Syria Population 2018

18,301,505

Syria, a Middle Eastern country, has a population that's difficult to determine due to instability; the Syrian situation is among the largest humanitarian crises worldwide. Approximately 5,000 flee Syria every day. In 2012, the country had a population estimated at 22,530,746, and this number dropped to an estimated population of 22,457,336 as of September 2013. In 2018, further declines have led to an estimated population of 18.28 million.

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 18.28 million.

Refugees and Fleeing Syria

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)-refugees) 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 2018, this number is changing 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, updated estimates on city populations are unavailable or may be skewed due to the flucuations caused by the chaos.

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 additional evidence of human habitation in Damascus dating back to 9,000 BC (however, historians have agreed that 2000 BC is the more likely time that Damascus was brought together into a single city from the smaller surrounding groups.

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.

Syrian Demographics

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.

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. 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 median age in Syria is currently at 24.3 years while life expectancy is approximately 75.1 years of age.

Quality of Life in Syria

In the World Happiness Report, Syria understandably ranks near the bottom of the chart in 2018, with a ranking of 150 out of 156 participating countries, with a rating of 3.46 in overall happiness on a scale of 0 to 10. Some contributing factors to this low rating include the low GDP per capita, the low social support, a lack of freedom to make choices, and of course the current instability considering the current situation.

Less than 10% of the population struggle with access to clean drinking water or improved sanitation facilities.

Literacy in Syria is only at 86.4% of the population over 15 years of age, with only 9 years expected to be dedicated to schooling.

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 solution 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.

Components of Population Change

One birth every 1 minutes
One death every 5 minutes
One net migrant every 2 minutes
Net gain of one person every 14 minutes

Syria Population in 2018Source: By Bernard Gagnon [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Syria Population Pyramid 2018

50,000100,000150,000200,000250,000Syria Male Population50,000100,000150,000200,000250,000Syria Female Population10095908580757065605550454035302520151050

Syria Population by Age

There are 10,246,028 adults in Syria.

Census Years

Year Date
200422 September 2004
19949 September 1994

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

Syria Population Growth

5.2 million refugees are expected to be registered as refugees by the end of 2014, with another 6.5 million internally displaced by December 2014.

In 2010, Syria was dealing with a surging population, but this has dramatically reversed. Last year, the population growth rate was -0.8%, but this has dropped much further. The number of refugees alone will top 5 million by just 2015, according to the UN, which means that Syria's population will be just 19 million in 2017. This drop does not include any further deaths from the country's civil war, which will only drive the population down past this point.

About Syria

Official NameSyrian Arab Republic
Languages SpokenArabic
Is LandlockedNo
Latitude/Longitude3538
Currencies UsedSyria Pound
DemonymSyrian

Countries Bordering Syria

Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Lebanon
Turkey

Syria Population Density

Syria Top 20 Cities by Population

Name Population
Aleppo1,602,264
Damascus1,569,394
Homs775,404
Hamah460,602
Latakia340,181
Deir ez-Zor242,565
Ar Raqqah177,636
Al Bab130,745
Idlib128,840
Douma111,864
Dar'a97,969
As Safirah95,832
As Salamiyah94,887
Tartouss89,457
Ath Thawrah87,880
Al Hasakah81,539
Darayya71,596
Manbij68,888
I`zaz66,138
Jablah65,915

Syria Population Clock

The population of Syria (as of 12/13/2018)?18,301,505
Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2018)18,284,407
Births Per Day1,055
Deaths Per Day273
Net Migrations Per Day -679
Net Change Per Day 103
Population Change Since January 1st35,741

Syria Population Estimator

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Estimate as of December 13th 2018 is: 18,381,497

Syria Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
201818,284,40750.47%49.53%98.74640.08%
201718,269,86850.53%49.47%98.6663-0.87%
201618,430,45350.57%49.43%99.5361-1.63%
201518,734,98750.58%49.42%101.1760-2.27%
201021,018,83450.48%49.52%113.50552.82%
200518,294,61151.02%48.98%98.79582.20%
200016,410,84850.59%49.41%88.62572.73%
199514,345,49250.58%49.42%77.47582.88%
199012,446,17150.55%49.45%67.21563.17%
198510,648,63250.52%49.48%57.50573.58%
19808,930,77450.48%49.52%48.23643.46%
19757,535,71450.58%49.42%40.69693.48%
19706,350,54150.67%49.33%34.29713.40%
19655,373,13750.84%49.16%29.02743.28%
19604,573,51251.12%48.88%24.70763.18%
19553,911,50151.49%48.51%21.12802.76%
19503,413,33152.06%47.94%18.43820.00%

Syria Population by Year (Projections)

Year Population % Male % Female Density (km²) Population Rank Growth Rate
202018,924,44250.34%49.66%102.19630.00%
202523,410,90650.14%49.86%126.42604.35%
203026,608,48950.13%49.87%143.69592.59%
203528,885,22450.15%49.85%155.98591.66%
204030,798,94450.16%49.84%166.32591.29%
204532,524,87050.16%49.84%175.64591.10%
205034,021,05150.16%49.84%183.72600.90%
205535,301,80850.15%49.85%190.64610.74%
206036,393,43050.14%49.86%196.53590.61%
206537,302,60950.12%49.88%201.44590.49%
207038,018,37550.09%49.91%205.30590.38%
207538,528,28650.06%49.94%208.06610.27%
208038,827,50850.00%50.00%209.67610.15%
208538,918,01349.94%50.06%210.16630.05%
209038,814,87449.86%50.14%209.6164-0.05%
209538,544,67149.80%50.20%208.1564-0.14%
Data Sources
  1. Central Bureau of Statistics in Syria
  2. World Population Prospects (2017 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.

    Total population: Estimated to be consistent with the 1960, 1970, 1981, 1994 and 2004 censuses, official estimates for 2010, and with estimates of the subsequent trends in fertility, mortality and international migration.

  3. GeoNames Gazetteer