Facts about Iraq

Facts about Iraq

1. Sandstorms: Sand and dust storms ravage Iraq for 20-50 days every year. They occur most frequently in the summer. The storms can be up to several thousand meters high

2. The Bible: According to the Bible, Abraham was from Ur in southern Iraq. Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, was from Nahor, which is also in Iraq (on the border with Iran). According to legend, the Garden of Eden is also located in Iraq

3. Admiration and praise: If you admire an object in an Iraqi’s home (such as a vase), the Iraqi will typically insist on giving it to you. Therefore, it is common practice not to praise other people’s property too much

4. Tigris and Euphrates: The fertile region between the famous Tigris and Euphrates rivers provided stability for the early populations around 700 BC in the area where Iraq is today. The region has had many names over time – including the Arabic ‘Al-Jazira’ (the island) and the Greek ‘Mesopotamia’ (the land between two rivers)

5. Women: Women in Iraq have traditionally enjoyed more freedom than women in other surrounding countries. However, since the Gulf War (1990-1991), the situation for women has worsened due to the increasing influence of different religious groups in society

Fact: Masgouf is the national dish of Iraq
Attribution: Al Jazeera English – Flickr.com

Fact: Iraq’s national dish ‘Masgouf’ is grilled carp. Traditionally, it is cooked on wooden sticks over a fire, but in recent times iron grates are also used in ovens

 

6. Sadam Hussein: Sadam Hussein was Iraq’s dictator from July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003, when he was deposed shortly after the Iraq War (March 20, 2003 – December 15, 2011) broke out. Sadam Hussein was executed by hanging on December 30, 2006 and buried in his birthplace Al-Awja near Tikrit about 2 km from his sons Uday and Qusay Hussein

7. Wars: Iraq has been involved in a number of wars – including against Israel, Iraq and the USA – over the years. In addition, there have been several internal struggles between Arabs and Kurds in Iraq, which has led to the Kurdistan Region being confirmed in article 113 of the Iraqi constitution (giving the Kurds a greater degree of autonomy)

8. National dish: The national dish of Iraq is ‘masgouf’ (or masgûf), which is carp seasoned inside with marinade (olive oil, salt, mountain salt, tamarind and turmeric) and grilled on wooden sticks or an iron grid. Total cooking time is 1-3 hours depending on the size of the carp (all the fat should be removed before serving). When the fish is crispy on the outside, place it on a large platter with lemons, onion rings and pickles. It is then covered with a flatbread to keep it warm until serving. Masgûf can be traced back to antiquity (c. 500 BC)

9. Refugees: According to the UNHCR report in 2010, Iraqis were the second largest refugee group in the world with 1.8 million refugees, second only to Afghans with 2.9 million refugees

10. Mountains: Mountains cover 20% of the country in Iraq. The two major mountain ranges are the Taurus (on the border with Turkey) and the Zagros (on the border with Iran). The mountains are the only areas of Iraq where forests still exist

Fact: Tigris and Euphrates are two rivers in Iraq
Attribution: Karl Musser + Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – Wikipedia.org | Arian Zwegers – Flickr.com

The land between the two famous rivers, the Tigris (top) and Euphrates (bottom), is very fertile. The area is today referred to as the ‘cradle of humanity’, meaning it is one of the places from which one or more civilizations have sprung

Geographic facts

  • Location: Middle East. Between Iran and Kuwait with a coastline on the Persian Gulf
  • Country borders: Iran (1,458 km), Jordan (181 km), Kuwait (240 km), Saudi Arabia (814 km), Syria (605 km) and Turkey (352 km)
  • Coastline: 58 km
  • Climate: Mostly desert. Mild to cold winters and warm, cloudless summers. The mountainous areas in the north, bordering Iran and Turkey, experience cold winters with occasional heavy snowfall. The snow melts in early spring, which can cause flooding in central and southern Iraq
  • Landscape: Mostly broad plains. Large flooded areas (marshes) covered in reeds along the Iranian border in the south. Mountains along the borders with Turkey and Iran in the north and east. Desert in the south and west where Iran borders Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria
  • Lowest point: 0 m (Persian Gulf)
  • Highest point: 3,611 m ('Cheekha Dar' which means "black tent" in Kurdish)
  • Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates and sulfur
  • Largest city: Baghdad
  • Capital city: Baghdad
  • Total area (square kilometers): 435.050,00 (2021)
  • Land areas (km2): 434.269,61 (2015)
  • Urban areas (km2): 6.572,97 (2015)
  • Agricultural land (km2): 94.240,00 (2021)
  • Agricultural area (% of total area): 21,71 (2021)
  • Forest area (% of land area): 1,90 (2021)
  • Plant species (higher), endangered: 2,00 (2018)
  • CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita): 3,84 (2020)

Demographic facts

Population

  • Population density (people per km2 total area): 7.711.305,00 (2023)
  • Population of largest city: 2,24 (2023)
  • Population growth (annual %): 45.504.560,00 (2023)
  • Population, total: 18,90 (2012)
  • Population growth in urban areas (annual %): 68,87 (2022)
  • Population in urban areas (% of total population): n/a
  • Population in rural areas (% of total population): 1,38 (2023)
  • Population growth in rural areas (annual %): 103,74 (2007)
  • Etniske grupper: 75-80% Arabs, 15-20% Kurds, 5% others (incl. Iraqi Turks and Assyrians)
  • Sprog: Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages. Turkmen and Assyrian are official in areas where these populations are in the majority. In addition, Armenian is also spoken
  • Religioner: 97% Muslim [Shia 60-65%, Sunni 32-37%] (the official religion), 3% other (including Christians)
  • Net immigration: 0,12 (2022)

Birth and death rates

  • Fertility rate, total (births per woman): 3,45 (2022)
  • Birth rate, gross (per 1,000 inhabitants): 27,04 (2022)
  • Teenage mothers (% of women aged 15-19 who have had children or are pregnant): 35,37 (2021)
  • Death rate, gross (per 1,000 people): 4,43 (2022)
  • Life expectancy at birth, women (years): 69,16 (2022)
  • Life expectancy at birth, men (years): 71,34 (2022)
  • Life expectancy at birth, all (years): 425.841,90 (2022)
  • Mortality caused by traffic accidents (per 100,000 inhabitants): 117,12 (2022)
  • Mortality, women (per 1,000 adult women): 172,34 (2022)
  • Mortality, male (per 1,000 adult males): 2,00 (2019)
  • Suicide rate, women (per 100,000 women): 5,20 (2019)
  • Mortality, infant (per 1,000 live births): -6.000,00 (2023)

Work, income and education

  • Wage earners, total (% of total labor force): n/a
  • Income share of the highest 10%: 23,70 (2012)
  • Income share of the lowest 10%: 3,70 (2012)
  • Unemployment, total (% of total labor force): 18,50 (2020)
  • Labor force, total: 73,36 (2022)
  • Workforce with basic education (% of the workforce): 33,24 (2021)
  • Labor force with medium education (% of labor force): 11.811.525,00 (2023)
  • Number of poor cf. national poverty limits (% of the population): 0,10 (2022)
  • Proportion of the population with moderate or severe food insecurity (%): 2.370,00 (2014)
  • School enrolments, primary school (gross %): 36,93 (2021)
  • Youth unemployment, all young people (% of total labor force aged 15 - 24): 2,58 (2023)
  • Young people not in education, employment or training, total (% of all young people): 16,17 (2021)
  • Literacy/literacy, total adults (% of population over 15): 13,00 (2018)

    Spending

  • Household (and NPIS) consumption expenditure (US$): 213.111.440.345,98 (2021)
  • Electricity consumption (kWh per inhabitant): 1.243,85 (2014)
  • Inhabitants using the Internet (% of the population): 78,72 (2022)
  • Mobile subscriptions (per 100 people): 27,30 (2019)
  • Number of smokers, total (over 15 years): 0,24 (2019)
  • Alcohol consumption per capita (litres of pure alcohol, expected estimates, +15 years): 71,60 (2023)

Business and tourism

  • Employers, total (% of total labor force): 4,42 (2022)
  • New companies (number of registrations): 2,26 (2020)
  • New businesses (new registrations per 1,000 inhabitants aged 15 - 64): 3.037,00 (2022)
  • Listed companies, total: 85,60 (2017)
  • Business conditions (0 = lowest grade to 100 = highest grade): 99,68 (2010)
  • International tourism, number of arrivals: 892.000,00 (2013)
  • International tourism, number of departures: 30,96 (2021)
  • Railway lines (total route kilometers): 99,68 (2010)
  • Railways, number of passengers transported (million passenger-kilometres): 28,40 (2023)

Health

  • Hospital beds (per 1,000 inhabitants): 1,32 (2017)
  • Suicide rate, men (per 100,000 men): 20,00 (2022)
  • Nurses and midwives (per 1,000 inhabitants): 0,91 (2020)
  • Doctors (per 1,000 inhabitants): 100,28 (2021)
  • Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population aged 15 - 49): 133,95 (2022)

Facts Iraq's economy

GDP and GNI

  • BNP (US$): 4,78 (2016)
  • GDP growth (annual %): 44,70 (2019)
  • GDP per capita (US$): 250.842.782.139,46 (2023)
  • GDP, KPP (US$): -2,94 (2023)
  • BNI (US$): 5.512,48 (2023)
  • GNI growth (annual %): 635.633.821.211,19 (2023)
  • Gross savings (% of GDP): 252.096.682.139,46 (2023)

Inflation, interest rates and consumer prices

  • Deposit rate (%): 6,99 (2021)
  • Lending rate (%): 4,99 (2022)
  • Inflation, consumer prices (annual %): 55,58 (2023)
  • Consumer Price Index (2010 = 100): 133,95 (2022)

Trade and production

  • Trade (% of GDP): 35,28 (2022)
  • Vareeksport (US$): 3,57 (2023)
  • Vareimport (US$): 8.954.964.088,92 (2023)
  • Food exports (% of merchandise exports): 0,00 (2016)
  • Food imports (% of goods imports): 7,20 (2014)
  • Food Production Index (2004 - 2006 = 100): 106,36 (2022)
  • Index of animal production (2004 - 2006 = 100): 13,50 (2019)

Industry

  • Industry (including construction), value added (% of GDP): 1,30 (2021)
  • Industry (including construction), value added (US$): 40,51 (2021)
  • Industry, value added (% of GDP): 12,36 (2016)
  • Industry, value added (US$): 112,05 (2022)

Military

  • Armed forces, total: 459.000,00 (2020)
  • Military expenditure (% of GDP): 115.952.000.000,00 (2023)
  • Military Expenditure (US$): 95.519.000.000,00 (2023)

Others

  • Current health expenditure (% of GDP): 6,99 (2021)
  • Labor tax and contribution (% of company profit): 139.429.369.105,07 (2023)
  • Development Assistance (ODA) received per capita (US$): 1,67 (2022)
  • Social contributions (% of income): 4.683.139.092,56 (2022)