Republic of Iraq: Demographics

Iraq Population Demographics 2018


This report offers a demographic overview of Iraq.

Key Numbers

Iraq has a population of 39,339,753 (correct as of January 2018) with annual growth at 2.86%.

The capital Baghdad has a population of 9,000,000, hosting a mixed population of mainly Shia and Sunni Arabs.

Arabic is the official language. 10-15% of the population, concentrated in the Semi-Autonomous Kurdistan Region, speak Kurdish.

23% of the population live below the poverty line ($2.20 per day). 16% are unemployed.

Large swathes of the West of the country are uninhabited. 69.7% of the population live in urban areas, concentrated along the Euphrates and Tigris River Valleys and within the semi-autonomous Kurdish Region. (see Figure 2.)


Ethnic Breakdown

51% of the population are male, with a mean age of 19.9 years old. Average life expectancy is 66.2 years. One in 5 cannot read or write.


Religious Breakdown

Shia Arabs are the largest and most influential sect in Iraq.

Until 2015, Christians and Yazidis constituted 1% of the population. 50% of Christians and many Yazidis fled during violence. Iraq harbors deep ethnic and sectarian divisions, facilitating conflict and instability.


Read the full report here






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