Middle East :: Iraq
  • Introduction :: Iraq
  • Background:

    Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by the United Kingdom 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 from 1979 to 2003. 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 legislative approval of his new cabinet in September 2014.

    Since 2014, Iraq has been engaged in a military campaign against ISIS to recapture territory lost in the western and northern portion of the country. In 2017, Iraqi forces completed operations to retake Mosul and drove ISIS out of its other urban strongholds in Iraq. In late 2017, in response to a KRG referendum, Iraqi forces took control over disputed territories across central and northern Iraq that were previously occupied and governed by Kurdish forces. In December 2017, Abadi publicly declared victory against ISIS amid continued tensions among Iraq’s enthnosectarian groups. Iraqi politicians are preparing to hold the national legislative election again in May 2018 for the 329-member COR and have decided to postpone provincial elections, originally planned for April 2017, to December 2018.

  • Geography :: Iraq
  • Location:
    Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait
    Geographic coordinates:
    33 00 N, 44 00 E
    Map references:
    Middle East
    Area:
    total: 438,317 sq km
    land: 437,367 sq km
    water: 950 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 60
    Area - comparative:
    slightly more than three times the size of New York state
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 3,809 km
    border countries (6): Iran 1599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km
    Coastline:
    58 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    continental shelf: not specified
    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 that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq
    Terrain:
    mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 312 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Persian Gulf
    3611 highest point: Cheekha Dar (Kurdish for "Black Tent")
    Natural resources:
    petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 18.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 8.4% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 9.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 1.9% (2011 est.)
    other: 80% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    35,250 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    population is concentrated in the north, center, and eastern parts of the country, with many of the larger urban agglomerations found along extensive parts of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; much of the western and southern areas are either lightly populated or uninhabited
    Natural hazards:
    dust storms; sandstorms; floods
    Environment - current issues:
    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; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification; military and industrial infrastructure has released heavy metals and other hazardous substances into the air, soil, and groundwater; major sources of environmental damage are effluents from oil refineries, factory and sewage discharges into rivers, fertilizer and chemical contamination of the soil, and industrial air pollution in urban areas
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Biodiversity, Hazardous Wastes, 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 :: Iraq
  • Population:
    40,194,216 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Nationality:
    noun: Iraqi(s)
    adjective: Iraqi
    Ethnic groups:
    Arab 75-80%, Kurdish 15-20%, other 5% (includes Turkmen, Yezidi, Shabak, Kaka'i, bedouin, Romani, Assyrian, Circassian, Sabaean-Mandaean, Persian)

    note: data is a 1987 government estimate; no more recent reliable numbers are available

    Languages:
    Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect), Syriac (Neo-Aramaic), and Armenian are official in areas where native speakers of these languages constitute a majority of the population)
    Religions:
    Muslim (official) 95-98% (Shia 64-69%, Sunni 29-34%), Christian 1% (includes Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Assyrian Church of the East), other 1-4% (2015 est.)

    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% since the fall of the SADDAM Husayn regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 39.01% (male 8,005,327 /female 7,674,802)
    15-24 years: 19.42% (male 3,976,085 /female 3,829,086)
    25-54 years: 33.97% (male 6,900,984 /female 6,752,797)
    55-64 years: 4.05% (male 788,602 /female 839,291)
    65 years and over: 3.55% (male 632,753 /female 794,489) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 77.7 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 72.3 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.5 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 18.3 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 20.2 years
    male: 20 years
    female: 20.5 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Population growth rate:
    2.5% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    Birth rate:
    30 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Death rate:
    3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    Net migration rate:
    -1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Population distribution:
    population is concentrated in the north, center, and eastern parts of the country, with many of the larger urban agglomerations found along extensive parts of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; much of the western and southern areas are either lightly populated or uninhabited
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 70.5% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 3.06% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    6.643 million BAGHDAD (capital), 1.527 million Mosul, 1.299 million Basra, 981,000 Kirkuk, 821,000 Erbil, 820,000 Najaf (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    50 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 37.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 40.6 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 34.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 74.9 years (2018 est.)
    male: 72.6 years (2018 est.)
    female: 77.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Total fertility rate:
    3.94 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    52.5% (2011)
    Health expenditures:
    5.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    Physicians density:
    0.85 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    Hospital bed density:
    1.4 beds/1,000 population (2014)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 93.8% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 70.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 86.6% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 6.2% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 29.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 13.4% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 86.4% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 83.8% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 85.6% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 13.6% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 16.2% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 14.4% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Major infectious diseases:
    degree of risk: intermediate (2016)
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever (2016)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    30.4% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
    8.5% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Education expenditures:
    NA
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 79.7% (2015 est.)
    male: 85.7% (2015 est.)
    female: 73.7% (2015 est.)
  • Government :: Iraq
  • 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
    former: Mesopotamia, Mandatory Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq
    etymology: the name probably derives from "Uruk" (Biblical "Erech"), the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian city on the Euphrates River
    Government type:
    federal parliamentary republic
    Capital:
    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
    Independence:
    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:
    Independence Day, 3 October (1932); Republic Day, 14 July (1958)
    Constitution:
    history: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 October 2005 (2016)
    amendments: proposed by the president of the republic and the Council of Minsters collectively, or by one-fifth of the Council of Representatives members; passage requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Council of Representatives, approval by referendum, and ratification by the president; passage of amendments to articles on citizen rights and liberties requires a two-thirds majority vote of Council of Representatives members after two successive electoral terms, approval in a referendum, and ratification by the president (2016)
    International law organization participation:
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    Citizenship:
    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
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Barham SALIH (since 2 October 2018); vice presidents (vacant)
    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 (COR) to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 May 2018 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister nominated by the majority COR bloc and submission of COR minister nominees for majority COR approval; disapproval requires designation of a new prime minister candidate
    election results:

    COR vote in first round - Barham SALIH (PUK) 165, Fuad HUSSEIN (KDP) 90; Barham SALIH elected president in second round - Barham SALIH 219, Fuad HUSSEIN 22; note - the COR vote on 1 October 2018 failed due to a lack of quorum, and a new session was held on 2 October

    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral Council of Representatives or Majlis an-Nuwwab al-Iraqiyy (329 seats; 320 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open-list proportional representation vote and 9 seats at the national level reserved for minorities - 5 for Assyrians, 1 each for Mandaeans, Yazidis, Shabaks, Feyli Kurds; 25% of seats allocated to women; 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 12 May 2018 (next to be held in 2022)
    election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition - Alliance Towards Reform 54, Fatah Alliance 47, Victory coalition 42, KDP 25, State of Law Coalition 25, National Alliance 21, National Wisdom Trend 19, PUK 18, Decision Alliance 14, Anbar Our Identity 6, Gorran Movement 5, New Generation 4, Baghdad Alliance 4, other 43, independent 2; composition - men 245, women 84, percent of women 25.5%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: 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 selected by the president of the republic from nominees selected by the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), a 25-member committee of judicial officials that manage the judiciary and prosecutors; FSC members appointed for life; Court of Cassation judges appointed by the SJC and confirmed by the Council of Representatives to serve until retirement nominally at age 63
    subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); civil courts including first instance, personal status, labor, and customs; criminal courts including felony, misdemeanor, investigative, major crimes, juvenile, and traffic; religious courts
    Political parties and leaders:
    Alliance Towards Reform or Sayirun alliance (2018 electoral coalition of Iraqi Communist Party and Sadrist Trend)
    Anabar is Our Identity [Mohammad Rikan al-HALBUSI] (a coalition of 5 parties)
    Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
    Baghdad Alliance [mahmoud al-MASHHADANI]
    Da`wa Party [Nuri al-MALIKI]
    Decision Alliance or Muttahidoon [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
    Duat al-Islam [Khalid al-ASADI]
    Fadilah Party [Muhammad al-YAQUBI]
    Fatah Alliance [Hadi al-AMIRI]
    Gorran Party [Omar SAYYID ALI]
    Iraq Decision coalition [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
    Iraqi Communist Party [Hamid Majid MOUSA]
    Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI/Muwatin Coalition [Humam HAMOUDI]
    Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Masud BARZANI]
    Kurdistan Islamic Union or KIU [Salahaddin Muhammad Bahaaeddin SADIQ]
    National Reform Trend [Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
    National Wisdom Trend [Ammar al-HAKIM]
    New Generation Movement [Shaswar Abdulwahid QADIR] (formed in 2018)
    Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [KOSRAT Rasul Ali, acting]
    Sadrist Trend [Muqtada al-SADR]
    State of Law Coalition [Nuri al MALIKI]
    Victory coalition [Haydar al-ABADI]
    numerous smaller religious, local, tribal, and minority parties

    note: Wataniyah coalition [Ayad ALLAWI]

    International organization participation:
    ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Farid YASIN (since 18 January 2017)
    chancery: 3421 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 742-1600
    FAX: [1] (202) 333-1129
    consulate(s) general: Detroit, Los Angeles
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Douglas A. SILLIMAN (since 1 September 2016)
    embassy: Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad; note - consulate in Basra temporarily closed as of 28 September 2018
    mailing address: APO AE 09316
    telephone: 0760-030-3000
    FAX: NA
    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 replacement for the Ba'thist 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

    National symbol(s):
    golden eagle; national colors: red, white, black
    National anthem:
    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
  • Economy - overview:

    Iraq's GDP growth slowed to 1.1% in 2017, a marked decline compared to the previous two years as domestic consumption and investment fell because of civil violence and a sluggish oil market. The Iraqi Government received its third tranche of funding from its 2016 Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF in August 2017, which is intended to stabilize its finances by encouraging improved fiscal management, needed economic reform, and expenditure reduction. Additionally, in late 2017 Iraq received more than $1.4 billion in financing from international lenders, part of which was generated by issuing a $1 billion bond for reconstruction and rehabilitation in areas liberated from ISIL. Investment and key sector diversification are crucial components to Iraq’s long-term economic development and require a strengthened business climate with enhanced legal and regulatory oversight to bolster private-sector engagement. The overall standard of living depends on global oil prices, the central government passage of major policy reforms, a stable security environment post-ISIS, and the resolution of civil discord with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).

    Iraq's largely state-run economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides roughly 85% of government revenue and 80% of foreign exchange earnings, and is a major determinant of the economy's fortunes. 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.

    In 2017, Iraqi oil exports from northern fields were disrupted following a KRG referendum that resulted in the Iraqi Government reasserting federal control over disputed oil fields and energy infrastructure in Kirkuk. The Iraqi government and the KRG dispute the role of federal and regional authorities in the development and export of natural resources. In 2007, the KRG passed an oil law to develop IKR oil and gas reserves independent of the federal government. The KRG has signed about 50 contracts with foreign energy companies to develop its reserves, some of which lie in territories taken by Baghdad in October 2017. The KRG is able to unilaterally export oil from the fields it retains control of through its own pipeline to Turkey, which Baghdad claims is illegal. In the absence of a national hydrocarbons law, the two sides have entered into five provisional oil- and revenue-sharing deals since 2009, all of which collapsed.

    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. Overregulation has made it difficult for Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. Corruption and lack of economic reforms - such as restructuring banks and developing the private sector – have inhibited the growth of the private sector.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $649.3 billion (2017 est.)
    $662.9 billion (2016 est.)
    $586.3 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 34
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $192.4 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    -2.1% (2017 est.)
    13.1% (2016 est.)
    2.5% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $16,700 (2017 est.)
    $17,500 (2016 est.)
    $15,900 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 107
    Gross national saving:
    19% of GDP (2017 est.)
    13.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
    18.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 103
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 50.4% (2013 est.)
    government consumption: 22.9% (2016 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 20.6% (2016 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0% (2016 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 32.5% (2016 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -40.9% (2016 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 3.3% (2017 est.)
    industry: 51% (2017 est.)
    services: 45.8% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
    Industries:
    petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
    Industrial production growth rate:
    0.7% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 163
    Labor force:
    8.9 million (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 21.6%
    industry: 18.7%
    services: 59.8% (2008 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    16% (2012 est.)
    15% (2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Population below poverty line:
    23% (2014 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)
    highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)
    Budget:
    revenues: 68.71 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 76.82 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    35.7% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -4.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Public debt:
    59.7% of GDP (2017 est.)
    66% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    0.1% (2017 est.)
    0.5% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Central bank discount rate:
    6% (2016)
    6% (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    12.7% (31 December 2017 est.)
    12.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Stock of narrow money:
    $60.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $59.84 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Stock of broad money:
    $60.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $59.84 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $34.61 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $31.93 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $4 billion (9 December 2011)
    $2.6 billion (31 July 2010)
    $2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Current account balance:
    $4.344 billion (2017 est.)
    -$13.38 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Exports:
    $61.4 billion (2017 est.)
    $41.72 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Exports - partners:
    India 21.2%, China 20.2%, US 15.8%, South Korea 9.4%, Greece 5.3%, Netherlands 4.8%, Italy 4.7% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    crude oil 99%, crude materials excluding fuels, food, live animals
    Imports:
    $39.47 billion (2017 est.)
    $19.57 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    Imports - commodities:
    food, medicine, manufactures
    Imports - partners:
    Turkey 27.8%, China 25.7%, South Korea 4.7%, Russia 4.3% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $48.88 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $45.36 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    Debt - external:
    $73.02 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $64.16 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $26.63 billion (2015 est.)
    $23.16 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $2.109 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.956 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    Exchange rates:
    Iraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -
    1,184 (2017 est.)
    1,182 (2016 est.)
    1,182 (2015 est.)
    1,167.63 (2014 est.)
    1,213.72 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Iraq
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 600,000 (2013)
    electrification - total population: 98% (2013)
    electrification - urban areas: 99.6% (2013)
    electrification - rural areas: 95.4% (2013)
    Electricity - production:
    75.45 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Electricity - consumption:
    38.46 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Electricity - imports:
    11.97 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    27.09 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 34
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    91% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    9% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    Crude oil - production:
    4.454 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Crude oil - exports:
    3.092 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    148.8 billion bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    398,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    826,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    8,284 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    255,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Natural gas - production:
    1.274 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Natural gas - consumption:
    2.633 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    Natural gas - imports:
    1.359 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    3.82 trillion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    117.9 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
  • Communications :: Iraq
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 2,918,396 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 33,335,316 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 85 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    Telephone system:
    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 conflict with ISIS/ISIL (2017)
    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; conflict has destroyed infrastructure in areas (2017)
    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 (2017)
    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 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)
    Internet country code:
    .iq
    Internet users:
    total: 8,098,401 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 21.2% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 53
  • Transportation :: Iraq
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 4 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 39 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 484,803 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 10,758,230 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    YI (2016)
    Airports:
    102 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 72 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 20 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 34 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 4 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2017)
    under 914 m: 7 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 30 (2013)
    over 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 5 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 13 (2013)
    under 914 m: 6 (2013)
    Heliports:
    16 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    2455 km gas, 913 km liquid petroleum gas, 5432 km oil, 1637 km refined products (2013)
    Railways:
    total: 2,272 km (2014)
    standard gauge: 2,272 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Roadways:
    total: 59,623 km (2012)
    paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    Waterways:
    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
    Merchant marine:
    total: 77 (2017)
    by type: general cargo 1, oil tanker 6, other 70 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    Ports and terminals:
    river port(s): Al Basrah (Shatt al-'Arab); Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr (Khawr az Zubayr waterway)
  • Military and Security :: Iraq
  • Military expenditures:
    3.63% of GDP (2016)
    5.35% of GDP (2015)
    2.95% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Military branches:
    Ministry of Defense: Iraqi Army (includes Army Aviation Directorate), Iraqi Navy, Iraqi Air Force; National-Level Security Forces: Iraqi Counterterrorism Service, Iraqi Federal Police (includes Emergency Response Division), Iraqi Border Guard Force, Popular Mobilization Committee Forces (2017)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2017)
  • Terrorism :: Iraq
  • Terrorist groups - home based:
    Ansar al-Islam (AAI):
    aim(s): expel western interests from Iraq and, ultimately, establish an independent Iraqi state operating according to its interpretation of sharia
    area(s) of operation: headquartered in northern Iraq with its largest presence in Kirkuk, Tikrit, and Mosul; active in the western and central regions of the country
    note: majority of members are Iraqi Kurds or Iraqi Arabs who are Sunni Muslim (April 2018)
    Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN):
    aim(s): end external influence in Iraq and, ultimately, overthrow the Government of Iraq to install a secular Ba'athist state within the internationally recognized borders of Iraq
    area(s) of operation: attacks separatist Kurdish groups, Iraqi Government military and security forces and facilities, and foreign military personnel (April 2018)
    Kata'ib Hizballah (KH):
    aim(s): counter US influence and, ultimately, overthrow the Iraqi Government to install a government based on Shia Muslim laws and precepts
    area(s) of operation: headquartered in the Shia Muslim areas of Baghdad, with fighters active in Ninawa, Al Anbar, and Babil governorates (April 2018)
    Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK):
    aim(s): advance Kurdish autonomy and security goals in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, and Syria
    area(s) of operation: operational in the north and east, with its stronghold in the Qandil Mountains; majority of members inside Iraq are Iraqi, Turkish, and Iranian Kurds, along with Kurds from Syria (April 2018)
    Terrorist groups - foreign based:
    Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS):
    aim(s): replace the world order with a global Islamic state based in Iraq and Syria; expand its branches and networks in other countries; rule according to ISIS's strict interpretation of Islamic law
    area(s) of operation:
    operational in the rural and desert areas of central and northern Iraq, primarily within and near Sunni populations, with some presence in major population areas (April 2018)
  • Transnational Issues :: Iraq
  • 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 GulfTurkey has expressed concern over the autonomous status of Kurds in Iraq
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 15,692 (Turkey), 7,703 (West Bank and Gaza Strip), 7,545 (Iran) (2016), 251,793 (Syria) (2018)
    IDPs: 2,908,112 (includes displacement between 2006 and 2008 due to ethno-sectarian violence and displacement in central and northern Iraq since January 2014) (2018)
    stateless persons: 47,630 (2017); 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 2,006 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)