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. Just recently, Syria was considered a rapidly growing country in the area, growing over 2% in 2009.
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 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.
Syrian Religion, Economy and Politics
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%).
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.
Syria Population History
Syria was run under the Ottoman empire for centuries until the French overthrew the during World War I. Under the French, there were brief periods of autonomy until Syria gained independence in 1946, and quickly after took part in the Arab-Israeli war for nearly 2 decades. In September of 1980, the Iran-Iraq war began and Syria sided with Iran. In the US war against Iraq, Syria sided with the US against Iraq against in tradition with the rivalry between Baathist leadership in Iraq and Syria. However, Syria's relationship with the US hasn't remained friendly since President Bush listed Syria as one of many countries that make up an "axis of evil," and Syria eventually ended up restoring diplomatic relations with Iraq.
The growth rate in Syria plummeted from around 3%, to under -3% around 2011 when Syria allegedly was running a covert nuclear program reactor program, which would violate peace treaties they were held under. President Assad showed began widely showing his capabilities of cruelty towards his own people around that time, killing many under the guise of restoring order. Internal conflicts became so dire, the millions of citizens sought refuge elsewhere, which was the cause of the dramatic decrease in population growth.