Iraq Population 2018

39,617,053

Iraq, or the Republic of Iraq, lies in western Asia encircling the Mesopotamian plain, the northwestern part of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern branch of the Syrian desert. Syria lies on the northwest border of Iraq, Turkey is to the north, Iran is east, and Jordan is to the west. It has a narrow coastline of about 58km at the North Persian Gulf.

Surface Area, Climate, Cities, and Population Density

The Republic of Iraq has an area of 437,072 sq km and is mainly divided into 3 sections: a desert area in the west, a mountainous area in the north, and a large fertile plain in the middle of its southern area that is fed with water by the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers.

Iraq has an estimated population of 39.34 million, which ranks 38th in the world. As a whole, Iraq has a population density of 83 people per square kilometer (184/square mile). The capital and largest city, Baghdad, has a population of just over 6 million. It's the Arab world's second-largest city after Cairo and the second-largest city in Western Asia behind Tehran. Other major cities include Basra (pop: 2.3 million), Arbil (2 million), Sulaymaniyah (1.6 million), Mosul (1 million), and Kirkuk (1 million).

Iraq Demographics

Almost 75% of Iraq's population is made up of the dominant ethnic group -- the Iraqi or Mesopotamian Arabs. Other major ethnic groups include the Jurds (17%), Turkmen (3%), Assyrians (2%), and Persians (2%). There are about 20,000 Marsh Arabs in the southern part of the country and a population of 2,500 Chechens. Southern Iraq is also home to a community of Iraqis of African descent, who are descended from slaves prior to the Zanj Rebellion during the 9th century. Iraq was once home to a large Iraqi Jewish population of about 150,000 during the 1940s, although virtually all have left the country.

The official language in Iraq is Arabic, which is understood almost universally, although 10-15% of the population also speaks Kurdish (also used in official work). Islam is by far the most common religion at 95% of the population. Non-Muslims, mostly Assyrian Christians, make up 5% of the population. The Christian community in Iraq has existed for nearly 2,000 years and most are descended from the pre-Arab Mesopotamians-Assyrians. It's believed that 65% of Muslims are Shia while the remaining 35% are Sunni. Najaf and Karbala, Iraq are two of the holiest places for Shia Muslims.

Iraq has a large diaspora and nearly 2 million Iraqis have fled since the invasion in 2003, most going to Jordan and Syria. It's believed that there are almost 2 million people displaced within Iraq. The UN said in 2007 that almost half of Iraq's middle class population had fled persecution with no plans to return. Over half of Christians have fled the country since the U.S.-led invasion with almost 59,000 granted refugee-status citizenship in the United States. Meanwhile, there are about 160,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq who have fled the Syrian civil war.

Life Expectancy, Quality of Life

The median age of the Iraq population is 20 years of age, with a total life expectancy of 74.9 years of age. The World Happiness Report shows a 2018 ranking of 117 with a rating of 4.45 out of a possible 10. The factors considered in this report include GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption. The scores here indicate a strong GDP, strong social support, but low generosity and little freedom to make life choices were also indicated.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 25 seconds
One death every 3 minutes
One net migrant every 69 minutes
Net gain of one person every 29 seconds

Iraq Population in 2018Source: By Robert Smith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Population Data via United Nations WPP (2015 Revision, Medium Variant)

Iraq Population Growth

While Iraq has a high growth and fertility rate, the invasion has caused widespread displacement. Despite more than half a million deaths since 2003, Iraq's population has grown significantly since that time in spite of a higher death rate and an exodus of refugees. This is because Iraqi families have many children -- or 4 on average -- and infant mortality is low.

About Iraq

Official NameRepublic of Iraq
Languages SpokenArabic, Aramaic, Sorani
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude3344
Currencies UsedIraq Dinar
DemonymIraqi

Iraq Population Density

Iraq Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Baghdad7,216,000
Basrah2,600,000
Al Mawsil al Jadidah2,065,597
Al Basrah al Qadimah2,015,483
Mosul1,739,800
Erbil932,800
Abu Ghurayb900,000
As Sulaymaniyah723,170
Kirkuk601,433
Najaf482,576
Karbala434,450
Nasiriyah400,249
Al 'Amarah323,302
Ad Diwaniyah318,801
Al Kut315,162
Al Hillah289,709
Dihok284,000
Ramadi274,539
Al Fallujah190,159
Samarra'158,508

Iraq Population Clock

The population of Iraq (as of 10/2/2018)?39,617,053
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)39,339,753
Births Per Day3,452
Deaths Per Day523
Net Migrations Per Day 21
Net Change Per Day 2,950
Population Change Since January 1st811,250

Iraq Population Estimator

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Estimate as of October 2nd 2018 is: 39,613,032

Iraq Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201839,339,75350.63%49.37%89.75362.78%
201738,274,61850.62%49.38%87.32362.88%
201637,202,57250.61%49.39%84.88373.01%
201536,115,64950.60%49.40%82.40373.26%
201030,762,70150.54%49.46%70.18392.64%
200527,008,42650.54%49.46%61.62402.76%
200023,565,41350.45%49.55%53.76433.12%
199520,208,38750.43%49.57%46.10472.96%
199017,469,00550.46%49.54%39.85462.32%
198515,576,39550.58%49.42%35.54492.67%
198013,653,35651.07%48.93%31.15503.16%
197511,684,58951.02%48.98%26.66513.33%
19709,917,98350.87%49.13%22.63523.44%
19658,375,79350.62%49.38%19.11582.82%
19607,289,76150.30%49.70%16.63622.31%
19556,502,65750.00%50.00%14.84642.60%
19505,719,19249.87%50.13%13.05630.00%

Iraq Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202041,502,88550.65%49.35%94.69360.00%
202547,199,65350.67%49.33%107.68332.61%
203053,297,66650.69%49.31%121.60302.46%
203559,820,98450.68%49.32%136.48292.34%
204066,751,98450.66%49.34%152.29282.22%
204574,007,05050.65%49.35%168.84242.08%
205081,490,35950.62%49.38%185.92221.95%
205589,130,83550.60%49.40%203.35221.81%
206096,862,78550.57%49.43%220.99201.68%
2065104,689,91550.55%49.45%238.85191.57%
2070112,532,71250.53%49.47%256.74211.46%
2075120,327,00450.52%49.48%274.52201.35%
2080127,976,68350.51%49.49%291.97191.24%
2085135,396,93050.51%49.49%308.90181.13%
2090142,513,56950.52%49.48%325.14181.03%
2095149,251,03750.53%49.47%340.51180.93%
Data Sources
  1. Central organization for statistics and information technology (COSIT)
  2. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1957, 1965, 1977, 1987 and 1997 censuses, the officially estimated population based on food ration system through July 2009, official estimated population up to 2015 and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration. Data by age and sex from the 2004 Iraq Living Conditions Survey, the 2006 and 2011 MICS survey, and the 2006/07 Iraq Family Health Survey were also used. The population estimates refer to the whole of Iraq, including the three northern governorates.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer