Dialing code +964
ISO 2 code IQ
ISO 3 code IRQ
Capital Baghdad
Main Language Arabic
Currency Dinar (IQD)
GDP $112.8 billion 61st
Population 29,671,605 40th


Continent Asia
Location Middle East bordering the Persian Gulf between Iran and Kuwait
Land 437,072 km2 59th
Terrain Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
Climate Mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry hot cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq
Natural Hazards Mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey
Note: Strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

Neighbouring Countries

Iran Jordan Kuwait Saudi Arabia Syria Turkey


Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920 it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958 but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990 Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate until 31 December 2008 and under a bilateral Security Agreement thereafter helping to provide security and to support the freely elected government. In October 2005 Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and pursuant to this document elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (CoR) in December 2005. After the election Ibrahim al-JAAFARI was selected as prime minister; he was replaced by Nuri al-MALIKI in May 2006. The CoR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006 marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. On 31 January 2009 Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all provinces except for the three provinces comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and at-Ta'mim (Kirkuk) province.
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Life Expectancy 69.94 years 132nd
Median Age 20.4 years 158th
Birth Rate 30.1 births/1,000 population 45th
Death Rate 5.03 births/1,000 population 174th
Sex Ratio 0.9 male(s)/female 39th
Literacy 74.1% 154th

29.7 million


Roadways 44900 km 80th
Railways 2272 km 67th
Airports 105 55th
Waterways 5279 km 22nd
Heliports 17 10th
Airports paved 5 23rd


Currency Dinar (IQD)
GDP $112.8 billion 61st
GDP per capita (PPP) $4000 138th