Demographics of Syria

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Population Density, 1993

The roughly 23 million inhabitants of Syria are an overall indigenous Levantine people. While modern-day Syrians are commonly described as Arabs by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history, they are, in fact,[1][2][3][4] largely a blend of the various Semitic speaking groups indigenous to the region. Syria's population is 74% Sunni Muslim, other Muslims (including Alawites) make up 16% of the population, various Christian denominations make up 10% and finally, there are a few Jewish communities in Aleppo and Damascus.[5][6]1,500 people of Greek descent live in Syria. The majority of them are Syrian citizens.[7]

Arabic is the official, and most widely spoken, language. Arabic speakers make up 85% of the population (this includes some 500,000 Palestinians). Many educated Syrians also speak English and French. The Kurds, a majority of whom speak Kurdish, make up 9% of the population and live mostly in the northeast corner of Syria, as well in pockets all along the northern borders of Syria with Turkey, and demographically dominate the district of Afrin, west of Aleppo, though sizable Kurdish communities live in most major Syrian cities as well.[8] Armenian and Turkmen are spoken among the small Armenian and Turkmen populations respectively. Aramaic is still spoken in two forms, The Syriac used by Assyrians and Western Neo-Aramaic used by Arameans inhabiting the villages of Bakh'a, Jubb'adin and Ma'loula.

60% of the population live in the province of Aleppo, the Euphrates valley or along the coastal plain; a fertile strip between the coastal mountains and the desert. Overall population density is about 118.3/km² (306.5 per sq. mi.) Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 11. Schooling consists of 6 years of primary education followed by a 3-year general or vocational training period and a 3-year academic or vocational program. The second 3-year period of academic training is required for university admission. Total enrollment at post-secondary schools is over 150,000. The literacy rate of Syrians aged 15 and older is 86.0% for males and 73.6% for females.[9]

Vital statistics[edit]

UN estimates[10][edit]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year CBR1 CDR1 NC1 TFR1 IMR1
1950–1955 187 000 75 000 112 000 51.2 20.5 30.6 7.23 180.1
1955–1960 212 000 77 000 136 000 50.1 18.1 32.0 7.38 150.5
1960–1965 241 000 76 000 165 000 48.5 15.3 33.3 7.54 121.8
1965–1970 275 000 74 000 201 000 46.8 12.5 34.2 7.56 98.8
1970–1975 322 000 70 000 252 000 46.3 10.1 36.2 7.54 77.3
1975–1980 373 000 69 000 304 000 45.4 8.3 37.0 7.32 63.1
1980–1985 417 000 66 000 351 000 42.8 6.7 36.1 6.77 49.9
1985–1990 440 000 61 000 379 000 38.4 5.3 33.1 5.87 36.2
1990–1995 441 000 58 000 383 000 33.3 4.3 28.9 4.80 26.1
1995–2000 447 000 58 000 389 000 29.7 3.8 25.8 3.96 20.8
2000–2005 451 000 62 000 389 000 26.2 3.6 22.6 3.39 17.4
2005–2010 465 000 69 000 396 000 23.9 3.5 20.4 3.10 15.0
1 CBR = crude birth rate (per 1000); CDR = crude death rate (per 1000); NC = natural change (per 1000); TFR = total fertility rate (number of children per woman); IMR = infant mortality rate per 1000 births

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Demographics of Syria, Data of FAO, year 2007 ; Number of inhabitants in thousands.

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[11]

Population[edit]

22,538,256 in 2014

Age structure[edit]

0–14 years: 35.2% (male 4,066,109/female 3,865,817)
15–64 years: 61% (male 6,985,067/female 6,753,619)
65 years and older: 3.8% (male 390,802/female 456,336) (2011 est.)

Median age[edit]

total
21.9 years male
21.7 years female
22.1 years (2011 est.)

Population growth rate[edit]

-0.797% (2012 est.)

Historical population
Year Pop.   ±%  
1937 2,368,000 —    
1950 3,252,000 +37.3%
1960 4,565,000 +40.4%
1970 6,305,000 +38.1%
1980 8,704,000 +38.0%
1990 12,116,000 +39.2%
1995 14,186,000 +17.1%
Source: [12]

Birth rate[edit]

2.35 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate[edit]

3.67 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate[edit]

-27.82 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Sex ratio[edit]

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15–64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
65 years and older: 0.89 male(s)/female
total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth[edit]

total population: 71.19 years
male: 69.8 years
female: 72.68 years (2009 est.)

Nationality[edit]

noun: Syrian(s)
adjective: Syrian

Ethnic groups[edit]

Syrian Arabs and indigenous Syriac Arameans 90%, other ethnic groups such as Kurds 9%, Syriacs/Assyrians,[13] Armenians, Circassians, and Syrian Turkmen 1% [8]

Religions[edit]

Languages[edit]

Arabic (official); Kurdish, Aramaic, Circassian (Adyge), and Armenian.

Literacy[edit]

definition: age 15 and older can read and write

  • total population: 79.6% (2004 census)
  • male: 86.0%
  • female: 73.6%

Urbanization[edit]

  • urban population: 56% of total population (2010)
  • rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population[edit]

  • Aleppo: 2.985 million
  • Damascus (capital): 2.527 million
  • Homs: 1.276 million
  • Hama: 0.854 (2009)

References[edit]