macrohistory & world report

Republic of Iraq

Map of Iraq

Iraq (capital Baghdad) and neighboring states

World Factbook as of October 2014: "An improving security environment and foreign investment are helping to spur economic activity, particularly in the energy, construction, and retail sectors. Broader economic development, long-term fiscal health, and sustained improvements in the overall standard of living still depend on the central government passing major policy reforms. 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. Iraq in 2012 boosted oil exports to a 30-year high of 2.6 million barrels per day, a significant increase from Iraq's average of 2.2 million in 2011... 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 Rampant corruption, outdated infrastructure, insufficient essential services, skilled labor shortages, and antiquated commercial laws stifle investment and continue to constrain growth of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."

Economic growth rate
2013: 4.2%
2012: 8.4%
2011: 9.6%
2010: 0.8%
2009: 4.2%

Unemployment rate
2010: 15%

Oil exports
2011: 2.17 million bbl per day, ranks 7th


Living in an urban area
2010: 66%

Ethnic groups (date known only to the CIA)
Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%

Births vs deaths per 1,000 population, estimate for 2014
Births 26.85, deaths 4.57, compared to 8.15 per 1,000 in the US. Iraq has a low percentage of people over 55, which accounts for its low death rate. Sixty-five and older are 3.2% of the population compared to 13.9% for the United States. Warring and death accounts for the few older people. The high birth rate is keeping the population growing at an estimated annual rate of 2.23%. According to Iraw's numbers the killing can go on indefinitely.

Net migration rate estimated for 2014:
Coming and going balance to zero per 1,000 population.


Between Iran and Saudi Arabia. 58 kilometers of coastline on the northwestern end of the Persian Gulf. Mostly desert, and extremely hot in the summer. Capital: Baghdad.


ear-rack, not eye-rack.

Recent History

October 27, 2010: Seven months have passed since parliamentary elections and Iraq still does not have a government. Nuri Kamal al-Maliki continues to act as prime minister and has been on the road soliciting international support – recently to Iran.

A power dispute remains, including disputes over oil revenues. Maliki represents the Shia (60-65 percent of the population), and Sunnis (32-37 percent) fear that they will be shut out of political power. Former Sunni fighters who joined forces with the government against al-Qaeda are reported to be without support from local populations, their leadership decimated but returning to anti-government, or anti-Shia, violence.

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.