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Background: Iraq

Independence: October 3, 1932 (from League of Nations mandate under British administration);

Adjacent Countries: Iran (east), Jordan (west), Kuwait (southeast), Saudi Arabia (south), Turkey (north);
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Government: Republic; Capital: Baghdad
Chief of State: President SADDAM Hussein (since 16 July 1979)
Head of Gov't: Prime Minister SADDAM Hussein (since 29 May 1994)

Population (July 2001 est.):
23,331,985

Infant mortality rate (2001 est.):
60.05 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth (2001 est.):
Total Population: 66.95 years
Male: 65.92 years
Female: 68.03 years

Ethnic groups:
Arab - 75%-80%
Kurdish - 15%-20%
Turkoman, Assyrian or other - 5%

Religions:
Muslim - 97% (Shi'a 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%)
Christian or other - 3%

Languages:
Arabic, Kurdish (official in Kurdish regions), Assyrian, Armenian

Literacy: (definition: age 15 and over can read and write)(1995 est.)
Total Population: 58%
Male: 70.7%
Female: 45%