Iraq Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Iraq Country Overview

Where is Iraq located? Located in Western Asia, the state of Iraq consists of three Ottoman provinces named Baghdad, Mosul and Basra and is mostly Arabic. On the time zone map, which divides the world into world time zones along the lines of longitude, Iraq is in a time zone where the time difference from Universal Time (UTC) is 3 hours (UTC +3). The time zone is named “Arabia Standard Time”. On the clocks there it is always 3 hours later than on those of the world time. There is no changeover to daylight saving time in summer.

Iraq National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Iraq is 38,872,655, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 38,872,655
Population growth rate 2.16%
Birth rate 30.40 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 71.14 years
Men life expectancy 69.67 years
Women life expectancy 72.67 years
Age structure
0-14 years 39.01%
15-64 years 57.44%
65 years and above 3.55%
Median age 19.70 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.03
Population density 88.69 residents per kmĀ²
Urbanization 67.20%
80% Arabs, over 15% Kurds, minorities of Turkmen, Arameans and others
Muslims 97% (Shiitten 60% -65%, Sunnis 32% -37%); Christians and others 3%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.689
HDI ranking 120th out of 194

People in Iraq

In 2015 there were 35 million people in Iraq. In 2020 there were almost 40 million. This population is very diverse in terms of religion, culture and ethnicities. That is why we can speak of a multiethnic state in Iraq.

Most of the people in Iraq are Arabs. Kurds live in the north. There are also smaller minorities such as Turkmen, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Arameans. But the proportion of minorities continues to decline.

The Arab population lives mainly in the west, the center and the south. The Kurds are mainly found in the northeast and also in the city of Kirkuk.

Victim of the civil war

Many people in Iraq fell victim to the civil war, but also to the subsequent fighting and assassinations, which keep occurring. Those who live in cities like Baghdad or Mosul are still living dangerously today. The situation is still most stable in the Kurdish regions, with the result that many people are fleeing in this direction. In addition, there are many refugees from Syria, who are again confronting Iraq with major problems.

The differences between urban and rural areas are also great in Iraq. Most Iraqis live in cities.

Languages in Iraq


Religions in Iraq

Most Iraqis are Muslims. Of these, the greater proportion in Iraq is Shiite. 60 percent of the population are Shiites, 35 percent are Sunnis. The differences between Sunnis and Shiites are great.

There are also few Christians and Yazidis living in Iraq, but they are subject to persecution by the Islamic State. Before the last Gulf War, there were 44,000 Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul, most of whom have since been expelled or even killed.