September 19, 2021 | finance & economy

Iraq population projected to hit 50 million by 2030

Iraq's population crossed the 40-million threshold in 2020 and is growing at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent, a government official said.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi Ministry of Planning said on Saturday that the country's population is projected to reach 50 million by 2030.

Iraq's population crossed the 40-million threshold in 2020, a spokesman for the Ministry of Planning, Abdul-Zahra al-Hindawi, told Iraqi News Agency.

The ministry's estimates indicate the population size is increasing by 850,000 to 1 million people per year, an average annual growth rate of about 2.6 percent, the official added.

“In 2050, the population of Iraq may approach 80 million,” Hindawi said.

Though Baghdad said in 2019 that the federal government would conduct a census in November, there are no clear indications it would take place. This was before widespread, anti-government protests began one year ago and eventually led to the resignation of the previous administration of then-prime minister Adil Abdul Mahdi.

Iraq's last census was held in 1997 and did not include the Kurdistan Region. More recent counts generally estimate population based on statistics provided by the national food ration program and have often been incomplete in disputed territories.

A full accounting of regional populations is crucial for planning and budgeting in any nation. In Iraq, where mass displacement and campaigns of ethnic cleansing have been endemic to conflict for decades, such a survey takes on political significance.

Lack of reliable statistics has fueled discord between rival populations claiming majorities in various regions of Iraq, most notably in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, adding to the difficulty of addressing fundamental disagreements.


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