Kurdistan Regional Government
WED, 26 APR 2017 16:38 Erbil, GMT +3

The people of the Kurdistan Region

Population: 5.2 million

The people living in the Kurdistan Region are Kurds as well as Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen, Armenians and Arabs.

The Region has a young and growing population, with 36% aged 0-14 years, and only 4% aged over 63. The median age in Kurdistan is just over 20, meaning more than 50% are less than 20.[1]

The Kurdistan Region’s demography has changed considerably in the last few decades mainly because of forced migration by the previous Iraqi government, which is one of the main reasons for the movement from the countryside to towns and cities. By 2001, at least 600,000 people were internally displaced mainly because of the previous Iraqi regime’s policies since the 1970s. This included more than 100,000 people expelled in November 1991 alone from Kirkuk by the Iraqi government. According to a UNDP survey, 66% of people living in Duhok province have been forced to change their residence due to war at any point in their lives, while the figures in Slemani and Erbil are 31% and 7%, respectively.[2]

Traditionally, the majority of people in the Kurdistan Region lived in villages and survived on farming and animal husbandry of mainly sheep and goats thanks to the land’s fertile soil. The Region was known as the breadbasket of Iraq. Today this has reversed, with the majority living and working in the three cities of Erbil, Duhok and Slemani and working in the government, construction, and trade.

In the 1980s Saddam Hussein’s regime destroyed over 4,000 villages and forcibly moved their residents to collective towns. Many of these villages have now been rebuilt. The Kurdistan Regional Government, with the support of UN agencies and NGOs, after 1991 rebuilt 2,620 of some 4,000 destroyed villages.

[1] UNDP Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004, Volume 1 Tabulation Report, Table 1.6: Age in broad groups, mean and median age.

[2] UNDP Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004, Volume 1 Tabulation Report, Table 1.12: Displacement due to war.


Latest Articles

Mosul IDPs in Kurdistan Region rise to 164,000

WED, 26 APR 2017 13:54

Since the start of military operations in October 2016 to liberate the City of Mosul, the number of internally displaced persons, IDPs, who have taken refuge in the Kurdistan Region has risen to 164,000 people. They are mainly located in camps in Erbil and Duhok Governorates.

Prime Minister Barzani and German Foreign Minister discuss bilateral relations

FRI, 21 APR 2017 15:56

Prime Minister Barzani stressed that holding referendum for self-determination is a natural right of the people of Kurdistan. In the meantime, he reaffirmed that the Kurdistan Region’s people and political parties do not believe in obtaining their rights through violence, but through serious dialogue.

KRG Council of Ministers Easter message to Christians

SUN, 16 APR 2017 12:22

KRG statement on the 29th anniversary of Anfal campaign

FRI, 14 APR 2017 12:09

Prime Minister Barzani discusses the situation in Kurdistan and Iraq with UK delegation

THU, 13 APR 2017 21:30

Prime Minister Barzani and Iraq’s Foreign Minister discuss regional situation

THU, 13 APR 2017 12:45

Prime Minister Barzani condemns Sunday’s terrorist attack in Egypt

MON, 10 APR 2017 11:11

Prime Minister Barzani condemns Friday's terror act in Sweden

SAT, 8 APR 2017 11:29

KRG statement on the use of chemical weapon in Syria and the US response

FRI, 7 APR 2017 22:15

Prime Minister Barzani: We stand in solidarity with the people and government of Russia

TUE, 4 APR 2017 17:54