Sunday, January 30, 2005
Iraq Religous and Ethnic Groups
Iraq Population: 26 million people
(primarily concentrated in the eastern half of the country)
Most Iraqis are Muslim and are divided along religious lines (between Shias and Sunnis) and ethnic lines (between Arabs and Kurds).
The ethnicities and voting patterns appear to be more complex than the infamous US's Red State/ Blue State schism.
There are no precise figures, but the mainly-Arab Shias are thought to form a 60% majority and expect to dominate political life after the January election. Under Saddam Hussein, Sunni Arabs (about 20% of the population) dominated political and economic life. The Kurds, who are also Sunnis and represent about 17% of the population, mainly live in the north where they have enjoyed varying degrees of autonomy since 1991.
Religous and Ethnic Groups inIraq
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