Republic of Iraq

Al Jumhuriyah al Iraqiyah

Iraq: PhysicalArea: 167,400 square miles / 433,400 square kilometers (~size of California)

Arable land: 12%

Topography: Mostly an alluvial plain, including the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, descending from mountains in the north to desert in the southwest. The Persian Gulf region in southern Iraq is marshland.


Population: 23,331,985 (2002)
Population Density: 139/square mile
Age Distribution: Below 15: 41.6%. 65 or older: 3.1%
Urban Population: 76%

Capital: Baghdad
Arab 75-80%, Kurd 15-20%
Muslim 97% (Shi'a 60-65%, Sunni 32-37%)

Source: The World Almanac and Book of Facts: 1998, 2002.
Map created on National Geographic Society's Map Machine
To take full advantage of the interactive maps on Map Machine, and to make your own customized maps of Iraq, go to
Map Machine. Under "Find a Place," type Iraq.

 The Ecoregions of Iraq

Iraq is far from being completely a desert. It is surprisingly diverse ecologically, with habitats as varied as dry montane forest in the northeastern Kurdish area and the alluvial Mesopotamian marshes of southern Iraq. Even the desert areas, which cover about 60% of Iraq, vary considerably between different parts of the country in vegetation, rainfall, and elevation.

The Ecoregions of Iraq
Links connect to National Geographic Society's Wild World

PA0446: Zagros Mountains forest steppe
PA1207: Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous broadleaf forests
PA0812: Middle East steppe
PA1320: Mesopotamian shrub desert
PA1303: Arabian Desert and East Sahero-Arabian xeric shrublands
PA1328: South Iran Nubo-Sindian desert and semi-desert
PA0906: Tigris-Euphrates alluvial salt marsh
PA1325: Red Sea Nubo-Sindian tropical desert and semi-desert
PA1323: Persian Gulf desert and semi-desert

Map created on National Geographic Society's Wild World: Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World
To take full advantage of the interactive features of Wild World, go to
Wild World and select "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World." Under "Find an Ecoregion," type Iraq.  

Additional Pages on Our Site

Saddam Hussein's Destruction of the Mesopotamian Marshes

Marshes Reference List

Public Statements about the Mesopotamian Marshes

This page was created on October 13, 2002, and most recently updated on January 19, 2003.