Skip to main content
Flag of Iraq

Iraq country facts

Republic of Iraq Middle East Baghdad 32,585,692 inhabitants 438,317 sq km 74.34 inhabitants/sq km Iraqi dinars (IQD) population evolution



Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009 and April 2013, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.



Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

Geographic coordinates

33 00 N, 44 00 E

Area (sq km)

total: 438,317 sq km
land: 437,367 sq km
water: 950 sq km

Area - comparative (sq km)

slightly more than three times the size of New York state
Area comparison map

Land boundaries (km)

total: 3,809 km
border countries: Iran 1,599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km

Coastline (km)

58 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
continental shelf: not specified


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 that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq


mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Elevation extremes (m)

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Cheekha Dar (Kurdish for "Black Tent"); 3,611 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Land use (%)

arable land: 9.19%
permanent crops: 0.48%
other: 90.33% (2011)

Irrigated land (sq km)

35,250 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources (cu km)

89.86 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) ()

total: 66 cu km/yr (7%/15%/79%)
per capita: 2,616 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards

dust storms; sandstorms; floods

Environment - current issues

government water control projects have drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who 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 the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note

strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

People and Society


noun: Iraqi(s)
adjective: Iraqi

Ethnic groups (%)

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

Languages (%)

Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect) and Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic) are official in areas where they constitute a majority of the population), Armenian

Religions (%)

Muslim (official) 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian 0.8%, Hindu <.1, Buddhist <.1, Jewish <.1, folk religion <.1, unafilliated .1, other <.1
note: while there has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq, recent reporting indicates that the overall Christian population may have dropped by as much as 50 percent since the fall of the Saddam HUSSEIN regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon (2010 est.)


32,585,692 (July 2014 est.)   evolution and prospects (1950-2100)

Age structure (%)

0-14 years: 36.7% (male 6,093,069/female 5,878,590)
15-24 years: 19.6% (male 3,237,212/female 3,142,202)
25-54 years: 36.3% (male 6,032,379/female 5,785,967)
55-64 years: 4.2% (male 652,973/female 713,662)
65 years and over: 3.2% (male 487,841/female 561,797) (2014 est.)

Age structure in Iraq

Median age (years)

total: 21.5 years
male: 21.4 years
female: 21.6 years (2014 est.)

Population growth rate (%)

2.23% (2014 est.)

Birth rate (births/1,000 population)

26.85 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Death rate (deaths/1,000 population)

4.57 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Net migration rate (migrant(s)/1,000 population)

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)

Urbanization (%)

urban population: 66.5% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 3.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BAGHDAD (capital) 6.036 million; Mosul 1.494 million; Erbil 1.039 million; Basra 942,000; As Sulaymaniyah 867,000; Najaf 779,000 (2011)

Sex ratio (male(s)/female)

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.87 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate (deaths/100,000 live births)

63 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate (deaths/1,000 live births)

total: 37.53 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 41.57 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 33.28 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)

Life expectancy at birth (years)

total population: 71.42 years
male: 69.93 years
female: 72.99 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate (children born/woman)

3.41 children born/woman (2014 est.)

Health expenditures (% of GDP)

8.3% of GDP (2011)

Physicians density (physicians/1,000 population)

0.61 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density (beds/1,000 population)

1.3 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source (% of population)

improved: urban: 93.9% of population
rural: 68.5% of population
total: 85.4% of population
unimproved: urban: 6.1% of population
rural: 31.5% of population
total: 14.6% of population (2012 est.)

Sanitation facility access (% of population)

improved: urban: 86.2% of population
rural: 81.8% of population
total: 84.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 13.8% of population
rural: 18.2% of population
total: 15.3% of population (2012 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate (%)

less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

fewer than 500 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths


Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: intermediate
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate (%)

27% (2008)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight (%)

7.1% (2006)

Education expenditures (% of GDP)


Literacy (%)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 78.5%
male: 86%
female: 71.2% (2011 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education) (years)

total: 10 years
male: 11 years
female: 9 years (2004)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Iraq
conventional short form: Iraq
local long form: Jumhuriyat al-Iraq/Komar-i Eraq
local short form: Al Iraq/Eraq

Government type

parliamentary democracy


name: Baghdad
geographic coordinates: 33 20 N, 44 24 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah (Arabic); parezgakan, singular - parezga (Kurdish)) and 1 region*; Al Anbar; Al Basrah; Al Muthanna; Al Qadisiyah (Ad Diwaniyah); An Najaf; Arbil (Erbil) (Arabic), Hewler (Kurdish); As Sulaymaniyah (Arabic), Slemani (Kurdish); Babil; Baghdad; Dahuk (Arabic), Dihok (Kurdish); Dhi Qar; Diyala; Karbala'; Kirkuk; Kurdistan Regional Government*; Maysan; Ninawa; Salah ad Din; Wasit


3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government

National holiday

Republic Day, July 14 (1958); note - the Government of Iraq has yet to declare an official national holiday but still observes Republic Day


several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 October 2005 (2013)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Jalal TALABANI (since 6 April 2005)
head of government: Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI (since 20 May 2006)
cabinet: The Council of Ministers consists of the prime minister and cabinet ministers the prime minister proposes; approved by an absolute majority vote by the Council of Representatives
elections: president elected by Council of Representatives (parliament) to serve a four-year term (eligible for a second term); presidential election in parliament last held on 11 November 2010 (next to be held on 30 April 2014)
election results: President Jalal TALABANI reelected on 11 November 2010; Council of Representatives vote count on second ballot - 195 votes; Nuri al-MALIKI reelected prime minister

Legislative branch

unicameral Council of Representatives (325 seats consisting of 317 members elected by an optional open-list and representing a specific governorate, proportional representation system and 8 seats reserved for minorities; members serve 4-year terms); note - Iraq's Constitution calls for the establishment of an upper house, the Federation Council
elections: last held on 7 March 2010 (next to be held on 30 April 2014 for an enlarged 328-seat parliament)
election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by coalition - Iraqi National Movement 25.9%, State of Law coalition 25.8%, Iraqi National Alliance 19.4%, Kurdistan Alliance 15.3%, Goran (Change) List 4.4%, Tawafuq Front 2.7%, Iraqi Unity Alliance 2.9%, Kurdistan Islamic Union 2.3%, Kurdistan Islamic Group 1.4%; seats by coalition - NA

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or FSC (consists of 9 judges); note - court jurisdiction limited to constitutional issues); Court of Cassation (consists of a court president, 5 vice-presidents, and at least 24 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Federal Supreme Court and Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Higher Juridical Council, a 26-member independent committee of judicial officials; FSC members appointed for life ; Court of Cassation judges appointed for 1-year probationary period and upon satisfactory performance may be confirmed for permanent tenure until retirement at age 63
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); courts of first instance; personal status, labor, criminal, juvenile, and religious courts

Political parties and leaders

Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
Da'wa Party (Islamic) [Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI]
Da'wa Tanzim [Hashim al-MUSAWI branch]
Da-wa Tanzim [Abd al-Karim al-ANZI branch]
Fadilah Party [Hasan al-SHAMMARI and Ammar TUAMA]
Goran (Change) List (also known as the Movement for Change) [Nushirwan MUSTAFA]
Iraqi Covenant Gathering [Ahmad Abd al-Ghafur al-SAMARRAI]
Iraqi Constitutional Party [Jawad al-BULANI]
Iraqi Front for National Dialogue [Deputy Prime Minister Salih al-MUTLAQ]
Iraqi Islamic Party or IIP [Usama al-TIKRITI]
Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement [Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR]
Iraqi National Accord or INA [Ayad ALLAWI]
Iraqi National Alliance [Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
Iraqi National Congress or INC [Ahmad CHALABI]
Iraqi National Movement (see Iraqi National Accord)
Iraqi Unity Alliance [Nauaf Saud ZAID]
Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI [Ammar al-HAKIM]
Kurdistan Alliance
Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Kurdistan Regional Government President Masud BARZANI]
Kurdistan Islamic Group (also called Islamic Group of Kurdistan) [Ali BAPIR]
Kurdistan Islamic Union [ Mohammed FARAI]
Future National Gathering [Finance Minister Rafi al-ISSAWI]
National Iraqiyun Gathering [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
National Movement for Reform and Development [Jamal al-KARBULI]
National Reform Trend (part of the National Iraqi Alliance) [former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [President Jalal TALABANI]
Sadrist Trend [Muqtada al-SADR]
Sahawa al-Iraq [Ahmad al-RISHAWI]
State of Law Coalition [Nouri al-MALIKI]
United Coalition [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
note: numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Sunni militias
Shia militias, some associated with political parties

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Luqman Abd al-Rahim FAYLI (since 31 May 2013)
chancery: 3421 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 742-1600
FAX: [1] (202) 333-1129
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Robert Stephen BEECROFT (since 9 October 2012)
embassy: Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
mailing address: APO AE 09316
telephone: 0760-030-3000

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great") in green Arabic script is centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); the Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag
note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two stars but no script, Yemen, which has a plain white band, and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band

National symbol(s)

golden eagle

National anthem

name: "Mawtini" (My Homeland)
lyrics/music: Ibrahim TOUQAN/Mohammad FLAYFEL
note: adopted 2004; following the ousting of Saddam HUSSEIN, Iraq adopted "Mawtini," a popular folk song throughout the Arab world, which also serves as an unofficial anthem of the Palestinian people


Economy - overview

An improving security environment and foreign investment are helping to spur economic activity, particularly in the energy, construction, and retail sectors. Broader economic development, long-term fiscal health, and sustained improvements in the overall standard of living still depend on the central government passing major policy reforms. Iraq's largely state-run economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides more than 90% of government revenue and 80% of foreign exchange earnings. Iraq in 2012 boosted oil exports to a 30-year high of 2.6 million barrels per day, a significant increase from Iraq's average of 2.2 million in 2011. Government revenues increased as global oil prices remained persistently high for much of 2012. Iraq's contracts with major oil companies have the potential to further expand oil exports and revenues, but Iraq will need to make significant upgrades to its oil processing, pipeline, and export infrastructure to enable these deals to reach their economic potential. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region's (IKR) autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) passed its own oil law in 2007, and has directly signed about 50 contracts to develop IKR energy reserves. The federal government has disputed the legal authority of the KRG to conclude most of these contracts, some of which are also in areas with unresolved administrative boundaries in dispute between the federal and regional government. Iraq is making slow progress enacting laws and developing the institutions needed to implement economic policy, and political reforms are still needed to assuage investors' concerns regarding the uncertain business climate, which may have been harmed by the November 2012 standoff between Baghdad and Erbil and the removal of the Central Bank Governor in October 2012. The government of Iraq is eager to attract additional foreign direct investment, but it faces a number of obstacles including a tenuous political system and concerns about security and societal stability. Rampant corruption, outdated infrastructure, insufficient essential services, skilled labor shortages, and antiquated commercial laws stifle investment and continue to constrain growth of private, nonoil sectors. Iraq is considering a package of laws to establish a modern legal framework for the oil sector and a mechanism to equitably divide oil revenues within the nation, although these reforms are still under contentious and sporadic negotiation. Under the Iraqi Constitution, some competencies relevant to the overall investment climate are either shared by the federal government and the regions or are devolved entirely to the regions. Investment in the IKR operates within the framework of the Kurdistan Region Investment Law (Law 4 of 2006) and the Kurdistan Board of Investment, which is designed to provide incentives to help economic development in areas under the authority of the KRG. Inflation has remained under control since 2006 as security improved. However, Iraqi leaders remain hard pressed to translate macroeconomic gains into an improved standard of living for the Iraqi populace. Unemployment remains a problem throughout the country despite a bloated public sector. Encouraging private enterprise through deregulation would make it easier for Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. Rooting out corruption and implementing reforms - such as restructuring banks and developing the private sector - would be important steps in this direction.

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$249.4 billion (2013 est.)
$239.3 billion (2012 est.)
$220.7 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$221.8 billion (2013 est.)

GDP - real growth rate (%)

4.2% (2013 est.)
8.4% (2012 est.)
8.6% (2011 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$7,100 (2013 est.)
$7,100 (2012 est.)
$6,800 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars

GDP - composition, by sector of origin (%)

agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 64.6%
services: 32.1% (2013 est.)

Labor force

8.9 million (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation (%)

agriculture: 21.6%
industry: 18.7%
services: 59.8% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate (%)

16% (2012 est.)
15% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line (%)

25% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share (%)

lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)


revenues: $99.52 billion
expenditures: $97.42 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues (% of GDP)

44.9% of GDP (2013 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) (% of GDP)

0.9% of GDP (2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) (%)

2% (2013 est.)
6.1% (2012 est.)

Central bank discount rate (%)

6% (December 2012)
6% (December 2011)

Commercial bank prime lending rate (%)

6% (31 December 2013 est.)
6% (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$62.33 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$54.68 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of broad money

$74.81 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$64.74 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$-3.902 million (31 December 2013 est.)
$-3.981 million (31 December 2012 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares

$4 billion (9 December 2011)
$2.6 billion (31 July 2010)
$2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry


petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing

Industrial production growth rate (%)

6.9% (2013 est.)

Current account balance

$12.85 billion (2013 est.)
$29.54 billion (2012 est.)


$91.99 billion (2013 est.)
$94.21 billion (2012 est.)

Exports - commodities (%)

crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels, food and live animals

Exports - partners (%)

US 21.1%, India 20.2%, China 13.6%, South Korea 11%, Canada 4.7%, Italy 4.4%, Spain 4.2% (2012)


$66.61 billion (2013 est.)
$50.16 billion (2012 est.)

Imports - commodities (%)

food, medicine, manufactures

Imports - partners (%)

Turkey 27.5%, Syria 16.2%, China 12.5%, US 5.2%, South Korea 4.7% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$71.24 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$70.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

External debt ($)

$59.49 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$60.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

Exchange rates

Currency converter
Iraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -
1,166 (2013 est.)
1,166.17 (2012 est.)
1,170 (2010 est.)
1,170 (2009)
1,176 (2008)

Fiscal year

calendar year


Electricity - production (kWh)

62.3 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption (kWh)

53.41 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - exports (kWh)

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports (kWh)

9.802 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity (kW)

11.2 million kW (2013 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels (% of total installed capacity)

92% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants (% of total installed capacity)

7.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources (% of total installed capacity)

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Crude oil - production (bbl/day)

2.979 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - exports (bbl/day)

2.39 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports (bbl/day)

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves (bbl)

141.4 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production (bbl/day)

492,800 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption (bbl/day)

818,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports (bbl/day)

3,832 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports (bbl/day)

172,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Natural gas - production (cu m)

880 million cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - consumption (cu m)

1.3 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - imports (cu m)

0 cu m (2011 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves (cu m)

3.158 trillion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy (Mt)

139.4 million Mt (2011 est.)


Telephones - main lines in use

1.87 million (2012)

Telephones - mobile cellular

26.76 million (2012)

Telephone system

general assessment: the 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq including international connections; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications through fiber optic links are in progress; the mobile cellular market has expanded rapidly to some 27 million subscribers by the end of 2012
domestic: repairs to switches and lines destroyed during 2003 continue; additional switching capacity is improving access; 3 GSM operators since 2007 have expanded beyond their regional roots and offer near country-wide access to second-generation services; third-generation mobile services are not available nationwide; wireless local loop is available in some metropolitan areas and additional licenses have been issued with the hope of overcoming the lack of fixed-line infrastructure
international: country code - 964; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region, and 1 Arabsat (inoperative)); local microwave radio relay connects border regions to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; international terrestrial fiber-optic connections have been established with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iran; links to the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the Gulf Bridge International (GBI) submarine fiber-optic cables have been established (2011)

Broadcast media

the number of private radio and TV stations has increased rapidly since 2003; government-owned TV and radio stations are operated by the publicly funded Iraqi Public Broadcasting Service; private broadcast media are mostly linked to political, ethnic, or religious groups; satellite TV is available to an estimated 70% of viewers and many of the broadcasters are based abroad; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are accessible (2007)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

26 (2012)

Internet users

325,900 (2009)



102 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 72
over 3,047 m: 20
2,438 to 3,047 m: 34
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 7 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 30
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 6 (2013)


16 (2013)

Pipelines (km)

gas 2,455 km; liquid petroleum gas 913 km; oil 5,432 km; refined products 1,637 km (2013)

Railways (km)

total: 2,370 km
standard gauge: 2,370 km 1.435-m gauge (2012)

Roadways (km)

total: 59,623 km
paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)

Waterways (km)

5,279 km (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways) (2012)

Merchant marine

total: 2
by type: petroleum tanker 2
registered in other countries: 2 (Marshall Islands 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Al Basrah (Shatt al-'Arab); Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr (Khawr az Zubayr waterway)


Military branches

Counterterrorism Service Forces: Counterterrorism Command; Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF); Ministry of Defense Forces: Iraqi Army (includes Army Aviation Directorate, former National Guard Iraqi Intervention Forces, and Strategic Infrastructure Battalions), Iraqi Navy (former Iraqi Coastal Defense Force, includes Iraq Marine Force), Iraqi Air Force (Al-Quwwat al-Jawwiya al-Iraqiya) (2011)

Military service age and obligation (years of age)

18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)

Manpower available for military service

males age 16-49: 7,767,329
females age 16-49: 7,461,766 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 16-49: 6,591,185
females age 16-49: 6,421,717 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually

male: 332,194
female: 322,010 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures (% of GDP)

2.88% of GDP (2012)
3.27% of GDP (2011)
2.88% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Turkey has expressed concern over the autonomous status of Kurds in Iraq

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 15,496 (Turkey); 9,992 (West Bank and Gaza Strip); 7,992 (Iran) (2013); 225,475 (Syria) (2014)
IDPs: 1.545 million (since 2006 from ethno-sectarian violence) (2014)
stateless persons: 120,000 (2012); note - in the 1970s and 1980s under SADDAM Husayn's administration, thousands of Iraq's Faili Kurds, followers of Shia Islam, were stripped of their Iraqi citizenship, had their property seized by the government, and many were deported; some Faili Kurds had their citizenship reinstated under the 2006 Iraqi Nationality Law, but others lack the documentation to prove their Iraqi origins; some Palestinian refugees, who were also persecuted under the SADDAM Husayn regime, still remain stateless in Iraq

Largest cities of Iraq

These are the 50 largest cities of Iraq ordered based on their number of inhabitants.

# City Population
1 Baghdad 5,672,516
2 Irbil 932,854
3 Kirkuk 601,442
4 Dahuk 129,127
5 Tikrit 42,616
6 Balad 42,227
7 Sinjar 38,437
8 Bayji 36,574
9 Hit 32,008
10 Kifri 30,241
11 Mandali 29,882
12 Panjwin 27,219
13 Tall Kayf 23,613
14 Rawah 20,649