Europe 13%, other Europe 13%,
US/Canada 8%, Arab countries 6% (1989)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Syrian pounds (#S) per US$1 - 22.0 (promotional rate since 1991), 11.2250 (fixed rate 1987-90), 3.9250 (fixed rate 1976-87)

Syria - Energy 1992
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 3,005,000 kW capacity; 8,800 million kWh produced, 680 kWh per capita (1991)

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Syria - Communication 1992
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Syria - Military 1992
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: exchange rate conversion - $2.5 billion, 8% of GDP (1989)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Syria - Transportation 1992
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

104 total, 100 usable; 24 with permanent-surface runways; none
with runways over 3,659 m; 21
with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 3
with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways


Pipelines: crude oil 1,304 km, petroleum products 515 km



Waterways: 672 km; minimal economic importance

Merchant marine:
29 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 85,417
GRT/138,078 DWT; includes 25 cargo, 1 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 1 vehicle carrier, 2 bulk

Civil air: 35 major transport aircraft

Ports and terminals

Syria - Transnational issues 1992
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Economy Bookings

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