Syria Population 2017
Just recently, Syria was considered a rapidly growing country in the area, growing over 2% in 2009, and growing from just 6 million in 1971 to its current population of 18 million.
Syria's population is comprised of many refugees from other countries. In 2012, it was estimated that 1.8 million refugees in the country were from Iraq, most of whom were displaced during the Iraq war. Syria has also been home to large groups of Palestinians (560,000) and Armenians (100,,000.) Of course, that's now in the past, as Syria has been in a great deal of turmoil and its population is now tumbling out of control.
While Syria's population is currently around 18 million in 2016, this number is dropping every day. The United Nations reports that 5,000 people flee Syria every day, and 28% of its population has now been driven from their homes. There are now 9 million Syrians who have fled, and 6.5 million who have been displaced but stay in the country.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (UNOCHA) states that an estimated 13.5 million Syrians are in need of humanitarian aid in 2016. There are now 4.5 million refugees from the country in nearby countries. 117,658 are in Egypt, 245,022 are in Iraq, 635,324 in Jordan, 1.1 million in Lebanon and 2.5 million in Turkey.
Largest cities in Syria
The largest city in Syria is not its capital Damascus, but Aleppo, which is situated in the North East of the country.
Aleppo's population was recorded at 2,132,100 in the 2004 Census, although it has dropped dramatically since, given the civil war and millions fleeing the country. As the country is embroiled in a war, estimates on city populations are unavailable. Although 80% Muslim, it is also home to one of the largest Christian populations in the Middle East. According to the latest estimates, approximately 12% of the city's inhabitants are Christian.
Damascus is the second largest city in Syria, with a population of 1,711,000 (estimate, 2009). It holds the record as the oldest continually inhabited city in the world – there is evidence of human habitation in Damascus dating back to 9,000 BC.
Syria is urbanizing rapidly. It is estimated that in 2010, 56% of the people in Syria lived in an urban environment, and this number is increasing by more than 2% per year.
Syria is a largely Islamic country; according to the latest data from 2007, 87% of the country's population was Muslim. Broken down, around 74% are Sunni and around 13% are Shia. There are approximately 2 million Alawi in Syria today, and representatives of this group dominate Syrian politics and the Syrian military. Syria's current President, Bashar al-Assad, is an Alawi Shia.
The other two major religious groups in Syria are Christian (around 9% of the population) and Druze (3%).
The largest ethnic group (approximately 90%) in Syria is Arab, mostly classified as Levantine. Other major groups in Syria are Kurds (2 million), Syrian Turkmen (0.75-1.5 million) and Assyrians (0.9 to 1.2 million).
The Current State of Syria
Syria's bloody civil war has done substantial damage already, and the country is in ruins, in many ways. Civilian neighborhoods have been bombed, sniper fighting and street fights have taken over and there is no end in sight. In mid-2012, rebels moved into Alebbo, the largest city in Syria, and 2/3 of the city was seized within weeks. Now, regime and rebels are locked in warfare, and the city crumbles. In 2016, it has been estimated that 470,000 people have been killed in Syria's war. Hafez al-Assad's Alwaites regime represents just one eighth of the country, and the Sunni Muslims (who make up 75% of the country's population) make up the resistance.
The UN estimates that 5,000 Syrians flee the country every day, and over 6.5 million people are homeless and displaced in the country. It's estimated that more than half of the refugee population is under the age of 18, and the refugees and displaced now equal 28% of the total population.