Facts about Syria

Facts about Syria

1. Cold steel: Swords from Damascus have been very popular and prized throughout history. According to written sources, the blades of the swords were “forged by cooling in the urine of the red-haired boy or in the body of a muscular slave”

2. Paul: According to the Bible, it was on the road to Damascus that the Apostle Paul received a revelation and was converted to Christianity. He was subsequently baptized in Damascus and also escaped the city’s governor (who wanted to arrest him) by being hoisted in a bucket from a window in the city wall

3. The Argentinian connection: Around 1.3 million Argentines have Syrian or Lebanese roots, with many Syrians and Lebanese settling in Argentina in the 19th century. The parents of former Argentine President Carlos Menem came from the Syrian village of Yabrud

4. Early habitation: From around 10,000 BC (the Neolithic period), Syria was a center of culture of the time and also the place where agriculture and cattle breeding emerged for the first time in world history

5. Damascus: It is known for certain that the capital of Syria – Damascus – has been inhabited since 6300 BC, although evidence of settlements have been found as far back as 9000 BC. This makes Damascus one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (if not the oldest). Today, the city is home to around 1.7 million inhabitants

Fact: Syria has been inhabited by humans for a very long time. This figurine is approximately 7000 years old
Attribution: PHGCOM – Wikipedia.org

Fact: Syria’s capital Damascus is one of the longest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Here you can see a Syrian figurine from 5000 BC.

 

6. Ebla: The city-state of Ebla was founded in 3000 BC and gained great wealth by trading with the surrounding states and cities (especially Sumer, Assyria and Akkad) and peoples (especially the Hurrians and Hattians)

7. Changing rulers: From the time of Ebla’s founding until around 900 BC, Syria was conquered numerous times – from Assyrians, Egyptians and Hittites to Romans, Greeks and Arabs. In the period from 900 BC to the early 1900s, the country again had a succession of rulers, including: European Crusaders, Kurds, Mongols, Mamluks and Ottomans, eventually being divided between Britain and France in 1916.

8. French mandate: In 1920, Syria was invaded by France, who remained in power in the country until 1946, when they withdrew their troops under pressure from the British and Syrian nationalists. Syria was left in the hands of a republican government that had been formed in 1930 under the French mandate and became officially independent from France

9. Ba’ath party: In 1958, Syria and Egypt formed the United Arab Republic as part of a plan for a pan-Arab state. However, this only lasted until 1961, when Syria left the republic. From then until 2000, Syria was ruled by the pan-Arab socialist Ba’ath Party. President Hafez al-Assad died in 2000 and his son, Bassar al-Assad, was elected as the country’s new (and current) president

10. The civil war in Syria: The civil war in Syria started on March 15, 2011, when a series of peaceful protests – inspired by the Arab Spring – were brutally suppressed by the Syrian army. The fighting is between two Muslim groups: 1) the opposition, made up primarily of Sunni Muslims, against 2) the government’s prominent figures, who are Alawites (also Muslims)

Syria offers many ruins of ancient civilizations
Attribution: Johan Siegers + UltraView Admin + Pinkospy – Flickr.com

The many peoples who have conquered Syria over time have left their mark; top left is the Byzantine church of Simeon Stylites, right is the Crusader Krak des Chevaliers and bottom is the temple in the Arab ruined city of Palmyra

Geographic facts

  • Location: Middle East. Between Lebanon and Turkey with coastline towards the Mediterranean Sea
  • Country borders: Iraq (605 km), Israel (76 km), Jordan (375 km), Lebanon (375 km) and Turkey (822 km)
  • Coastline: 193 km
  • Climate: Mostly dry desert climate. Along the coast: hot, dry, sunny summers (June - August) and mild, rainy winters (December - February). In the capital Damascus, the weather is generally colder with occasional sleet or snowfall
  • Landscape: Generally semi-arid and desert plateau. Narrow coastal plain. Mountains in the west
  • Lowest point: -200 m (an unnamed area by Lake Genesaret)
  • Highest point: 2,814 m (Mount Hermon)
  • Natural resources: Petroleum, phosphates, chromium, manganese, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum and hydropower
  • Largest city: Aleppo
  • Capital city: Damaskus
  • Total area (square kilometers): 185.180,00 (2021)
  • Land areas (km2): 180.422,92 (2015)
  • Urban areas (km2): 5.092,25 (2015)
  • Agricultural land (km2): 139.133,76 (2021)
  • Agricultural area (% of total area): 75,77 (2021)
  • Forest area (% of land area): 2,84 (2021)
  • Plant species (higher), endangered: 26,00 (2018)
  • CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita): 1,21 (2020)

Demographic facts

Population

  • Population density (people per km2 total area): 35,20 (2007)
  • Population of largest city: 0,10 (2022)
  • Population growth (annual %): n/a
  • Population, total: n/a
  • Population growth in urban areas (annual %): n/a
  • Population in urban areas (% of total population): n/a
  • Population in rural areas (% of total population): 3,37 (2023)
  • Population growth in rural areas (annual %): 79,65 (2023)
  • Etniske grupper: 90.3% Arabs - also Kurds and Armenians. 9.7% others
  • Sprog: Arabic (the official language), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian (understood by many), French, English
  • Religioner: 74% Sunni Muslims, 16% other Muslims (incl. Alawites and Druze), 10% Christians, 10% Jews (small communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli and Aleppo)
  • Net immigration: 1,19 (2016)

Birth and death rates

  • Fertility rate, total (births per woman): 2,70 (2022)
  • Birth rate, gross (per 1,000 inhabitants): 20,53 (2022)
  • Teenage mothers (% of women aged 15-19 who have had children or are pregnant): 5,98 (2023)
  • Death rate, gross (per 1,000 people): 5,05 (2022)
  • Life expectancy at birth, women (years): 72,30 (2022)
  • Life expectancy at birth, men (years): 615.703,17 (2022)
  • Life expectancy at birth, all (years): 94,42 (2021)
  • Mortality caused by traffic accidents (per 100,000 inhabitants): 199,42 (2022)
  • Mortality, women (per 1,000 adult women): 0,70 (2019)
  • Mortality, male (per 1,000 adult males): 3,20 (2019)
  • Suicide rate, women (per 100,000 women): 17,80 (2022)
  • Mortality, infant (per 1,000 live births): 1,42 (2016)

Work, income and education

  • Wage earners, total (% of total labor force): n/a
  • Income share of the highest 10%: 21,10 (2022)
  • Income share of the lowest 10%: 3,80 (2022)
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force): 20,38 (2010)
  • Labor force, total: 68,67 (2022)
  • Workforce with basic education (% of the workforce): 6.314.719,00 (2023)
  • Labor force with medium education (% of labor force): 76,12 (2022)
  • Number of poor cf. national poverty limits (% of the population): n/a
  • Proportion of the population with moderate or severe food insecurity (%): 2.139,00 (2010)
  • School enrolments, primary school (gross %): 8,61 (2010)
  • Youth unemployment, all young people (% of total labor force aged 15 - 24): n/a
  • Young people not in education, employment or training, total (% of all young people): 0,20 (2019)
  • Literacy/literacy, total adults (% of population over 15): 79,68 (2021)

    Spending

  • Household (and NPIS) consumption expenditure (US$): 65.823.055.452,58 (2021)
  • Electricity consumption (kWh per inhabitant): 908,47 (2014)
  • Inhabitants using the Internet (% of the population): 35,78 (2020)
  • Mobile subscriptions (per 100 people): 90,67 (2022)
  • Number of smokers, total (over 15 years): 57,41 (2023)
  • Alcohol consumption per capita (litres of pure alcohol, expected estimates, +15 years): 63,30 (2022)

Business and tourism

  • Employers, total (% of total labor force): 1,33 (2022)
  • New companies (number of registrations): 2.584.771,00 (2023)
  • New businesses (new registrations per 1,000 inhabitants aged 15 - 64): 116,13 (2021)
  • Listed companies, total: 14,00 (2018)
  • Business conditions (0 = lowest grade to 100 = highest grade): 1.223,00 (2013)
  • International tourism, number of arrivals: 2.424.000,00 (2019)
  • International tourism, number of departures: 6.259.000,00 (2010)
  • Railway lines (total route kilometers): 1.223,00 (2013)
  • Railways, number of passengers transported (million passenger-kilometres): 42,59 (2023)

Health

  • Hospital beds (per 1,000 inhabitants): 1,40 (2017)
  • Suicide rate, men (per 100,000 men): 757.103,00 (2023)
  • Nurses and midwives (per 1,000 inhabitants): 4,86 (2023)
  • Doctors (per 1,000 inhabitants): 23.227.014,00 (2023)
  • Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population aged 15 - 49): 143,20 (2012)

Facts Syria's economy

GDP and GNI

  • BNP (US$): 41,97 (2019)
  • GDP growth (annual %): 8.980.060.818,72 (2021)
  • GDP per capita (US$): 1,30 (2021)
  • GDP, KPP (US$): 421,12 (2021)
  • BNI (US$): 62.150.519.282,12 (2021)
  • GNI growth (annual %): 8.566.766.139,61 (2021)
  • Gross savings (% of GDP): 15,84 (2010)

Inflation, interest rates and consumer prices

  • Deposit rate (%): 4,47 (2012)
  • Lending rate (%): 98,92 (2022)
  • Inflation, consumer prices (annual %): 36,70 (2012)
  • Consumer Price Index (2010 = 100): 143,20 (2012)

Trade and production

  • Trade (% of GDP): n/a
  • Vareeksport (US$): 2.494.887.483,15 (2011)
  • Vareimport (US$): 374,12 (2022)
  • Food exports (% of merchandise exports): 21,02 (2010)
  • Food imports (% of goods imports): 21,04 (2010)
  • Food Production Index (2004 - 2006 = 100): 96,98 (2022)
  • Index of animal production (2004 - 2006 = 100): 5.470.000.000,00 (2023)

Industry

  • Industry (including construction), value added (% of GDP): 28,91 (2021)
  • Industry (including construction), value added (US$): 2.596.359.133,60 (2021)
  • Industry, value added (% of GDP): 7.300.000.000,00 (2023)
  • Industry, value added (US$): 4,06 (2010)

Military

  • Armed forces, total: 269.000,00 (2020)
  • Military expenditure (% of GDP): 97,85 (2021)
  • Military Expenditure (US$): n/a

Others

  • Current health expenditure (% of GDP): 4,47 (2012)
  • Labor tax and contribution (% of company profit): 19,30 (2019)
  • Development Assistance (ODA) received per capita (US$): n/a
  • Social contributions (% of income): n/a