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    Area: 438,317 km2 (0.2% water)
    Coastline: 58 km
    Terrain: mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
    Highest point: Cheekha Dar 3,611 m (northern Iraq, on the Iranian border)
    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
    Geographical population distribution: The vast majority of the population resides east of the Euphrates
    Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulphur


    Population: 40,222,50 (2020)

    Annual population growth: 2.3% (2020)

    Population estimate in 2025: 45,187,000

    Population distribution by age group (2020)
    0-14 – 38%
    15-64 – 59%

    65+ – 3%

    Fertility rate (births per woman): 3.6 (2019)

    Birth rate (births per 1000 people): 29 (2019)

    Death rate (deaths per 1000 people): 5 (2019)

    Median age: 20.0 years (2015)

    Life expectancy (at birth): 71 years (2019)
    Males – 69 years

    Females – 73 years

    Net migration: 39,000 people (2017)

    Language: Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages

    Religious groups: Shia Muslims 60.4%, Sunni Muslims 36.8%, Other Muslims 0.8%, Other religions 1.3%, Non-religious/atheists 0.7%, (2015)

    Ethnic groups: Arabs 71.5%, Kurds 19.9%, Turks 1.7%, Persians 1.5%, Others 5.4% (2013)


    GDP: $166.86 bil (2020)

    GDP per capita: $4,145.9 (2020)

    GDP annual growth rate: -15.7% (2020)

    Public debt (% GDP): 44.3% (2019)

    Inflation (CPI): -0.6% (2020)

    Unemployment: 13.7% (2020)

    Imports: $43,100,000,000 (2018)
    10 largest import partners (% total imports - 2018): UAE 26.2%, Turkey 19.3%, China 18.3%, South Korea 4.43%, India 4.3%, USA 2.23%, Germany 1.98%, Jordan 1.64%, Netherlands 1.54%, Saudi Arabia 1.51%

    Exports: $87,400,000,000 (2018)
    10 largest export partners (% total exports - 2018): India 23.9%, China 22.8%, USA 12.1%, South Korea 9.7%, Greece 5.63%, Italy 4.71%, Singapore 3.74%, Netherlands 2.75%, Spain 2.21%, Taiwan 1.79%

    Global Competitiveness Report (World Economic Forum)

    Index of Economic Freedom (Heritage Foundation)

    Income Inequality Index (Gini – World Bank)
    29.5% (2012)

    Prosperity Index (Legatum Institute)
    42.96/100 (2021 – position 141/167)

    Military Power

    Personnel under the Ministry of Defence : 200,000
    Army/Aviation Command/Special Forces:190,000
    Navy: 5,000
    Air Defence Forces: 5,000

    National-Level Security Forces:25,000
    Iraqi Counterterrorism Service: 10,000
    Presidential Brigades: 10,000
    Prime Minister’s Special Forces Division: 5,000

    Ministry of Peshmerga:150,000-plus
    Regional Guard Brigades:35,000
    Unit 70 Forces: 50,000
    Unit 80 Forces:70,000

    Popular Mobilization Forces: 100-106,000 (2020-21)

    Defence expenditure (%GDP): 4.1% (2020)

    Politics and Government

    Form of government: Federal parliamentary republic

    President: Barham Salih (2018)
    Prime Minister: Mustafa Al-Kadhimi (2020)

    Executive branch: The President acts as the head of state and is elected by the legislature by a two-thirds vote for a maximum of two 4-year terms. However, if the term of the legislature expires, the President is replaced within 30 days of the next legislative session regardless of whether the President has completed his term or not. The President holds limited powers, such as the power to ratify treaties and laws, as well as the power grant pardons on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is nominated by the President and approved by a majority vote of the legislature. As the head of government, the Prime Minister holds most executive power and, therefore, directs the general policy of the State and oversees the Ministers. The Council of Ministers is generally responsible for the planning and execution of national policy.

    Legislative branch: The Council of Representatives is Iraq’s Parliament and the number of its members changes depending on the population, based on the analogy of one representative for every 100,000 Iraqi citizens. It currently consists of 329 members who were elected for 4-year terms; eight of the seats of Parliament are reserved for women and minorities. A bill may become law if it is introduced by either the President or the Prime Minister or 10 members of Parliament or by special committee of the legislature. The Council of Representatives may force any member of the Council of Ministers, including the Prime Minister, to resign after passing a vote of no confidence and it can even remove the President from power in case he has been convicted for perjury, violation of the constitution or high treason. Furthermore, the Parliament determines the number and selection procedure of judges of the Supreme Court’s judges by a two-thirds vote.

    Judicial branch: Judicial power is shared between the Supreme Court, the federal Court of Cassation, the public prosecutor, a judicial oversight committee, and other federal courts. The Higher Judicial Council is responsible for managing and supervising the judicial system, it nominates the Chief Justice, members of the Court of Appeals and other judicial officials for appointment by the Parliament. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the country and, among others, has the power to review and interpret the constitution, settle disputes between judicial bodies and hearing cases involving the President, Prime Minister, or other Ministers.

    Parliamentary parties (seats): Saeroun lil-Islah 54, Al-Fatih Coalition 48, Al-Nasr Alliance 42, Kurdistan Democratic Party 25, State of Law Coalition 25, Al-Wataniya 21, Al-Hikma Coalition 19, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 18, Al-Qarar Al-Iraqi Coalition 14, Al-Anbaar Haweeyatuna 6, Gorran 5, New Generation Motion 4, Irada (Will Movement) 3, Coalition for Democracy and Justice 2, Coalition of Competencies for Change 2, Others 43.

    Last elections: Parliamentary elections 2018 – Saeroun lil-Islah 14.38%, Al-Fatih Coalition 13.16%, Al-Nasr Alliance 10.92%, Kurdistan Democratic Party 8.41%, State of Law Coalition 6.98%, Al-Wataniya 6.01%, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 5.93%, Al-Hikma Coalition 5.27%, Al-Qarar Al-Iraqi Coalition 3.55%, Gorran 2.08%, New Generation Motion 1.65%, Al-Anbaar Haweeyatuna 1.39%, Irada (Will Movement) 1.33%, Coalition for Democracy and Justice 1.19%, Coalition of Competencies for Change 1.09%, Others 14.74%. Voter turnout was 44.52% out of 24,352,253 registered voters.
    Next elections: Parliamentary elections 2022

    Rule of Law - Human Rights

    Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International)
    21/100 (2020 - position 160/180)

    Rule of Law Index (World Justice Project)

    Global Terrorism Index (Institute for Economics & Peace)
    9.241/10 (2019 – position 2/163)

    Fragile States Index (Fund For Peace)
    96.2/120 (2021 – position 20/179)

    Democracy Index (Economist Intelligence Unit)
    3.62/10 (2020 – position 118/167)

    Press Freedom Index (Reporters Without Borders)
    55.57/100 (2021 – position 163/180)

    Freedom in the World Index (Freedom House)
    41/100 (2021)


    United Nations (UN – Population Division, UNdata), Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), World Bank, Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED – St. Louis Fed), Composition of Religious and Ethnic Group Project (CREG – Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, University of Illinois), Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), NationMaster