About Iraq


of government revenue is generated by the oil sector


of Iraqis are employed by the oil sector


of Iraqis identify addressing poverty as the most pressing need


of youth (15-24 years) are unemployed


of Iraqis live on less than US$ 2.2 a day


of bribery incidents go unreported


of the population is under 19 years old


of Iraqis live in urban areas


of Iraqis use mobile telephones


of Iraq's labour force are women



Iraq’s population tripled between 1970 and 2007. Today its population stands at approximately 34 million, out of which 5 million people live in the Kurdistan Region. By 2030, it will grow to almost 50 million71% of Iraqis live in urban areas and 13% of these households have more than ten occupants.


Iraq is one of the most youthful countries in the world- nearly 50% of the population is less than 19 years old. The use of technology has increased rapidly since 2003, 78% of Iraqis use mobile telephones and 12% own a personal computer. With the rise of technology, and the right investments, Iraq can harness the energy, enthusiasm and creativity of its youth.


Iraq, or ancient Mesopotamia, is renowned by many as the cradle of civilisation. Many early cultures and cities, Sumeria, Akkadia, Assyria, Babylon, Ur and Nineveh, to name but a few, being established in the ancestral country known as the 'land of the two rivers.'


Over the last few decades, the people of Iraq have suffered the consequences of economic stagnation and reduced access to essential services due to wars, sanctions and conflicts. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party in 2003, modern day Iraq has slowly emerged as a democratic state. Dismantling a repressive dictatorship and replacing it with a democracy, in a country with such a rich history, was a monumental task.


Family, religious community, tribe, village and ethnic group are the social entities enjoying higher levels of confidence by citizens. In a range from 0 (no confidence) to 10 (very strong confidence), households rated a degree of confidence in selected social entities, religious leaders scored 8while the foreign forces scored 2.4.


19% of the population has engaged in a form of social or political activity such as signing a petition, participating in a demonstration or rally in the last 12 months.


75% Iraqis identified the need to reduce the country’s poverty as the most pressing need.


12% all Iraqis who had contacts with civil servants gave a bribe.


95% of bribery incidents go unreported.


54% of the population believes that the corruption situation has deteriorated during the last two years before the survey.


Alt text for sample imagePHOTO BY © UNDP IRAQ/MAGICCARPET

Unemployment rate is 11% nationally (7% of males and 13% of females). 653,000 people are unemployed, of which 496,000 are male and 157,000 are female.


44% of Iraqis (7.9 million persons) are in the labour force (using relaxed definition). 72%of males are in the labour force and just 13% of females.


Youth (15-24 years) unemployment is high at 18% (27% of females and 17% of males), unemployment is higher among youth with a higher education.


The government provides 40% of jobs; the remainder is in the private sector. It provides 45% of all employment in urban areas and 28% of employment in rural areas. While accounting for 65% of Iraq’s GDP the oil sector currently employs only 1% of the total labour force.


60% of all working females are working in the government sector.


Overall, 1 out of 6 persons in the labour force is a woman.

Essential Services


35% of households believe that electricity should be the top priority for improvement – a higher proportion than any other service.


On average households receive 14.6 hours of electricity per day through a combination of the public network or private generators.


90% of households supplement the public network with private generators.


20% of households in Iraq use an unsafe drinking water source.


38% of households rate availability of drinking water as “good” or “very good”.


30% of households has access to the public sanitation network.


65% of households use public networks as a main source of drinking water.


The Marshlands, in the south of Iraq are the largest wetlands in the southwest Asia and are recognized as one of the world’s most exceptional ecosystems


The average household is just over 20 minutes away from the health facility


2 out of 3 Iraqis have a negative opinion of health services


The proportion of children dying within the first year of life has dropped from 50 to 35 for every 1,000 live births


The proportion of births attended by skilled personnel has risen considerably from 50% in 1999 to 89% in 2006


60% of Iraq's GDP is generated by oil. 99% of exports are oil and comprise 90% of Government revenue.


Iraq has 143 billion barrels of oil reserves and a potential further 200 billion barrels identified and recoverable.


Iraq currently produces 2.6 million barrels of oil per day: 2 million barrels are exported, 400,000 barrels are refined and 70,000 barrels are used for electric fuel generation each day.


Iraq has 3,100 billion standard cubic metres of gas reserves


1.6 million people in Iraq are affected by landmines and unexploded ordnances (UXOs)


35% of households believe that electricity should be the top priority for improvement – a higher proportion than any other service

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