Iraq

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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 through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces.

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. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011. In January 2009 and April 2013, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. In April 2014, Iraq held a national legislative election and expanded the COR to 328 legislators. Prime Minister Nuri al-MALIKI dropped his bid for a third term in office, enabling new Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI, a Shia from Baghdad, to win parliamentary approval of his new cabinet in September 2014. Since early 2015, Iraq has been engaged in a military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to recapture territory lost in the western and northern portion of the country.

Geography

Location

Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

Geographic coordinates

33.00° N, 44.00° E

Area 59/257

total: 438,317 sq km

land: 437,367 sq km

water: 950 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly more than three times the size of New York state

Land boundaries

total: 3,809 km

border countries (6): Iran 1,599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km

Coastline

58 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: not specified

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

Terrain

mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point: Cheekha Dar (Kurdish for "Black Tent") 3,611 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Land use

agricultural land: 18.1%

arable land 8.4%; permanent crops 0.5%; permanent pasture 9.2%

forest: 1.9%

other: 80% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

35,250 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

89.86 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 66 cu km/yr (7%/15%/79%)

per capita: 2,616 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards

dust storms; sandstorms; floods

Environment - current issues

government water control projects drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area's wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; development of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers system contingent upon agreements with upstream riparian Turkey; air and water pollution; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Geography - note

strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Iraqi(s)

adjective: Iraqi

Ethnic groups

Arab 75%-80%, Kurdish 15%-20%, Turkoman, Assyrian, or other 5%

Languages

Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect) and Assyrian (Neo-Aramaic) are official in areas where they constitute a majority of the population), Armenian

Religions

Muslim (official) 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%), Christian 0.8%, Hindu <.1 buddhist jewish folk religion unafilliated .1 other>note: while there has been voluntary relocation of many Christian families to northern Iraq, recent reporting indicates that the overall Christian population may have dropped by as much as 50 percent since the fall of the Saddam HUSSEIN regime in 2003, with many fleeing to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon (2010 est.)

Population 37/238

37,056,169 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 40.25% (male 7,615,835/female 7,300,957)

15-24 years: 18.98% (male 3,576,740/female 3,454,768)

25-54 years: 33.49% (male 6,276,669/female 6,132,968)

55-64 years: 3.95% (male 693,629/female 771,624)

65 years and over: 3.33% (male 549,034/female 683,945) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 78.7%

youth dependency ratio: 73.2%

elderly dependency ratio: 5.5%

potential support ratio: 18.3% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 19.7 years

male: 19.4 years

female: 20 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 9/233

2.93% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 35/224

31.45 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 212/225

3.77 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 56/222

1.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 69.5% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.01% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BAGHDAD (capital) 6.643 million; Mosul 1.694 million; Erbil 1.166 million; Basra 1.019 million; As Sulaymaniyah 1.004 million; Najaf 889,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 98/184

50 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 57/224

total: 37.49 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 40.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 34.23 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 111/224

total population: 74.85 years

male: 72.62 years

female: 77.19 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 34/224

4.12 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

52.5% (2011)

Health expenditures 170/191

5.2% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

0.61 physicians/1,000 population (2010)

Hospital bed density

1.3 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 93.8% of population

rural: 70.1% of population

total: 86.6% of population

unimproved:

urban: 6.1% of population

rural: 31.5% of population

total: 14.6% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 86.4% of population

rural: 83.8% of population

total: 85.6% of population

unimproved:

urban: 13.6% of population

rural: 16.2% of population

total: 14.4% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths

NA

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 42/191

21.2% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 74/138

8.5% (2011)

Education expenditures

NA

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Iraq

conventional short form: Iraq

local long form: Jumhuriyat al-Iraq/Komar-i Eraq

local short form: Al Iraq/Eraq

etymology: the name probably derives from "Uruk" (Biblical "Erech") the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian city on the Euphrates River

Government type

parliamentary democracy

Capital

name: Baghdad

geographic coordinates: 33.20° N, 44.24° E

time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

18 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah (Arabic); parezgakan, singular - parezga (Kurdish)) and 1 region*; Al Anbar; Al Basrah; Al Muthanna; Al Qadisiyah (Ad Diwaniyah); An Najaf; Arbil (Erbil) (Arabic), Hewler (Kurdish); As Sulaymaniyah (Arabic), Slemani (Kurdish); Babil; Baghdad; Dahuk (Arabic), Dihok (Kurdish); Dhi Qar; Diyala; Karbala'; Kirkuk; Kurdistan Regional Government*; Maysan; Ninawa; Salah ad Din; Wasit

Independence

3 October 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration); note - on 28 June 2004 the Coalition Provisional Authority transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government

National holiday

Republic Day, July 14 (1958); note - the Government of Iraq has yet to declare an official national holiday but still observes Republic Day

Constitution

several previous; latest adopted by referendum 15 October 2005 (2016)

Legal system

mixed legal system of civil and Islamic law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Iraq

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Fuad MASUM (since 24 July 2014); Vice Presidents Ayad ALLAWI (since 9 September 2014), Nuri MALIKI (since 9 September 2014), Usama al-NUJAYFI (since 9 September 2014)

head of government: Prime Minister Haydar al-ABADI (since 8 September 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, approved by Council of Representatives

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by Council of Representatives to serve a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018); prime minister nominated by the president, approved by Council of Representatives

election results: Fuad MASUM elected president; Council of Representatives vote - Fuad MASUM (PUK) 211, Barham SALIH (PUK) 17; Haydar al-ABADI (Da'wa Party) approved as prime minister

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Council of Representatives or Majlis an-Nuwwab al-Iraqiyy (328 seats; 320 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 8 seats reserved for minorities; members serve 4-year terms); note - Iraq's constitution calls for the establishment of an upper house, the Federation Council, but it has not been instituted

elections: last held on 30 April 2014 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Council of Representatives - percent of vote by party/coalition - NA; seats by coalition/party – State of Law Coalition 95, Sadrist Movement 34, ISCI/Muwatin 30, KDP 25, United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun 23, PUK 21, Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah 19, other Sunni coalitions/parties 15, Al-Arabiyah Coalition 10, Goran 9, other Shia parties/coalitions 9, Fadilah 6, National Reform Trend 6, Iraq Coalition 5, KIU 4, other 17

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Federal Supreme Court or FSC (consists of 9 judges); note - court jurisdiction limited to constitutional issues and disputes between regions or governorates and the central government); Court of Cassation (consists of a court president, 5 vice-presidents, and at least 24 judges)

judge selection and term of office: Federal Supreme Court and Court of Cassation judges appointed by the Higher Juridical Council, a 25-member committee of judicial officials that manage the judiciary and prosecutors; FSC members appointed for life; Court of Cassation judges appointed for 1-year probationary period and upon satisfactory performance may be confirmed for permanent tenure until retirement nominally at age 63

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal (governorate level); courts of first instance; personal status, labor, criminal, juvenile, and religious courts

Political parties and leaders

note: includes political coalitions

Al-Arabiyah Coalition [Salih al-MUTLAQ]

Badr Organization [Hadi al-AMIRI]

Da`wa Party [Vice President Nuri al-MALIKI];; Da`wa Tanzim [Hashim al-MUSAWI]

Fadilah Party [Muhammad al-YAQUBI]

Goran Party [Nawhirwan MUSTAFA]

Iraq Coalition [Abd al-Salam al-HAMMUDI]

Iraqi Front for National Dialogue [Salih al-MUTLAQ]

Iraqi Justice and Reform Movement [Shaykh Abdallah al-YAWR]

Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq or ISCI/Muwatin Coalition [Ammar al-HAKIM]

Kurdistan Democratic Party or KDP [Kurdistan Regional Government President Masud BARZANI]

Kurdistan Islamic Union or KIU [Mohammed FARA]

Nationalism Coalition/Wataniyah [Vice President Ayad ALLAWI]

National Movement for Reform and Development [Muhammad al-KARBULI]

National Reform Trend [Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-JAFARI]

Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK [former President Jalal TALABANI]

Sadrist Movement or Ahrar Bloc [Muqtada al-SADR]

State of Law Coalition [Vice President Nuri al MALIKI]

United for Iraq/Muttahidun Party [Vice President Usama al-NUJAYFI]

United for Reform Coalition/Muttahidun [Vice President Usama al-NUJAYFI]

note: numerous smaller local, tribal, and minority parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Sunni militias; Shia militias, some associated with political parties

International organization participation

ABEDA, AFESD, AMF, CAEU, CICA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAS, MIGA, NAM, OAPEC, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning "God is great") in green Arabic script is centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); the Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise temporary replacement for the Ba'athist Saddam-era flag

note: similar to the flag of Syria, which has two stars but no script; Yemen, which has a plain white band; and that of Egypt, which has a gold Eagle of Saladin centered in the white band

National symbol(s)

golden eagle; national colors: red, white, black

National anthem

name: "Mawtini" (My Homeland)

lyrics/music: Ibrahim TOUQAN/Mohammad FLAYFEL

note: adopted 2004; following the ouster of SADDAM Husayn, Iraq adopted "Mawtini," a popular folk song throughout the Arab world; also serves as an unofficial anthem of the Palestinian people

Economy

Economy - overview

During 2015, worsening security and financial stability throughout Iraq - driven by an ongoing insurgency, decreasing oil prices, and political upheaval - decreased the prospects for improving the country's economic environment and securing much-needed foreign investment. Long-term fiscal health, a strengthened investment climate, and sustained improvements in the overall standard of living still depend on a rebound in global oil prices, the central government passing major policy reforms, and finishing the conflict with ISIL.

Iraq's largely state-run economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides more than 90% of government revenue and 80% of foreign exchange earnings. Oil exports in 2015 averaged 3.0 million barrels per day, up from 2014, but a failed revenue- and oil-sharing agreement with the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's (IKR) autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) resulted in a loss of exports from northern oil fields. Moreover, falling global oil prices resulted in declining export revenues. Iraq's contracts with major oil companies have the potential to further expand oil exports and revenues, but Iraq will need to make significant upgrades to its oil processing, pipeline, and export infrastructure to enable these deals to reach their economic potential. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region's (IKR) autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) passed its own oil law in 2007, and has directly signed about 50 contracts to develop IKR energy reserves. The federal government has disputed the legal authority of the KRG to conclude most of these contracts, some of which are also in areas with unresolved administrative boundaries in dispute between the federal and regional government. In December 2014, the federal government and the KRG agreed to sell oil exports from Kurdish-controlled oil fields under the federal oil ministry, in exchange for the central government paying $1 billion to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and resuming budget transfers to the KRG that amount to 17% of Iraq's national budget. However, that deal fell apart in 2015.

Iraq is making slow progress enacting laws and developing the institutions needed to implement economic policy, and political reforms are still needed to assuage investors' concerns regarding the uncertain business climate. The government of Iraq is eager to attract additional foreign direct investment, but it faces a number of obstacles, including a tenuous political system and concerns about security and societal stability. Rampant corruption, outdated infrastructure, insufficient essential services, skilled labor shortages, and antiquated commercial laws stifle investment and continue to constrain growth of private, nonoil sectors. Under the Iraqi Constitution, some competencies relevant to the overall investment climate are either shared by the federal government and the regions or are devolved entirely to local governments. Investment in the IKR operates within the framework of the Kurdistan Region Investment Law (Law 4 of 2006) and the Kurdistan Board of Investment, which is designed to provide incentives to help economic development in areas under the authority of the KRG.

Inflation has remained under control since 2006. However, Iraqi leaders remain hard pressed to translate macroeconomic gains into an improved standard of living for the Iraqi populace. Unemployment remains a problem throughout the country despite a bloated public sector. Encouraging private enterprise through deregulation would make it easier for Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. Rooting out corruption and implementing reforms - such as restructuring banks and developing the private sector - would be important steps in this direction.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 37/230

$531.4 billion (2015 est.)

$531.2 billion (2014 est.)

$542.7 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$165.1 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 198/225

0% (2015 est.)

-2.1% (2014 est.)

6.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 104/230

$15,500 (2015 est.)

$15,500 (2014 est.)

$15,800 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 107/179

16.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

23.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

28.3% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 55.5%

government consumption: 21.5%

investment in fixed capital: 16.5%

investment in inventories: 2%

exports of goods and services: 40.8%

imports of goods and services: -36.3%

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 5.2%

industry: 49.7%

services: 45.1% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry

Industries

petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing

Industrial production growth rate 12/202

8.8% (2015 est.)

Labor force 57/233

8.9 million (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 21.6%

industry: 18.7%

services: 59.8% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate 153/207

16% (2012 est.)

15% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line

25% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 25.7% (2007 est.)

Budget

revenues: $61.09 billion

expenditures: $86.57 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 52/219

37% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 214/220

-15.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 100/226

1.8% (2015 est.)

2.2% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 65/156

6% (December 2012)

6% (December 2011)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 130/184

6% (31 December 2015 est.)

6% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 47/192

$61.81 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$62.31 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 59/193

$80.83 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$78.65 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 189/191

$-179,700 (31 December 2015 est.)

$-359,300 (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 90/121

$4 billion (9 December 2011)

$2.6 billion (31 July 2010)

$2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)

Current account balance 187/197

-$20.92 billion (2015 est.)

-$6.208 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 50/224

$54.65 billion (2015 est.)

$83.98 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels, food and live animals

Exports - partners

China 23.8%, India 18.4%, US 15.7%, South Korea 7.7%, Greece 5.9%, Italy 4.9% (2014)

Imports 54/223

$42.94 billion (2015 est.)

$45.2 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

food, medicine, manufactures

Imports - partners

Turkey 23.3%, Syria 17.3%, China 16.6%, US 4.5% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 37/170

$57.07 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$66.85 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 61/206

$58.13 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$59.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Exchange rates

Iraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -

1,247.6 (2015 est.)

1,213.72 (2014 est.)

1,213.72 (2013 est.)

1,166.17 (2012 est.)

1,170 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 45/220

62.3 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - consumption 46/219

53.41 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - exports 153/218

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 27/219

8.201 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 53/214

11.2 million kW (2013 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 70/214

92% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 115/214

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 121/214

7.6% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 185/212

0% of total installed capacity (2013 est.)

Crude oil - production 7/214

3.368 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 6/214

2.39 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 207/214

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 5/215

144.2 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 29/214

590,400 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 26/212

750,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 105/214

2,153 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 28/213

242,700 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 62/216

1.18 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 88/215

1.179 billion cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 121/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 213/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 11/212

3.158 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 38/212

130.7 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 59/219

total subscriptions: 1.95 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 5 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 36/217

total: 33 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 92 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: the 2003 liberation of Iraq severely disrupted telecommunications throughout Iraq including international connections; widespread government efforts to rebuild domestic and international communications through fiber optic links are in progress; the mobile cellular market expanded rapidly to some 27 million subscribers by the end of 2012

domestic: repairs to switches and lines destroyed during 2003 continue; additional switching capacity is improving access; 3 GSM operators since 2007 have expanded beyond their regional roots and offer near country-wide access to second-generation services; third-generation mobile services are not available nationwide; wireless local loop is available in some metropolitan areas and additional licenses have been issued with the hope of overcoming the lack of fixed-line infrastructure

international: country code - 964; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Intersputnik - Atlantic Ocean region, and 1 Arabsat (inoperative)); local microwave radio relay connects border regions to Jordan, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey; international terrestrial fiber-optic connections have been established with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, and Iran; links to the Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) and the Gulf Bridge International (GBI) submarine fiber-optic cables have been established (2011)

Broadcast media

the number of private radio and TV stations has increased rapidly since 2003; government-owned TV and radio stations are operated by the publicly funded Iraqi Media Network; private broadcast media are mostly linked to political, ethnic, or religious groups; satellite TV is available to an estimated 70% of viewers and many of the broadcasters are based abroad; transmissions of multiple international radio broadcasters are accessible (2015)

Radio broadcast stations

55 (station frequency types NA) (2009)

Television broadcast stations

28 (2009)

Internet country code

.iq

Internet hosts 218/232

26 (2012)

Internet users 87/217

total: 2.8 million

percent of population: 7.8% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 55/236

102 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 72

over 3,047 m: 20

2,438 to 3,047 m: 34

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 7 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 30

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 13

under 914 m: 6 (2013)

Heliports

16 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 2,455 km; liquid petroleum gas 913 km; oil 5,432 km; refined products 1,637 km (2013)

Railways 67/136

total: 2,272 km

standard gauge: 2,272 km 1.435-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 70/223

total: 59,623 km

paved: 59,623 km (includes Kurdistan Region) (2012)

Waterways 22/107

5,279 km (the Euphrates River (2,815 km), Tigris River (1,899 km), and Third River (565 km) are the principal waterways) (2012)

Merchant marine 142/156

total: 2

by type: petroleum tanker 2

registered in other countries: 2 (Marshall Islands 2) (2010)

Ports and terminals

river port(s): Al Basrah (Shatt al-'Arab); Khawr az Zubayr, Umm Qasr (Khawr az Zubayr waterway)

Military and Security

Military branches

Ministry of Defense: Iraqi Army (includes Army Aviation Directorate), Iraqi Navy, Iraqi Air Force; Counterterrorism Service (2015)

Military service age and obligation

18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)

Military expenditures 2/132

8.7% of GDP (2014)

3.4% of GDP (2013)

2.88% of GDP (2012)

3.27% of GDP (2011)

2.88% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Turkey has expressed concern over the autonomous status of Kurds in Iraq

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 16,637 (Turkey); 11,053 (Iran); 9,246 (West Bank and Gaza Strip) (2014); 245,022 (Syria) (2016)

IDPs: 4,244,438 (since 2006 due to ethno-sectarian violence; includes 3,290,310 displaced in central and northern Iraq since January 2014) (2016)

stateless persons: 120,000 (2014); note - in the 1970s and 1980s under SADDAM Husayn's regime, thousands of Iraq's Faili Kurds, followers of Shia Islam, were stripped of their Iraqi citizenship, had their property seized by the government, and many were deported; some Faili Kurds had their citizenship reinstated under the 2006 Iraqi Nationality Law, but others lack the documentation to prove their Iraqi origins; some Palestinian refugees persecuted by the SADDAM regime remain stateless