Iraq - At a glance


At a glance

Geography

Size/Area 441,839km2

Location Middle East

Bordering countries Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey

Capital Baghdad

Main towns Basra, Mosul, Kirkuk

Climate Mild to cool winters; hot, cloudless summers

Average temperature Varies from 48°C in July/August to 0°C in January

Terrain Desert, steppe, mountain forest and alpine regions

Vegetation Mainly desert: the country has few trees

Natural resources Oil, natural gas, sulphur, phosphates, petroleum, plus small deposits of coal, salt and gypsum

Main exports Main revenue from oil

National parks Mesopotamia Marshland National Park

Human statistics

Population 33,929,316 (2014)

Life expectancy Average of 70.9 years (men 69.4 years; women 72.4) (2014)

Religion 95% Muslim; Christian minorities mainly in villages around Mosul; religious sects: Sabaeans, Yezidis

Ethnic divisions Arab 75–80%, Kurdish 15–20%, Turkmen, Assyrian or other 5%

Official language Arabic (Kurdish in Iraqi Kurdistan)

GDP US$242.5bn (2012)

Politics/administration

Government Republic

Ruling party Elections were held in 2014 and the beleaguered Shia dominated government of Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki was replaced by a more broad-based government led by Haider al Abadi. The government is facing severe challenges from ISIS, which controls a third of the country and from disputes with the Kurdish Regional Government over revenue sharing from oil sales.

President Fuad Masum

Prime Minister Haider al Abadi

Flag Three bands, red over white over black, with the words Allah u Akbar (God is great) written in Arabic on the white stripe

Governorates The country is divided into 18 governorates: Anbar, At Tamim, Babil, Baghdad, Basra, Dhi Qar, Diyala, Dohuk, Erbil, Kerbala, Maysan, Muthanna, Najaf, Nineveh, Qadisiya, Salahuddin, Suleimaniyah and Wasit

Practical details

Time GMT +3

Currency Iraqi dinars (IQD) (IQD1 = 1,000 fi ls). US dollars are also in circulation

and are widely accepted. See www.xe.com for the latest exchange rates.

Electrical voltage 220V

International telephone country code +964

National airline Iraqi Airways

Back to the top

Iraq articles

View all

Mesopotamia Marshland National Park

Iraq's first national park serves as an inspiring solution for people and nature in an area once devastated by conflict.

Read more...

Mosul arts and crafts

The Mosul School of Painting has produced some of the most awe-inspiring art in Iraq's history.

Read more...

The Bookseller of Baghdad

Ali al Makhzomy is determined to get Baghdad reading again. 

Read more...

Related guides and other books

View all