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.

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.