Dec 20 2013
By Shaymaa Adel
Azzaman, December 20, 2013
Iraq’s population is growing by nearly 1 million people a year and is expected to reach 36 million in 2014, the Ministry of Planning has revealed.
The ministry’s spokesperson Abedzahra al-Hindawi said the forecast for population growth in the country was based on surveys carried out in 2010 by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
“The bureau predicts that Iraq’s population will reach 36 million in 2014,” Hindawi said.
“The forecast is based on the annual population growth which is estimated at 850,000 to one million people added to the total population every year,” he said.
By the end of this year, Iraq’s population will be about 35 million and will rise to 36 million by the end of 2014, Hindawi added.
There has not been a nationwide census in Iraq since 1987. The last census took place in 1997, and which put the country’s population at 26 million, did not include the Kurdish region.
Plans to hold a nationwide count since the 2003-U.S. invasion have been repeatedly postponed due to differences between the country’s disparate ethnic and religious groups.
Any count is certain to stoke tension particularly in the so-called areas disputed between Arabs and Kurds, particularly the oil-rich Province of Kirkuk.