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Demographics of Syria: Map


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This article is about the demographic features of the population of Syriamarker, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Population Density, 1993

Syrians today are an overall indigenous Levantine people, closely related to their immediate neighbours, like the Lebanese, the Palestinians, and (to a lesser extent) Jordanians. 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 largely a blend of the various Aramaic speaking groups indigenous to the region who were Arabized when Muslim Arabs from South Arabia arrived and settled following the Arab expansion. During colonial years, the region had a fairly large minority of French settlers. Many of them stepped out after the recognition of Syrian independence and there are only a few Syrians of French blood, but their influence is still evident on fluency of French by the educated class in Syria

Syria's population is 74% Sunni Muslim, and 16% other Muslim groups, including the Alawi, Shi'a, and Druze, and 10% Christian. There also is a very small (100) Syrian Jewish community. There is a 75,000 strong Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn, New Yorkmarker.

Arabic is the official, and most widely spoken, language. Arabic speakers, including some 400,000 Palestinians, make up 85% of the population. Many educated Syrians also speak English or French, but English is more widely understood. The Kurds, many of whom speak Kurdish, make up 9% of the population and live mostly in the northeast corner of Syria, though sizable Kurdish communities live in most major Syrian cities as well. Armenian and Turkish are spoken among the small Armenian and Turkoman populations respectively. Aramaic is still used by the Assyrian/Syriac minority and in some villages of the Antilebanonmarker.

Most people live in the city of Aleppo, or the Euphrates River valley and along the coastal plain, a fertile strip between the coastal mountains and the desert. Overall population density is about 54/km² (140 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.

Ancient Syria's cultural and artistic achievements and contributions are many. Archaeologists have discovered extensive writings and evidence of a brilliant culture rivaling those of Mesopotamia and Egyptmarker in and around the ancient city of Eblamarker. Later Syrian scholars and artists contributed to Hellenistic and Roman thought and culture. Zeno of Sidon founded the Epicurean school; Cicero was a pupil of Antiochus of Ascalon at Athensmarker; and the writings of Posidonius of Apameamarker influenced Livy and Plutarch. Syrians have contributed to Arabic literature and music and have a proud tradition of oral and written poetry. Although declining, the handicraft industry still employs thousands.

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

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



Age structure

0–14 years:35.9% (male 3,724,770/female 3,510,182)
15–64 years:
60.8% (male 6,285,866/female 5,980,029)
65 years and older:
3.4% (male 318,646/female 358,992) (2009 est.)

Population growth rate

2.129% (2009 est.)

Birth rate

25.9 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

Death rate

4.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)

Sex ratio

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.)

Infant mortality rate

25.87 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

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

Total fertility rate

3.12 children born/woman (2009 est.)



Ethnic groups

Arabs 90%, Kurds 9%, Armenians, Syriacs, Syrian Turkomans, Circassians and others 1%


Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawite, Druze, and other Muslim sects 16%, Christian (various sects) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)


Arabic (official); Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood.


definition:age 7 and older can read and write
total population:
73.6% (2004 census)

See also : Syriamarker


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