Middle East :: IRAQ
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  • Introduction :: IRAQ

  • 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. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011. In January 2009 and April 2013, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three 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. In April 2014, Iraq held a national legislative election and expanded the COR to 328 legislators. Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI dropped his bid for a third term in office, enabling new Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI, a Shia Muslim from Baghdad, to win parliamentary approval of his new cabinet in September 2014. Since early 2015, Iraq has been engaged in a military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to recapture territory lost in the western and northern portion of the country.
  • Geography :: IRAQ

  • Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait
    33 00 N, 44 00 E
    Middle East
    total: 438,317 sq km
    land: 437,367 sq km
    water: 950 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 59
    slightly more than three times the size of New York state
    Area comparison map:
    total: 3,809 km
    border countries (6): Iran 1,599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km
    58 km
    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
    mean elevation: 312 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
    highest point: Cheekha Dar (Kurdish for "Black Tent") 3,611 m
    petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
    agricultural land: 18.1%
    arable land 8.4%; permanent crops 0.5%; permanent pasture 9.2%
    forest: 1.9%
    other: 80% (2011 est.)
    35,250 sq km (2012)
    dust storms; sandstorms; floods
    government water control projects 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
    party to: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
    strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf
  • People and Society :: IRAQ

  • 38,146,025 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    noun: Iraqi(s)
    adjective: Iraqi
    Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, other 5%
    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
    Muslim (official) 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian 0.8%, Hindu <0.1, Buddhist <0.1, Jewish <0.1, folk religion <0.1, unafilliated 0.1, other <0.1
    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 Husayn regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon (2010 est.)
    religious affiliation:
    0-14 years: 39.88% (male 7,766,832/female 7,445,633)
    15-24 years: 19.07% (male 3,703,302/female 3,572,702)
    25-54 years: 33.7% (male 6,499,345/female 6,354,506)
    55-64 years: 3.96% (male 720,976/female 790,301)
    65 years and over: 3.39% (male 574,521/female 717,907) (2016 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 78.7%
    youth dependency ratio: 73.2%
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.5%
    potential support ratio: 18.3% (2015 est.)
    total: 19.9 years
    male: 19.6 years
    female: 20.2 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    2.87% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    30.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 214
    1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    urban population: 69.5% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 3.01% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BAGHDAD (capital) 6.643 million; Mosul 1.694 million; Erbil 1.166 million; Basra 1.019 million; As Sulaymaniyah 1.004 million; Najaf 889,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
    50 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    total: 37.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 40.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 34.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    total population: 74.9 years
    male: 72.6 years
    female: 77.2 years (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    4.06 children born/woman (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    52.5% (2011)
    5.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 170
    0.61 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    1.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    urban: 93.8% of population
    rural: 70.1% of population
    total: 86.6% of population
    urban: 6.1% of population
    rural: 31.5% of population
    total: 14.6% of population (2015 est.)
    urban: 86.4% of population
    rural: 83.8% of population
    total: 85.6% of population
    urban: 13.6% of population
    rural: 16.2% of population
    total: 14.4% of population (2015 est.)
    degree of risk: intermediate
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    21.2% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    8.5% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 79.7%
    male: 85.7%
    female: 73.7% (2015 est.)
    total number: 715,737
    percentage: 11% (2006 est.)
  • Government :: IRAQ

  • 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
    etymology: the name probably derives from "Uruk" (Biblical "Erech"), the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian city on the Euphrates River
    federal parliamentary republic
    name: Baghdad
    geographic coordinates: 33 20 N, 44 24 E
    time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    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
    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 (2016)
    mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Iraq
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Fuad MASUM (since 24 July 2014); Vice Presidents Ayad ALLAWI (since 9 September 2014), Nuri MALIKI (since 9 September 2014), Usama al-NUJAYFI (since 9 September 2014)
    head of government: Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI (since 8 September 2014)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, approved by Council of Representatives
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Council of Representatives to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018); prime minister nominated by the president, approved by Council of Representatives
    election results: Fuad MASUM elected president; Council of Representatives vote - Fuad MASUM (PUK) 211, Barham SALIH (PUK) 17; Haydar al-ABADI (Da'wa Party) approved as prime minister
    description: unicameral Council of Representatives or Majlis an-Nuwwab al-Iraqiyy (328 seats; 320 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote 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, but it has not been instituted
    elections: last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by coalition/party – State of Law Coalition 95, Sadrist Movement 34, ISCI/Muwatin 30, KDP 25, United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun 23, PUK 21, Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah 19, other Sunni coalitions/parties 15, Al-Arabiyah Coalition 10, Goran 9, other Shia parties/coalitions 9, Fadilah 6, National Reform Trend 6, Iraq Coalition 5, KIU 4, other 17
    highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or FSC (consists of 9 judges); note - court jurisdiction limited to constitutional issues and disputes between regions or governorates and the central government); 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 25-member committee of judicial officials that manage the judiciary and prosecutors; 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 nominally at age 63
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); courts of first instance; personal status, labor, criminal, juvenile, and religious courts
    Al-Arabiyah Coalition [Salih al-MUTLAQ]
    Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
    Da`wa Party [Vice President Nuri al-MALIKI]
    Da`wa Tanzim [Hashim al-MUSAWI]
    Fadilah Party [Muhammad al-YAQUBI]
    Goran Party [Nawhirwan MUSTAFA]
    Iraq Coalition [Abd al-Salam al-HAMMUDI]
    Iraqi Front for National Dialogue [Salih al-MUTLAQ]
    Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement [Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR]
    Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI/Muwatin Coalition [Ammar al-HAKIM]
    Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Masud BARZANI]
    Kurdistan Islamic Union or KIU [Mohammed FARA]
    Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah [Vice President Ayad ALLAWI]
    National Movement for Reform and Development [Muhammad al-KARBULI]
    National Reform Trend [Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
    Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [former President Jalal TALABANI]
    Sadrist Movement or Ahrar Bloc [Muqtada al-SADR]
    State of Law Coalition [Vice President Nuri al MALIKI]
    Unites for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun [Vice President Usama al-NUJAYFI]
    note: numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties
    Sunni militias; Shia militias, some associated with political parties
    chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Mohamad Jawad Mahdi Jawad ALQURAISHY (since 1 July 2016)
    chancery: 3421 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 742-1600
    FAX: [1] (202) 333-1129
    consulate(s) general: Detroit, Los Angeles
    chief of mission: Ambassador Douglas A. SILLIMAN (since 1 September 2016)
    embassy: Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
    mailing address: APO AE 09316
    telephone: 0760-030-3000
    FAX: NA
    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 golden Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band
    golden eagle; national colors: red, white, black
    name: "Mawtini" (My Homeland)
    lyrics/music: Ibrahim TOUQAN/Mohammad FLAYFEL
    note: adopted 2004; following the ouster of SADDAM Husayn, Iraq adopted "Mawtini," a popular folk song throughout the Arab world; also serves as an unofficial anthem of the Palestinian people
  • Economy :: IRAQ

  • During 2015, worsening security and financial stability throughout Iraq - driven by an ongoing insurgency, decreasing oil prices, and political upheaval - decreased prospects for improving the country's economic environment and securing much-needed foreign investment. Long-term fiscal health, a strengthened investment climate, and sustained improvements in the overall standard of living still depend on a rebound in global oil prices, the central government passing major policy reforms, and finishing the conflict with ISIL.
    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. Oil exports in 2015 averaged 3.0 million barrels per day, up from 2014, but a failed revenue- and oil-sharing agreement with the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's (IKR) autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) resulted in a loss of exports from northern oil fields. Moreover, falling global oil prices resulted in declining export revenues. 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 IKR's autonomous 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. In December 2014, the federal government and the KRG agreed to sell oil exports from Kurdish-controlled oilfields under the federal oil ministry, in exchange for the central government paying $1 billion to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and resuming budget transfers to the KRG that amount to 17% of Iraq's national budget. However, that deal fell apart in 2015.
    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. 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. 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 local governments. 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. 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.
    $544.1 billion (2015 est.)
    $531.4 billion (2014 est.)
    $542.9 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $169.5 billion (2015 est.)
    2.4% (2015 est.)
    -2.1% (2014 est.)
    6.6% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    $15,500 (2015 est.)
    $15,500 (2014 est.)
    $16,200 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 104
    15% of GDP (2015 est.)
    11.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
    10% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 123
    household consumption: 50.4%
    government consumption: 18.8%
    investment in fixed capital: 23.5%
    investment in inventories: -4.5%
    exports of goods and services: 39.7%
    imports of goods and services: -27.9%
    agriculture: 5.3%
    industry: 48.8%
    services: 45.9% (2015 est.)
    wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
    petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
    10.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    8.9 million (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    agriculture: 21.6%
    industry: 18.7%
    services: 59.8% (2008 est.)
    16% (2012 est.)
    15% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 157
    25% (2008 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)
    revenues: $63.6 billion
    expenditures: $89.84 billion (2015 est.)
    37.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    -15.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    calendar year
    1.4% (2015 est.)
    2.2% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    6% (December 2012)
    6% (December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    6% (31 December 2015 est.)
    6% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    $55.36 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $62.34 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    $80.83 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $78.65 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    $1.773 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $-718,800 (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    $4 billion (9 December 2011)
    $2.6 billion (31 July 2010)
    $2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    -$10.82 billion (2015 est.)
    -$1.732 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    $54.67 billion (2015 est.)
    $83.98 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels, food, live animals
    China 22.6%, India 21.1%, South Korea 11.2%, US 7.8%, Italy 6.7%, Greece 6% (2015)
    $43.84 billion (2015 est.)
    $45.2 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
    food, medicine, manufactures
    Turkey 20.7%, Syria 19.6%, China 19.2%, US 4.8%, Russia 4.4% (2015)
    $54.06 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $66.35 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    $60.28 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $58.14 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Iraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -
    1,167.6 (2015 est.)
    1,166 (2014 est.)
    1,213.72 (2013 est.)
    1,166.17 (2012 est.)
    1,170 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: IRAQ

  • population without electricity: 600,000
    electrification - total population: 98 %
    electrification - urban areas: 99.6 %
    electrification - rural areas: 95.4 % (2013)
    62.3 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    53.41 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    0 kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    8.201 billion kWh (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    11.2 million kW (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
    92% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    7.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 185
    3.368 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    2.39 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    144.2 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    590,400 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    750,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    2,153 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    242,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    1.18 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    1.179 billion cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 213
    3.158 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    130.7 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
  • Communications :: IRAQ

  • total subscriptions: 1.997 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    total: 33.559 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 91 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    general assessment: the 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications have slowed due to the ongoing conflict with ISIL
    domestic: the mobile cellular market continues to expand (cell phones were banned prior to 2003 under the SADDAM regime); 3G services offered by three major mobile operators in 2015; ongoing conflict has destroyed infrastructure in areas
    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 (2015)
    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 Media Network; 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 (2015)
    total: 6.381 million
    percent of population: 17.2% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
  • Transportation :: IRAQ

  • 102 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    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)
    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)
    gas 2,455 km; liquid petroleum gas 913 km; oil 5,432 km; refined products 1,637 km (2013)
    total: 2,272 km
    standard gauge: 2,272 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    total: 59,623 km
    paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    5,279 km (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    total: 2
    by type: petroleum tanker 2
    registered in other countries: 2 (Marshall Islands 2) (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    river port(s): Al Basrah (Shatt al-'Arab); Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr (Khawr az Zubayr waterway)
  • Military and Security :: IRAQ

  • Ministry of Defense: Iraqi Army (includes Army Aviation Directorate), Iraqi Navy, Iraqi Air Force; Counterterrorism Service (2015)
    18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
    8.7% of GDP (2014)
    3.4% of GDP (2013)
    2.88% of GDP (2012)
    3.27% of GDP (2011)
    2.88% of GDP (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 2
  • Transnational Issues :: IRAQ

  • 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 (country of origin): 15,557 (Turkey); 9,250 (West Bank and Gaza Strip); 8,231 (Iran) (2015); 225,455 (Syria) (2016)
    IDPs: 4,276,538 (since 2006 due to ethno-sectarian violence; includes 3,322,410 displaced in central and northern Iraq since January 2014) (2016)
    stateless persons: 50,000 (2015); note - in the 1970s and 1980s under SADDAM Husayn's regime, 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 persecuted by the SADDAM regime remain stateless
    note: estimate revised to reflect the reduction of statelessness in line with Law 26 of 2006, which allows stateless persons to apply for nationality in certain circumstances; more accurate studies of statelessness in Iraq are pending (2015)