Middle East :: IRAQ
  • Introduction :: IRAQ

  • 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.
  • 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: 60
    slightly more than three times the size of New York state
    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)
    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
    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

  • 39,192,111 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    noun: Iraqi(s)
    adjective: Iraqi
    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
    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)
    Muslim (official) 95-98% (Shia 64-69%, Sunni 29-34%), Christian 1% (includes Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Assyrian Church of the East), other 1-4%
    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 (2015 est.)
    0-14 years: 39.46% (male 7,895,522/female 7,569,205)
    15-24 years: 19.25% (male 3,841,375/female 3,702,187)
    25-54 years: 33.84% (male 6,704,201/female 6,558,108)
    55-64 years: 3.99% (male 752,598/female 812,683)
    65 years and over: 3.46% (male 601,937/female 754,295) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 77.7
    youth dependency ratio: 72.3
    elderly dependency ratio: 5.5
    potential support ratio: 18.3 (2015 est.)
    total: 20 years
    male: 19.8 years
    female: 20.3 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 191
    2.55% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    30.4 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    3.8 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 212
    -1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    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
    urban population: 69.7% of total population (2017)
    rate of urbanization: 2.97% annual rate of change (2015-20 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: 1.04 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 (2017 est.)
    50 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    total: 37.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 40.6 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 34.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    total population: 74.9 years
    male: 72.6 years
    female: 77.2 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    4 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    52.5% (2011)
    5.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    0.85 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
    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)
    30.4% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    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.)
  • 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
    Independence Day, 3 October (1932); Republic Day, 14 July (1958)
    history: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 October 2005
    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)
    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 al-MALIKI (since 8 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 (COR) to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in April 2018); 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: Fuad MASUM elected president; Council of Representatives vote - Fuad MASUM (PUK) 211, Barham SALIH (PUK) 17
    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 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 May 2018)
    election results: percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by party/coalition – State of Law Coalition 95, Ahrar Bloc/Sadrist Trend 34, ISCI/Muwatin 31, United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun 28, KDP 25, PUK 21, Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah 21, other Sunni coalitions/parties 19, Al-Arabiyah Coalition 10, Goran 9, other Shia parties/coalitions 8, Fadilah 6, National Reform Trend 6, Diyala is Our Identity 5, Iraq Coalition 5, KIU 4, other 5
    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 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
    Al-Arabiyah Coalition [Salih al-MUTLAQ]
    Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]
    Da`wa Party [Haider al-ABADI]
    Da`wa Tanzim [Khalid al-ASADI]
    Diyala is Our Identity [Salim al-JABOURI]
    Fadilah Party [Muhammad al-YAQUBI]
    Goran Party [Omar SAYYID ALI]
    Iraq Coalition [Fadhil al-DABBITS] (electoral coalition)
    Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI/Muwatin Coalition [Ammar al-HAKIM]
    Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Masud BARZANI]
    Kurdistan Islamic Union or KIU [Salahaddin Muhammad Bahaaeddin SADIQ]
    Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah [Ayad ALLAWI]
    National Reform Trend [Ibrahim al-JAFARI]
    Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [KOSRAT Rasul Ali, acting]
    Sadrist Trend or Ahrar Bloc [Muqtada al-SADR]
    State of Law Coalition [Nuri al MALIKI]
    United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun Lil Islah [Usama al-NUJAYFI]
    note: numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties
    Sunni militias; Shia militias, some associated with political parties
    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
    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'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
    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

  • 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. Sustained improvements in the overall standard of living depend heavily 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 90% 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. 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.
    $660.7 billion (2017 est.)
    $663.7 billion (2016 est.)
    $598 billion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 35
    $192.7 billion (2017 est.)
    -0.4% (2017 est.)
    11% (2016 est.)
    4.8% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    $17,000 (2017 est.)
    $17,500 (2016 est.)
    $16,200 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 103
    13.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    11.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
    18% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    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% (2016 est.)
    agriculture: 4.8%
    industry: 40.6%
    services: 54.6% (2017 est.)
    wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry
    petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing
    0.8% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    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: 175
    23% (2014 est.)
    lowest 10%: 3.6%
    highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)
    revenues: $63.97 billion
    expenditures: $76.35 billion (2017 est.)
    33.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    -6.4% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 181
    63.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    55% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    calendar year
    2% (2017 est.)
    0.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    6% (2016 est.)
    6% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    4% (31 December 2017 est.)
    4% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    $62.01 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $59.84 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    $77.06 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $74.52 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    $3.504 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.191 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 135
    $4 billion (9 December 2011 est.)
    $2.6 billion (31 July 2010 est.)
    $2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    -$12.22 billion (2017 est.)
    -$14.9 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    $56.74 billion (2017 est.)
    $28.36 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    crude oil 99%, crude materials excluding fuels, food, live animals
    China 25.4%, India 17.3%, US 14.3%, South Korea 12%, Italy 6.5%, Greece 6.1% (2016)
    $36.47 billion (2017 est.)
    $19.57 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    food, medicine, manufactures
    China 23.5%, Turkey 23%, Iran 20%, South Korea 5%, US 4% (2016)
    $47.02 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $45.36 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    $73.43 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $64.16 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 60
    $26.63 billion (2015 est.)
    $23.16 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    $2.109 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.956 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 82
    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

  • population without electricity: 600,000
    electrification - total population: 98%
    electrification - urban areas: 99.6%
    electrification - rural areas: 95.4% (2013)
    84 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 38
    66 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 41
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    12 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    28 million kW (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    87.3% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    6.2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    4.452 million bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    2.792 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    142.5 billion bbl (1 January 2017 es)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    484,800 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    850,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    7,080 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    295,300 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    1.002 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    1.27 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 124
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    3.158 trillion cu m (1 January 2017 es)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    137 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
  • Communications :: IRAQ

  • total subscriptions: 2.031 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    total: 30,203,100
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 79 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    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
    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
    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)
    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: 8,098,401
    percent of population: 21.2% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 54
  • Transportation :: IRAQ

  • number of registered air carriers: 4
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 39
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 484,803
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 10,758,230 mt-km (2015)
    YI (2016)
    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 (2017)
    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: 69
    total: 59,623 km
    paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    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: 77
    by type: general cargo 1, oil tanker 6, other 70 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    river port(s): Al Basrah (Shatt al-'Arab); Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr (Khawr az Zubayr waterway)
  • Military and Security :: IRAQ

  • 3.63% of GDP (2016)
    5.35% of GDP (2015)
    2.95% of GDP (2014)
    3.32% of GDP (2013)
    1.9% of GDP (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    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)
    18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
  • Terrorism :: IRAQ

  • Ansar al-Islam (AAI):
    aim(s): expel western interests from Iraq and establish an independent Iraqi state based on its interpretation of Sharia
    area(s) of operation: headquartered in northern Iraq with its heaviest presence in Kirkuk, Tikrit, and Mosul; active in the western and central regions of the country; primarily targets Iraqi government, security, and police personnel for attacks and Iraqi citizens and politicians for kidnappings, executions, and assassinations; operates a paramilitary training camp in Ninawa Province, in the northwest along the border with western Syria; on 1 February 2004, two suicide bombers carried out simultaneous attacks at the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) regional offices in Erbil, where party leaders greeted hundreds of people gathered to attend the KDP and PUK reception to celebrate the beginning of Eid; at least 101 people were killed and over 130 others were injured, including scores of senior KDP and PUK officials; in another high-profile attack, on 21 December 2004, a suicide bomber killed 14 US soldiers, four contractors, and injured 70 more soldiers and civilians when he detonated his vest in Forward Operating Base Marez's mess hall in Mosul; majority of members are Iraqi Kurds or Iraqi Arabs who are Sunni Muslim
    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: continues to attack Kurds who belong to any of the separatist Kurdish groups, Iraqi Government military and security forces and facilities, and foreign military personnel; joined ISIL paramilitary forces in opposition to the Iraqi Government and played a major role in ISIL capturing Mosul from Iraqi security forces in 2014; JRTN and ISIL's relationship collapsed soon after ISIL took control of Mosul, denying JRTN a share in the take over; assessed in 2016 to have fewer than 5,000 members; majority of fighters are Iraqi Sunni Muslims following Naqshabandi Sufi Islam ideals
    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 increasingly active in Ninawa, Al Anbar, and Babil governorates in response to ISIL's territorial gains; targets mostly ISIL members, Sunni Muslims, and US personnel and interests; when fighting alongside the Iraqi army during the month-long offensive in May-June 2016 to retake the Shia Muslim-dominated city of Fallujah from ISIL, KH was among the Shia Muslim militias accused of beating and executing dozens of Sunni civilians in the recaptured city; until US military forces left the country in December 2011, KH earned a reputation for conducting numerous lethal IED and improvised rocket-assisted mortar (IRAM) attacks against US and coalition forces; an IRAM attack that killed a US civilian on 19 February 2008 at a US military base southeast of Baghdad was the group's first-known attack against anyone; the Iraqi Hizballah group that the late Secretary General Bassem al-MOUSAWI led is frequently confused with KH—the two groups are not affiliated; al-MOUSAWI was killed in early February 2017 in Basra Governorate
    Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) (Kongra-Gel):
    aim(s): establish Kurdistan, comprising territory in northern Iraq, eastern and southeastern Turkey, northern Syria, and northwestern Iran
    area(s) of operation: headquartered in northern Iraq in the Qandil Mountains, where it has strongholds in As Sulaymaniyah and Arbil governorates and on the Iraq-Iran border; stages attacks inside Turkey from Iraq, which has drawn Turkish forces on occasion into Iraq to combat Kurdistan Workers Party fighters; enjoys escalating influence in Iraq in recent years as leaders deepen ties to Iraqi political leaders and religious parties throughout the country, especially in the areas of Sinjar and Rabi'ah in Nineveh Governorate, northwestern Kirkuk, and Tuz Khurmatu District in Salah ad Din Governorate; engages heavily in recruiting Iraqi Kurdish youths
    Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):
    aim(s): replace the Iraqi Government with an Islamic state and implement ISIL's strict interpretation of Sharia; declared its intention to wipe out the Yazidi community, whose faith is one of the country's oldest
    area(s) of operation: operationally active throughout most of Iraq, particularly along the Iraq-Syria border; the country's second largest city, Mosul, was ISIL's most significant stronghold until recently; increasingly losing control over all of Mosul, but remained in control of western Mosul in early 2017, with fewer than 2,000 fighters in the city; assessed to have displaced at least 160,000 of the remaining civilians living in the city; 5,000-6,000 fighters had been stationed in Mosul as of late 2016; overall leader Abu Bakr al-BAGHDADI is reportedly based in the north, along with some of the other top leaders; targets religious and ethnic minorities and all groups or governments that oppose ISIL's hardline Sunni jihadist ideology, including perceived Sunni rivals; has killed thousands who refused to convert to Islam; has exploited natural resources, especially oil and wheat, and levied taxes and fees on companies and individuals in areas under its influence; fighters have ransacked and demolished numerous ancient sites that pre-date Islam, denouncing them as idolatrous; an estimated 3 million Iraqis have fled their homes because of ISIL and remained displaced inside Iraq as of early 2017; responsible for the deadliest single attack in Iraq since 2007 when operatives conducting coordinated bombings using IEDs and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices on 3 July 2016 in Karrada District in Baghdad, while the district was teeming with late-night shoppers during Ramadan; at least 320 people were killed, mostly Shia Muslims, and over 225 injured; mass grave sites have been found throughout regions under ISIL's control, some containing hundreds of bodies and others containing thousands; has used mustard and chlorine gas against civilian and military targets in Iraq; senior leaders Attallah Salman 'Abd Kafi al-JABURI and Marwan Ibrahim Hussayn Tah al-AZAWI are connected with the group's chemical weapons development; recruits heavily in prisons
  • 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): 15,692 (Turkey); 7,703 (West Bank and Gaza Strip); 7,545 (Iran) (2016); 247,379 (Syria) (2018)
    IDPs: 3,271,826 (includes displacement between 2006 and 2008 due to ethno-sectarian violence and displacement in central and northern Iraq since January 2014) (2017)
    stateless persons: 48,200 (2016); 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)