Syria Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Syria Country Overview

Where is Syria located? The Arab state of Syria is located in the Near East and is therefore in the “Eastern European Time” time zone. In this world time zone, which covers a very large part of Europe on the time zone map, there is a time difference of +2 hours to the coordinated world time (UTC). However, in the summer months, from the beginning of April to the end of October, the clocks in the countries that are in this time zone are put forward one hour to daylight saving time. Then the time difference to the world clock is +3 hours.

Bordering Countries of Syria

According to abbreviationfinder, Syria is located in the Middle East region and is bordered by Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon. In the north, Syria shares its border with Turkey. This border is approximately 822 km long and consists of two distinct parts: the northern part is marked by a river called the Euphrates, while the southern part follows a series of mountain ranges. This border has been a source of tension between Turkey and Syria for decades due to their differing political ideologies.

To the east of Syria lies Iraq which shares a 362 km long border with Syria. This border has also seen its share of tension due to political differences between the two nations. The Euphrates River forms most of this border before it merges with the Tigris River near Al Qaim in Iraq.

In the south-west lies Jordan which shares 375 km long porous desert border with Syria. The Yarmouk River forms most of this border before it merges into Lake Tiberias in Israel. This border has remained relatively peaceful over time despite some minor clashes between Syrian and Jordanian forces over control of disputed territories along this boundary line.

To the south-west lies Israel which shares 76 km long highly militarized and disputed Golan Heights borders with Syria. This region has been at constant strife since 1967 when Israel captured it from Syria during Six-Day War. Despite numerous United Nations resolutions calling for Israeli withdrawal from Golan Heights, there is no sign that this conflict will end anytime soon as both countries remain adamant on their claims to this region.

Finally, in the west lies Lebanon which shares an approximate 375 km long common land and maritime borders with Syria through Mediterranean Sea coastlines as well as through Bekaa Valley area where both countries meet each other at Masnaa point near Beirut airport in Lebanon’s capital city Beirut. Despite some minor skirmishes between Syrian and Lebanese forces over Lebanon’s support for anti-Assad rebels during Syrian Civil War (2011-present), this shared boundary remains relatively peaceful due to strong diplomatic ties between both nations since late 1970s when Syrian forces entered Lebanon during Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990).

Syria National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Syria is 19,398,448, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 19,398,448
Population growth rate 4.25%
Birth rate 21.20 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 75.14 years
Men life expectancy 72.74 years
Women life expectancy 77.69 years
Age structure
0-14 years 31.39%
15-64 years 64.30%
65 years and above 4.31%
Median age 23.80 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.03
Population density 104.75 residents per kmĀ²
Urbanization 50.10%
approx. 89% Syrian Arabs, over 6% Kurds (partly stateless), 2% Armenians as well as Circassians, Turkmen, Turks and others
Sunnis 74%, Alawis, Druze and other Muslim sects 16%; Christians (different faith communities) 10%; small jewish communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.549
HDI ranking 154th out of 194

People in Syria

It is not at all easy to give an exact population figure for Syria. Official figures from 2010 speak of 20.9 million Syrians. However, many of them have now become refugees. Around five million are said to have fled abroad. About six million have fled within the country to get more or less to safety from the war. These people are called internally displaced people, precisely because they are on the run in the country themselves. For the year 2016, the CIA factbook gives only 17 million people as the population for Syrein.

Who lives in Syria?

In 2010, 90 out of 100 Syria’s residents were Arabs. There were also 10 percent Kurds, Armenians, Circassians, Turkmen and Assyrians. Most Kurds live in the areas near the border with Turkey. Many Kurds from Turkey fled here, especially between 1924 and 1938. The Armenians also came mainly as refugees from Turkey.

Around half a million Palestinians and 200,000 Iraqis who have fled themselves and have often been in refugee camps there for many years still live in Syria. Their living conditions are often poor and have been made worse by the war.

Languages in Syria

Arabic is spoken in Syria, primarily a Syrian dialect of Arabic, Syrian Arabic. However, standard Arabic is mostly used for writing. Other dialects of Arabic are spoken by the Palestinians and Iraqis living in the country.

The Kurds in the country speak Kurdish, the Armenians Armenian, the Turkmen Turkmen. The Syrian Christians, that is to say above all the Assyrians and the Aramaeans, speak Syriac.

Religions in Syria

88 out of 100 residents are Muslims. Most of them (74) are Sunnis. 12 out of 100 are Alawites, who live mainly on the coast and in the mountains. Although they only make up part of the population, they have a lot of power because the president is also an Alawite. Some Muslims (2 in 100) are Shiite. However, Islam is not a state religion in Syria.

Ten out of 100 people are Christians. These include Armenians, Aramaeans and Assyrians. Arameans and Assyrians mostly belong to the Syrian Orthodox Church and live in the northeast of the country. There are also 2 percent drusen.