Syria | Facts & Information

Infoplease has everything you need to know about Syria. Check out our country profile, full of essential information about Syria's geography, history, government, economy, population, culture, religion and languages. If that's not enough, click over to our collection of world maps and flags.

Facts & Figures

  • President: Bashar al-Assad (2000)

    Prime Minister: Riyad Farid Hijab (2012)

    Land area: 71,062 sq mi (184,051 sq km); total area: 71,498 sq mi (185,180 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 17,951,639 (growth rate: -9.73%); birth rate: 22.76/1000; infant mortality rate: 15.79/1000; life expectancy: 68.41; density per sq mi: 306.5

    Capital (2011 est.): Damascus, 2.65 million

    Other large cities: Aleppo, 3.164 million; Hims, 1.369 million; Hamah, 933,000

    Monetary unit: Syrian pound

    National name: Al-Jumhuriyah al-'Arabiyah as-Suriyah

    Current government officials

    Languages: Arabic (official); Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian widely understood; French, English somewhat understood

    Ethnicity/race: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%

    Religions: Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian) 10% (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian), Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo)

    Literacy rate: 84.1% (2011 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2011 est.): $107.6 billion; per capita $5,100. Real growth rate: -2.3%. Inflation: 59.1% (2013 est.). Unemployment: 17.8% (2013 est.). Arable land: 24.9%. Agriculture: wheat, barley, cotton, lentils, chickpeas, olives, sugar beets; beef, mutton, eggs, poultry, milk. Labor force: 5.014 million (2013 est.); agriculture 17%, industry 16%, services 67% (2008 est.). Industries: petroleum, textiles, food processing, beverages, tobacco, phosphate rock mining, cement, oil seeds crushing, automobile assembly. Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower. Exports: $2.675 billion (2013 est.): crude oil, minerals, petroleum products, fruits and vegetables, cotton fiber, textiles, clothing, meat and live animals, wheat. Imports: $8.917 billion (2013 est.): machinery and transport equipment, electric power machinery, food and livestock, metal and metal products, chemicals and chemical products, plastics, yarn, paper. Major trading partners: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Kuwait, Iran, UAE, Libya (2012).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 4.425 million (2012); mobile cellular: 12.928 million (2012) Radio broadcast stations: AM 14, FM 2, shortwave 1 (2007). Radios: 4.15 million (1997). Television broadcast stations: 44 (plus 17 repeaters) (1995). Televisions: 1.05 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 416 (2012). Internet users: 4.469 million (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: total: 2,052 km (2008). Highways: total: 69,873 km; paved: 63,060 km (including 1,103 km of expressways); unpaved: 6,813 km (2010). Waterways: 900 km; minimal economic importance. Ports and harbors: Baniyas, Latakia, Tartus. Airports: 90 (2013).

    International disputes: Golan Heights is Israeli-occupied with the almost 1,000-strong UN Disengagement Observer Force patrolling a buffer zone since 1964; lacking a treaty or other documentation describing the boundary, portions of the Lebanon-Syria boundary are unclear with several sections in dispute; since 2000, Lebanon has claimed Shab'a Farms in the Golan Heights; 2004 Agreement and pending demarcation settles border dispute with Jordan.

    Major sources and definitions

See also: