Home > Asia > Iraq
Iraq flag
Republic of Iraq
Al Jumhuriyah al ‘Iraqiyah
   Iraq has jumped to the headlines several times in recent decades and this unfortunately for its political and military vicissitudes. The territory is largely desert and flat, except in the northern mountainous area bordering Iran and Turkey; we also have a fairly fertile area between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, the famous Mesopotamia, where the inhabitants of this country are concentrated.
Government type Federal parliamentary republic
Area 435,050 km² (167,974 sq mi)
Population 42,249,000 inh. (2022 est.)
Population density 97 inh/km² (252 inh/mi²)
Capital Baghdad (6,183,000 pop.)
Currency Iraqi dinar
Human development index 0.686 (121st place)
Languages Arabic, Kurdish (both official)
Life expectancy M 72 years, F 76 years
Location in Asia


Turkey NORTH
Syria and Jordan WEST
Saudi Arabia SOUTH
Persian Gulf (Indian Ocean) SOUTH-EAST


Largest cities
Baghdad 6,183,000 pop.
Basra 1,461,000 pop.
Mosul 1,315,000 pop.
Kirkuk 895,000 pop.
Arbil 800,000 pop.
Najaf 747,000 pop., 1,238,000 urban aggl.
Sulaymaniyah 653,000 pop.
Karbala 605,000 pop.
Amara 560,000 pop., 750,000 urban aggl.
Nasiriyah 558,000 pop., 877,000 urban aggl.
Highest mountains
Cheekha Dar 3,611 m (11,847 ft)
Longest rivers
Euphrates 2,800 km (1,740 mi) total, 1,015 km (631 mi) in Iraq
Tigris 1,850 km (1,150 mi) total, 1,290 km (802 mi) in Iraq
Largest lakes
Lake Tharthar (artificial) 2,710 km² (1,046 sq mi)
Lake Milh 1,000 km² (386 sq mi)
Khor Al Hammar 975 km² (376 sq mi), medium surface area


   Iraq is administratively divided into 19 governorates, with Baghdad being by far the most populated; the governorate of Al-Anbar, on the other hand, is the largest and alone constitutes just under 1/3 of the country's territory.

   According to the latest estimates available in Iraq there are three cities with over one million inhabitants, the capital Baghdad, Mosul and Basra; the major urban centers are found in Mesopotamia, the fertile region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, or in the north of the country, in Kurdistan.