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Research question: Historical events and Iraq's demography

In the 20th and 21st centuries, Iraqi demography has been a sort of pincushion for the accumulated punctures of psyche-shattering traumas, as well as era-ending and -defining developments. This research question seeks to identify leading sources of information about Iraqi demography, and review the data to examine what impacts may be seen from major events. The result will be a consolidated chronologization that combines major events with reports on fertility, mortality, emigration, age composition, and ethnoreligious composition.

Major events in Iraqi history include the influenza pandemic (1918), the founding of the Iraqi Republic (1958), the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), the US-led invasion of Iraq (2003), the war with the Islamic State (2014), and the demographic transitions themselves. There are indeed many more events with which to lead an inquiry into the changing landscape of Iraqi demography. Additionally, any unexplained demographic changes which do not fit into the preconceived historical framework will be interrogated for their backstory.

Two major assumptions exist in this report: that Iraqi citizens are reporting themselves and thus includable in demographic research; and that the Iraqi government will report accurately, if at all, especially for sensitive information like persons killed in war. Headlines such as “Now It’s a Census That Could Rip Iraq Apart” ( allude to the combustibility of these issues. Censal reports would usually be the backbone for any longitudinal research, but in this case international reports regarding war mortality, public health, or country overviews will also figure prominently. The 1932, 1947, 1957, 1965, 1977, and 1987 Iraqi censuses are the leading sources of information (none have been held since 1987). Dr. R. M. Ajina’s “Iraq… The Facts” (published 1958) provides insight into the propagandization of Iraqi demography, in that case for an anti-monarchical agenda. The United States Census ( also provides a list of useful references, including reports by the non-profit organization Iraq Body Count.