Iraq (capital Baghdad) and neighboring states
Country Comparisons: chart
World Factbook: " 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."
Economic growth rate
Labor force in agriculture
2011: 2.17 million bbl per day, ranks 7th
2011: exports $78.36, imports $53.92
2009: 9.7% of GDP
Living in an urban area
Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%
Muslim (official) 97% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian or other 3%
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 percent since the fall of the Saddam HUSSEIN regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon
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.
Chief of state: Jalal Talabani (president) since 7 April 2005, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Head of government: Nouri al-Maliki (prime minister) since 20 May 2006, Islamic Dawa Party (Shi'a).
ear-rack, not eye-rack.
An interim government was appointed on June 1, 2004.
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.
The Iraqi Security Forces are described by the American writer-activist-scholar Nir Rosen as pervasive and no longer perceived as sectarian death squads.
In a market place in the city of Kirkuk today three teams of gunmen with grenade launchers and machine-guns robbed jewelry shops and killed ten people.
Iraqis complain of slow progress in returning amenities such as electricity service, but there continues to be a growth in population, with births almost six times the number of deaths. Infant mortality is declining slightly and life expectancy rising. And the number of internet users is described as up since 2002.
Copyright © 2009-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.