This revision of Sections issued under theaintenance program. It supersedes the originalatedopies of which should be destroyed.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Washington, D. C
TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR SECTION 41
composition, and geographic
Pattern of settlement and urban
Area, population, and population density Pilgrim travel for theopulation density by province and desert
Urban and rural population distribution by area
Age-sex distribution of the population Iraqi citizens abroad
Aliens entering, leaving, and residing in Iraq Population ol the principal cities and towns Sex distribution and ratios
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The user can tupplcment the information tn this Section by referring to Sectionntroduction, for basic characteristics of population and the environmentalManpower potential and actual occupational distribution are described inanpower.
More than any of its Arab neighbors, Iraq isfor its relative wealth in unused arable land and for the water by which this surplus may be made agriculturally productive. Iraq, however, with an estimated total populationersonsas shown no interest in making Its excess land available to displaced Arabs from other countries. Though this disinterest is motivated primarily by political considerations, the fact that the population iserthe prospect that through improvedontinued high rate of fertility this rate may even increase ofTcr some justification for Iraq's desire to hold this reserve to meet Its own future needs.
Rich in oil resources, Iraq is endeavoring In the spaceeneration to achieve throughand, more recently through revolution and abrupt social reform, to raise the economic level and level of living to thatoderncountry. The program thus far has fallen short of Its goal and In doing so has createdof distinct demographic concern. The drift of farm labor from the countryside to the cities, stimulated by the first efforts at industrialization, has crowded the urban centers with unskilled labor well in excess of reasonable employmentThe government, with some success, is attempting to' eradicate the traditional system whereby the wealthy landowner lives in town while his sharecropping tenants cultivate th? land. The confusion caused by the forcible dissolution of the big estates foUc^rtng8 revolution greatly increased this flow, augmenting the cities to yet undetermined size, Increasing the burden oninadequate social services, and swelling the numbers of impoverished malcontents accessible for political manipulation. The politicalof the postrevolutionary period has alsothe chronic restlessness of the Kurds and the Bedouin, resulting in reported migrations of Kurdish units into Turkey and Iran and of Bedouin groups into Syria.
The problems presented to the centralby the various minorities of Iraq arc only partially iUuminated by the most) census. Division along ethnic lines is perceptible only by inference, in accordance with theused in response to the census enumerators'ery generalized question on religion was Included soistinction could be made among the population on such broad categories as Islam, Christianity, and tbe like. But because the subject was considered too sensitive to permit par-ticularization, no further light is shed upon whether the preponderantly Muslim population is, in reality, made uphiah majority, as claimed,unnl (usually considered asinority.
B. Size, composition, and geographic
1. and composition
The complete report on7 Census,by the Directorate Oeneral of Census under the Ministry of Social Affairs (now under theofas not yet been released for publication. The population figures used in this Section come, for the most part, from government interim reports on7 census.iguresopulationsee. Based on annual rate%0 population would be.
7 census data thus far published have not given the numbers and regional distribution of the major ethnic components of the population. However, the proportional distribution Is estimated to be:.. other minorityIranians. Assyrians,Jews, Yezidls. Mandaeans. and'
The Arab component of the populationtn almost all Iraq. Iraqi Kurds Inhabit the mountainous areas of the provinces of Irbn. Kirkuk, Al Mawsil. and As Sulavmanlyah, and the northern part of Diyala Province. These Kurds, who differ in race and language from the Arabs, form the largest of the non-Arab minorities: how-
like the majority of the Iraqi Arabs, the Kurds are Muslims.
The Turkish-speaking Turkomans, also Muslims, arc descendants of the Seljuk Turks, who Invaded Iraq inh. Located invillages along the line dividing the Arabs and Kurds (with the greatest concentration being in Kirkukhe Turkomans are estimated to. Many are now being assimilated' in language and custom by the Arabs.
The number of Iranians In the country isto assess because those who were Iraqi citizens at the time of the census were not included with those of Iranian nationality. In the latter group were included0 transients, most of whom were Iranian Muslim pilgrims of the Shiah sect visiting shrines in Iraq, andmmigrants who had been residing in Iraqeriod of atonths (sec the tables.2. The total number of ethnic Iranians in Iraq would probablyhe areas of their greatest concentration are the provinces of Al 'Amarah, Baghdad, Al Basrah, Karbala' and AI Kut.
The Assyrians in Iraqemnantarger community which for centuries has borne the brunt of successive wars in ihc Mesopotamlan area. They are Christian by faith and their language is
Syriac. Numbering0 persons, they are located in towns in the predominantly Kurdish area, with some concentration in Al Mawsil, Al 'Amadlyah, and Rawanduz, and in Kirkuk and Dawrah. where they are employed in the oil
The Armenians, estimated atre of relatively recent arrival, many of them having fled from Turkey Into Iraq during and immediately alter World War I. Like the Assyrians, they have preserved their own language, customs, andfaith. They have settled in the cities and towns, where theymall component of the professional and merchant class.
Tho Jews of Iraq are closely related to the Arabs, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically, for they stem aboriginally from the same race ofThrough emigration to Israel0raqi Jews have been greatly reduced in strengthumber conservatively estimated8 tooday. They are concentrated in Baghdadand in the towns of Al Basrah, Al Hillah, and Al Mawsil.
Of the other Indigenous people who might be considered as separate ethnic groups, the Yezidis. who are scattered throughout northern0 and the Mandaeans, an urban-dwelling group living in towns on the rivers south of Baghdad, number.
istribution and deosity
Iraq is divided administratively intoesert areasshows. The total area comprisesquare miles, about two-thirds the size of Texas. The overall population density of the country, based on7 figures, is aboutersons per square mile (see the map,howing population density by province and desertowever, the desert area, whichf the total Land area, hasopulation density of not more than one person per square mile. The rest of the country varies in density, depending on the availability of water, the fertility of the soil, and land distribution and utilization. Rural Iraq may be divided roughly as follows: cultivated0 square milesf the
total land area; unused but potentially productive land, representing0 square milesf the land area; and tbe semi-arid regions, utilised for seasonal nomadic grazing of livestock, comprising the remainder. About two-thirds of the agricultural land now cultivated lies In the irrigated zone along the Tigris and Euphrates,in an arc concave toward the northeast through the interior of the country from theprovince of AI MawsU to the southeasterly province of Al Basrah, where the Shatt al 'Arab empties into the Persian Gulf. This irrigated zone represents the area of greater population density. Baghdad and Al Basrah provincesensityersons per square mile, respectively. Al Hillah and Karbala' provinces have relatively high density averages due to the pilgrim influx into these areas. The lowest provincial density is that of Ar Riimadi, withersons per square mile (see.
Iraq's population distribution and density are somewhat comparable with those of Syria and Jordan, which share with Iraq the expansive, largely uninhabited, desert and steppe region formed on the slope of the Arabian plateau. Syria and Jordan have overall densities ofer square mile, respectively,ide range of fromoersons per square mile in
desert areas ton settledregions. Saudi Arabia's overall density is not more thanersons per square mile. Iraq's concentration of people In its riverain areasthat of Egypt, but its riparian density is onlyhird of that of the latter's densely populated regions.
attern of settlement and urban arras
The physical features of the country have been the determining factor In the distribution of the population in Iraq. Most of the people live insituated along the rivers and canals of the alluvial plain or In the fertile valleys of the northwestern mountains. Scattered nomadic tribes roam the desert south and west of the Euphrates and the steppe country of Althe region northwest of Baghdad between the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Census figures have been releasedreakdown between the "urban" and "rural"of the population, according to province-or desert area, but the terms as used are indistinctly defined. This breakdown, shown inndicates that arroroximately one-third of theis urban and two-thirds, rural. It ishowever, that in regard to provincesthe larger cities the percentages are low, for they represent an enumeration based on the narrower concept of the city without outlying suburbs or subdistricts
No census breakdown by cities is yetA. presumably official7 tourist guide map yields an urban-rural population ratio that is practically theof the general ratio arrived at through the
census. Available evidence points to the census ratio as the correct one: The tourist guidehowever, is shown inot as an endorsement of the figures as such butuide to the comparative size of the cities and towns within Iraq. The speclflc urban figures thus cited represent the population of the "metropolitan" areas which, in accordance with established Middle Eastern custom, include large numbers ofThe figurenhabitants for Baghdad (commonly cited by Iraqis) appears as an exaggeration. The populations ofl Kazimlyah, An Najaf, and Samaria', cities where Shlah shrines are located, fluctuates annually in response to the influx of pilgrims.
Iraq's agricultural population is found primarily in rural villages. The people here and in the smaller towns are usually closely knit, of the same racial and cultural background, and of the same family or tribal unit.
The Kurdish villages In the mountainous areas of the northeast are generally small, consisting of fromouses, eachamilySeveral households of common ancestrytra which may occupy one or more villages,roup of these tiros of common paternal originribe. The Kurdish villagers build their houses on the rocky, untiliable slopes in order to reserve the fertile land In the valleys for cultivation,
In addition to these family- and tribal-typethere are towns founded on commontrade, and Industrial interests. Forin the oil industrial zones of Iraq, towns, such as Al Basrah. Kirkuk, and Al Mawsil, areapid transformation into modern Western-type urban centers with wide streets and concrete buildings.
The people who settle In these larger centers tend to drop their clan or tribal identity and become integrated Into the new urban society. Small minority communities, however, such as theand Jews, are prone to segregateincreasinglyeans of communal self-protection,
Quantitative information on internal migration Is entirely lacking, although the Iraqi population is known to includeomadicand several hundred thousand seminomadic people. Historically nomadism has variedwith control over the Tigris and Euphrates for irrigation purposes The first effectivesystems were instituted in the thirdB.C. Since that time, strong governments have built up such systems, while weak govern-
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lacking tbe ability to defend and maintain them, have been unable to prevent theirIncreased nomadism has always attended the periods of decay. In their search for grass and 'water, the Bedouin of Iraq follow the pastures from season to season, each tribe restricting ilsto lands assigned it by mutual agreement and government approval. In the course ot theirmigrations, they often cross international boundaries, and the tribes from Syria and Saudi Arabia, likewise, often cross into Iraq. In the northern and northeastern regions of Iraq, the Kurdish tribes graze their flocks In the valleys of the Iraqi hills during winter and in the hillon both sides of the Iraqi-Lranian border during summer.
The Government of Iraq and neighboringhave occasionally taken action to limit seasonal tribal migration across their frontiers, but such limitations have been difficult because offeatures. Since the Iraqi couphe new government has been especially vigilant with respect to the transborder movements of tribal groups and persons who have demonstrated anti-regime sentiments. Many arrests have been made along tin- Syrian border, and the movements of Iraqi Kurds along the country's frontiersto Turkey and Iran have been under close surveillance.
Iraq took its first stepsrogram of tribal resettlement on newly irrigated landshis program has alreadyonsiderable, but unenumerated, body of Bedouin whoariety of reasons have abandoned the nomadic life. Economic necessity and the hope of employment in the cities and towns have also caused many to settle in and around the urban centers. This movement of illiterate peasants to the metropolitan areaselatively recent phenomenon brought about by extensive public works, increasing industrialization, and theof the oil industry. This influx hasat an accelerated rate since the revolutionhe mass of recently constructed reed huts (sari/oA) in and around Baghdad and Al Basrah Is particularly conspicuous. In Baghdad, the number of sarlfah dwellers is reported to have increased by atince8 coup. These people continue toattern of tribal, rather than economic, organization.
C. Population structure
According to the censusherealesemales in Iraq, as shown inhe ratio which evolved from7 census, showing onlyalesemales, is believed to reflect gross underenumeration brought about by the evasion of the census by malesconscription.
Individual ages were recorded tn7 census, but none of this information has yet beenA table showing the age-sex distribution of the population by percentage, based on7 census, is shown inccording to this table,f the population7 was belowears ofetweennd.ndattern representative of age distribution prevalent in other Arabof the Middle East where high fertility and mortality rates prevail.
7 census data on marital status have also not yet been released to tbc public. During7f the enumerated persons agednd over were married with spouse present, anad been married and were widowed, divorced, or separated. Rural-urbanin marital status existed for the males in the formurplus of unmarried males In the largest cities over the percentages for the countryact suggesting migration of men to cities for employment or education.
Polygamy is on the decline in Iraq but stillamong the conservative well-to-do element which regards itark of prestige.% of the married men had polygamous unions; ofad two wives,ad three, andad four.
No current statistics are available on the size of the family. It can be assumed, however, that the extended family of man, wife, and minor children, as well as married sons and their families, still prevails in the rural areas. The dispersion of sons into dwelling units of their own upon marriage Is more prevalent under urban conditions.
7 census data on age groups andare still lacking, it Is difficult to estimate with any degree of accuracy the number of persons employed and the number of those dependent on the economically active working group. In Iraq, as in comparable Arab countries, almost everyone fromears upward contributes in some way toward the family budget. Because Iraq has a
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population and many children work, the strain on the national or Individual privatefor care of this large segment of theis not severe. Persons agedears and older are cared for within the family without undue strain on group resources.
Determining the number of those economically activeountry such as that of Iraqroblem, because so many women and children are engaged in agriculture and do notertain generalizations,can be drawn-from7 census. More than half of Iraq's employed were at that time engaged directly in agriculture, excluding food processing and preservation; if the women and children who were partially employed inhad been included, this fraction would nave been considerably higher. The nonogrlcultural segments of the population may be categorized somewhat as follows: government and privateand;nd miscellaneous.
In the absence of current age-group statistics, the ratio in effect7 must be used Inthe number of males theoretically available for military service. On this basis, the number of men.etween the ages ofndould be.
D. Population changeital statistics
Vital statistics as collected by the Iraqiare both inadequate and inaccurate. Births and deaths, for example, are still reportedurely voluntary basis, and coverage of desert areasts omitted altogether. Certain preliminary moves have been made to increase the scope and quality of vital registration, but all official figures thus far published must still be accepted with considerable reservation.
The relatively high mortality rate in Iraq is showing some decline due lo health education, sani-lary improvements, and Increasing availability of medical facilities. At present, the overall crude death rate Is believed to be betweennd. Infant deaths, caused by malnutrition,diseases, and, in some areas, malaria, vary greatly In number throughout the country. In the cities and towns, where the level of education is higher than in rural areas and where medical care and pure water are more readily available, infant mortality is estimated ative births; in rural and desert regions, the rate is thought to reach as high.
It is generally accepted that fertility in Iraq is also high, the average crude birth rate probably being betweenndersons. To the great majority, childrenource of prestige. Only in the cities, among the educated middle class, is there found an environment conducive to family limitation.
With Inadequate information pertaining to ages at death, it is not possible to determine lifein Iraq. It had previously beenatoears because of the high death rate, but ll has been increased to aboutears due to improving health facilities. This Is into aboutears in the United States.
mmigration and emigration
For earlier discussion on this subject, see Size and Composition, above, for the immigration and emigration of minority groups, and Migratory Movements, for the migration of tribes across Iraqi frontiers.7 lists the number of aliens who have moved in and out of Iraq during the period5ogether with the residue of foreigners who have been in the countryeriodonths or more.2 shows the extent of the pilgrim travel for the. as recorded in official reports.however, are probably not complete, fortravel not only by direct but by devious routes and by various means or conveyance,it difficult to make an accurate count.
As shown in4 Iraqis abroadn resident or travel status, the majority were in Kuwait. With the exception of0 Assyrians who entered Iraq from Turkey
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Iran during Worldnd0 Armenians who were refugees from Turkey at about the same time, there has been no large-scaleinto Iraq in recent years.0 of the Assyrians settled in Iraq subsequently fled to Syria following an armed conflict with Iraqi authorities during thes. Theofraqi Jews to Israelnd the absorption ofrab refugees from Palestine following the Arab-Israeli conflictere the only other population dislocations affecting Iraq in recent years.
rends and projections
It is difficult to gauge with any degree olthe extent of population growth that has taken place over the years, for it has been only within recent decades that demographichas become available. No accurate population data on the Tigris-Euphrates Valley existed inor during the time of the Caliphate,elieved that there were times when thewas greater than at present. Iraq's earlyrecords participation In many regional wars but the country has suffered no great losses through war casualties during either the two World Wars or the Palestine conflict.
The earliest population estimate for modern Iraqhis estimate implies an annual rate of growth of0ate which was appreciably more than those observed over comparable periods in) andraq's censuses7hich showed the populationespectively, and an annual Increase% for that period, would Indicate that the estimate for the earlier periodeasonably accurate one.
At% rate of natural increase, Iraqi'swouldf on the other hand,7 census figures represent an underenumeration, as has been suggested by those who participated in7 census,% rate of increase mayittle too high. The high and rising rate of Increase is no doubt due to the gradually falling mortality rate, combinedteadily high fertility rate.
Iraq possesses ample arable land and water to make it fertile. Neither has been fully or efficiently used. With proper irrigation and drainage andagricultural practices, the crop area can be
substantially expanded and higher yields perbe obtained, thus enabling Iraq to supportlarger population. The Developmentthe governmentoubling of thecultivation during the comingwith more intensive use of.
No regional population shifts are expected to take place, otherossible acceleratedof rural elements to urban centers orregions. Kurdish elements In northeastern Iraq have expressed hope for the establishment of an independent Kurdistan. However,ove is not anticipated, at least in the foreseeable future, for It would involve the Kurdish regions of Turkey and Iran as well.
E. Population problems and policies
It has been the prevailing belief of Iraqidemographers and those who observed the enumeration process7 that the findings of this census are much more accurate than those of the first census takenN experts assisted Iraqi demographers and census takers inilot census in one of the districts of Diyala Province, and they facilitated the travel of Iraqis to other countries to study census taking.
For7 census the at facto system was used, namely the enumeration of the entire country In one day. The nomads were consciously omitted from this count; they were later estimatednd were attributed arbitrarily to various administrative units by the Ministry ofThis artificial distribution of the nomadic populationignificant role in subsequent parliamentary elections, since it enabled Sunni politicians to shift the nomadic population on paper from one administrative unit to another In order tounni majority in the Chamber of Deputies. The cleavage in Iraq between the major Muslim sects, the Sunni and the Shiah, has for yearsource of political, social, andfriction. Theoretically, the Shiah should be able toolitical dominance in accord with their small numerical preponderance, but the Sunnis, who predominate among the leadingthe wealthy merchants, and the largecontinue to control the political and social life of the country (see Chapter V.nder Political Parties and Oroupings).
The people regarded the census7 with grave suspicion, since population counts in the past were associated either with taxation orIgnorance, combined with social traditions such as reluctance to allow the women of the family to appear for enumeration, posed additional For7 census the Iraqi Government
applied the o> jure, system, that is, enumerating the urban population in one day and the ruralduring-the followingays This process enabled the. government toore thorough countof. rural and .tribal areas, and lo use the same .enumerators in .both urbun and rural territories.
7 census was conductedwo-fold purpose: first, for the collection of the usualinformation, and second, for theof data which would be useful to theas background Information for theof social and economic reforms. To supply information on the latter category, questions were included in the census pertaining to urban-rural distribution, migration, marital status, housing, education and literacy, and labor. TheGeneral of Census was confronted at theby the need to select only such categories of statistics for inclusion In the census schedule as would nol ruffle the sensitivities of the population. Questions on race, religion, and social custom could be broached only with great caution. It wasfor example, to limit classification by religion to the broadestChristians, Jews, Ycxidis, Sabians, and theto sectarian or denominational divisions within faiths. Thus no enumeration wasamong the Muslims to reveal the trueimportance of the Sunnl as compared with the Shiah sectors of the Muslims community.
Political instability, such as experienced in the present regime, stimulates the separatist ambitions inherent in the Kurds of Iraq, threatening the lossubstantial proportion of the national Iraqi population, but lack of leadership and of cohesion among the Kurds thus far has forestalled any such drastic political or demographic upheaval. Other Iraqi religious and ethnic minorities are relatively insignificant numerically and present noproblem demographically or politically.
The government has thus far not felt the need of adopting stringent measures with respect to population control and distribution, chiefly because Iraq has ample wealth in landufficiency in natural resources. None of theproblems, such as cross-border migrations and strife among minority groups, has become acute. Attempts are being made to settle the Bedouin on land made available to them by the government; this and other efforts are also being made to check the movement of unskilled laborers to'tho cities. As far as is known, the government has taken no steps either to increase the number of marriages and births or to encourage the practice of family limitation.
F. Reference data
The tables included in this Subsection present detailed statistical data in the general order of reference in the text.
OPULATION OF THK PRINCIPAL CITIES AND TOWNS OP7
Plata* tH. SEX DISTRIBUTION AND RATIOS. BY AREA,7
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