Statistical information Iraq 1996Iraq

Map of Iraq | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Iraq in the World
Iraq in the World


Iraq - Introduction 1996
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Background: Iraq lies in the lower part of the Tigris-Euphrates valley, the heart of one of the four great ancient civilizations. The area was overrun by Arab, Mongol, and Turkish conquerors and became a British mandate following World War I. Independence came in 1932. Iraq's pro-Western stance ended in 1958 with the overthrow of the monarchy. Its subsequent turbulent history has witnessed the dictatorship of SADDAM Husayn, civil war with the Kurds, a bloody conflict with neighboring Iran, and, in 1990, an invasion of Kuwait, swiftly turned back by a Western coalition led by the US. Noncooperation with UN Security Council resolution obligations and the UN's inspection of Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological, and long-range missile weapons programs remain major problems.

Iraq - Geography 1996
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Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 437,072 km²
Land: 432,162 km²
Comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Idaho

Land boundaries: Total 3,631 km, Iran 1,458 km, Jordan 181 km, Kuwait 242 km, Saudi Arabia 814 km, Syria 605 km, Turkey 331 km

Coastline: 58 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: not specified
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: Mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows which melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq

Terrain: Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Extremes lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
Extremes highest point: Gundah Zhur 3,608 m

Natural resources:
Natural gas

Land use

Land use
Arable land: 12%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 9%
Forests and woodland: 3%
Other: 75%

Irrigated land: 25,500 km² (1989 est)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Iraq - People 1996
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21,422,292 (July 1996 est.)
20,643,769 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
3.69% (1996 est.)
3.72% (1995 est.)

Noun: Iraqi(s)
Adjective: Iraqi

Ethnic groups:
Arab 75%-80%
Kurdish 15%-20%
Turkoman, Assyrian or other 5%

Languages: Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%
Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years:
48% (male 5,179,240; female 5,014,141) (July 1996 est.)
48% (male 5,009,513; female 4,850,028) (July 1995 est.)

15-64 years:
49% (male 5,342,529; female 5,228,802) (July 1996 est.)
49% (male 5,125,191; female 5,021,710) (July 1995 est.)

65 years and over:
3% (male 307,097; female 350,483) (July 1996 est.)
3% (male 298,537; female 338,790) (July 1995 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
3.69% (1996 est.)
3.72% (1995 est.)

Birth rate:
43.07 births/1000 population (1996 est.)
43.6 births/1000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate:
6.57 deaths/1000 population (1996 est.)
6.82 deaths/1000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate:
0.37 migrant(s)/1000 population (1996 est.)
0.39 migrant(s)/1000 population (1995 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas west of Al Qurnah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Shi'a Muslims, who have inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of Tigris-Euphrates Rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salinization) and erosion; desertification
Current issues Natural hazards: duststorms, sandstorms, floods
International agreements: party to_Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban; signed, but not ratified_Environmental Modification

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
All ages:
1.02 male(s)/female (1996 est.) Infant Mortality Rate:60 deaths/1000 live births (1996 est.)
62.4 deaths/1000 live births (1995 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 66.92 years (1996 est.); 66.52 years (1995 est.)
Male: 68.03 years (1996 est.); 65.54 years (1995 est.)
Female: 68.03 years (1996 est.); 67.56 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate:
6.41 children born/woman (1996 est.)
6.56 children born/woman (1995 est.)

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

Definition: age 15 and over that can read and write (1995 est.)
Total population: 58%
Male: 70.7%
Female: 45%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Iraq - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
Conventional short form: Iraq
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah
Local short form: Al Iraq

Government type: Republic

Capital: Baghdad

Administrative divisions: 18 provinces (muhafazat, singular_muhafazah; Al Anbar, Al Basrah, Al Muthanna, Al Qadisiyah, An Najaf, Arbil, As Sulaymaniyah, At Ta'mim, Babil, Baghdad, Dahuk, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Karbala', Maysan, Ninawa, Salah ad Din, Wasit

Dependent areas

Independence: 3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration)

National holiday: Anniversary of the Revolution, 17 July (1968)

Constitution: 22 September 1968, effective 16 July 1970 (provisional Constitution; new constitution drafted in 1990 but not adopted

Legal system: Based on Islamic law in special religious courts, civil law system elsewhere; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President SADDAM Husayn (since 16 July 1979); Vice President Taha Muhyi al-Din MARUF (since 21 April 1974); Vice President Taha Yasin RAMADAN (since 23 March 1991) were elected by a two-thirds majority of the Revolutionary Command Council
Head of government: Prime Minister SADDAM Husayn (since NA May 1994); Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Mikhail AZIZ (since NA 1979)
Saddam Hussayn Revolutionary Command Council: Chairman SADDAM Husayn, Vice Chairman Izzat IBRAHIM al-Duri
Cabinet: Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: Unicameral National Assembly (Majlis Al-Watani):Elections last held 24 March 1996 (next to be held NA); results_percent of vote NA; seats_(250 total, 30 appointed by SADDAM Husayn to represent three northern provonces of Dahuk, Arbil, and As Sulaymaniyah)
Note: In northern Iraq, a "Kurdish Assembly" was elected in May 1992 and calls for Kurdish self-determination within a federated Iraq; the assembly is not recognized by the Baghdad government (see also seperate entry on Kurdistan)

Judicial branch: Court of Cassation

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ABEDA, ACC, AFESD, AL, AMF, CAEU, CCC, ESCWA, FAO, G-19, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ITU, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Iraq: Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with three green five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; the phrase ALLAHU AKBAR (God is Great) in green Arabic script_Allahu to the right of the middle star and Akbar to the left of the middle star_was added in January 1991 during the Persian Gulf crisis; similar to the flag of Syria that has two stars but no script and the flag of Yemen that has a plain white band; also similar to the flag of Egypt that has a symbolic eagle centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Iraq - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: The Ba'thist regime engages in extensive central planning and management of industrial production and foreign trade while leaving some small-scale industry and services and most agriculture to private enterprise. The economy has been dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. In the 1980s, financial problems caused by massive expenditures in the eight-year war with Iran and damage to oil export facilities by Iran, led the government to implement austerity measures and to borrow heavily and later reschedule foreign debt payments; Iraq suffered economic losses of at least $100 billion from the war. After the end of hostilities in 1988, oil exports gradually increased with the construction of new pipelines and restoration of damaged facilities. Agricultural development remained hampered by labor shortages, salinization, and dislocations caused by previous land reform and collectivization programs. The industrial sector, although accorded high priority by the government, also was under financial constraints. Iraq's seizure of Kuwait in August 1990, subsequent international economic embargoes, and military action by an international coalition beginning in January 1991 drastically changed the economic picture. Industrial and transportation facilities, which suffered severe damage, have been partially restored. Oil exports remain at less than 5% of the previous level. Shortages of spare parts continue. Living standards deteriorated even further in 1994 and 1995; consumer prices have more than doubled in both 1994 and 1995. The UN-sponsored economic embargo has reduced exports and imports and has contributed to the sharp rise in prices. The Iraqi Government has been unwilling to abide by UN resolutions so that the economic embargo can be removed. The government's policies of supporting large military and internal security forces and of allocating resources to key supporters of the regime have exacerbated shortages. In brief, per capita output for 1994-95 is well below the 1989-90 level, but any estimate has a wide range of error.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: NA

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: Accounted for 11% of GNP and 30% of labor force before the Gulf war; principal products_wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, other fruit, cotton, wool; livestock_cattle, sheep; not self-sufficient in food output

Petroleum production and refining
Construction materials
Food processing

Industrial production growth rate: Growth rate NA; manufacturing accounts for 10% of GNP (1989)

Labor force: 4.4 million (1989)
By occupation Services: 48%
By occupation Agriculture: 30%
By occupation Industry: 22%
By occupation note: Severe labor shortage; expatriate labor force was about 1,600,000 (July 1990); since then, it has declined substantially
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

Revenues: NA
Expenditures: NA, including capital expenditures of NA

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: total value. $10.4 billion (f.o.b., 1990)
Crude oil and refined products

Spain (1990)

Imports: total value:$6.6 billion (c.i.f., 1990)

U.K. (1990)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $50 billion (1989 est.), excluding debt of about $35 billion owed to Gulf Arab states

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Iraqi dinars (ID) per US$1_3.2169 (fixed official rate since 1982; black-market rate (December 1995) US$1 = 2,900 Iraqi dinars; semi-official rate US$1 = 1,000 Iraqi dinars; (March 1995) US$1 = 1,200 Iraqi dinars; semi-official rate US$1 = 650 Iraqi dinars

Iraq - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 25.7 billion kWh

Electricity consumption
Per capita: 1,247 kWh (1993)

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

Iraq - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 632,000 telephones; reconstitution of damaged telecommunication facilities began after the Gulf war; most damaged facilities have been rebuilt
Domestic: the network consists of coaxial cables and microwave radio relay links
International: 2 INTELSAT (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 GORIZONT (Atlantic Ocean) in the Intersputnik system, and 1 ARABSAT earth station; coaxial cable and microwave radio relay to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; Kuwait line is probably non-operational

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Iraq - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Iraq - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 102
With paved runways over 3047 m: 21
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 34
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 8
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6
With paved runways under 914 m: 16
With paved runways With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 2
With unpaved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 3
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 9
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 5 (1995 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Over 3047 m: 21
2438 to 3047 m: 34
15-24 to 2437 m: 8
914 to 1523 m: 6
Under 914 m: 16
With unpaved runways over 3047 m: 2

Airports with unpaved runways
2438 to 3047 m: 3
15-24 to 2437 m: 9
914 to 1523 m: 5 (1995 est.)

Heliports: 5 (1995 est.)

Pipelines: Crude oil 4,350 km; petroleum products 725 km; natural gas 1,360 km



Waterways: 1,015 km; Shatt al Arab is usually navigable by maritime traffic for about 130 km; channel has been dredged to 3 meters and is in use; Tigris and Euphrates Rivers have navigable sections for shallow-draft watercraft; Shatt al Basrah canal was navigable by shallow-draft craft before closing in 1991 because of the Persian Gulf war

Merchant marine
Total: 36 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 795,346 GRT/1,432,292 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 14, oil tanker 16, passenger 1, passenger-cargo 1, refrigerated cargo 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 3 (1995 est.)

Ports and terminals

Iraq - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Undercover Tourist

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