Demographics of Syria
Syrians today are an overall indigenous Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

ine people. While modern-day Syrians are commonly described as Arabs by virtue of their modern-day language and bonds to Arab culture and history. They are, in fact, largely a blend of the various Aramaic speaking groups indigenous to the region who were Arabized when Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 arrived and settled following the Arab expansion. During colonial years, the region had a fairly large minority of French settlers
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

. Many of them stepped out after the recognition of Syrian independence, but their influence is still evident on fluency of French by the educated class in Syria. Syria's population is 74% Sunni Muslim, and 16% other Muslim groups, including the Alawi
The Alawis, also known as Alawites, Nusayris and Ansaris are a prominent mystical and syncretic religious group centred in Syria who are a branch of Shia Islam.-Etymology:...

, Shi'a, and Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

, and 10% Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

, with a very small Syrian Jewish community.

1,500 people of Greek descent live in Syria
Greeks in Syria
The Greek presence in Syria is dated to the 7th century BCE and became more prominent during the Hellenistic era and when the Seleucid Empire was centered there...

. The majority of them are Syrian citizens.

Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 is the official, and most widely spoken, language. Arabic speakers, including some 400,000 Palestinians, make up 85% of the population. Many educated Syrians also speak English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 or French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, but English is more widely understood. The Kurds, many of whom speak Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

, make up 9% of the population and live mostly in the northeast corner of Syria, though sizable Kurdish communities live in most major Syrian cities as well. Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

 and Turkmen
Turkmen language
Turkmen is the national language of Turkmenistan...

 are spoken among the small Armenian and Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

 populations respectively. Neo-Aramaic is still used by Assyrians and in some villages in the Anti-Lebanon mountains.

Most people live in the city of Aleppo, the Euphrates
The Euphrates is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia...

 valley or along the coastal plain; a fertile strip between the coastal mountains and the desert. Overall population density is about 118.3/km² (306.5 per sq. mi.) Education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 11. Schooling consists of 6 years of primary education followed by a 3-year general or vocational training period and a 3-year academic or vocational program. The second 3-year period of academic training is required for university admission. Total enrollment at post-secondary schools is over 150,000. The literacy rate of Syrians aged 15 and older is 86.0% for males and 73.6% for females.

Ancient Syria's cultural and artistic achievements and contributions are many. Archaeologists have discovered extensive writings and evidence of a brilliant culture rivaling those of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 in and around the ancient city of Ebla
Ebla Idlib Governorate, Syria) was an ancient city about southwest of Aleppo. It was an important city-state in two periods, first in the late third millennium BC, then again between 1800 and 1650 BC....

. Later Syrian scholars and artists contributed to Hellenistic and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 thought and culture. Zeno of Sidon
Zeno of Sidon
Zeno of Sidon was an Epicurean philosopher from the Phoenician city of Sidon. His writings do not survive, but there are some epitomes of his lectures preserved among the writings of his pupil Philodemus.-Life:...

 founded the Epicurean school; Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 was a pupil of Antiochus
Antiochus of Ascalon
Antiochus , of Ascalon, , was an Academic philosopher. He was a pupil of Philo of Larissa at the Academy, but he diverged from the Academic skepticism of Philo and his predecessors...

 of Ascalon
The word Ascalon comes from Ashkelon, a coastal city in Israel. It can refer to a number of possible topics:-Ashkelon history related:* Battle of Ascalon, considered the last action of the First Crusade...

 at Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

; and the writings of Posidonius
Posidonius "of Apameia" or "of Rhodes" , was a Greek Stoic philosopher, politician, astronomer, geographer, historian and teacher native to Apamea, Syria. He was acclaimed as the greatest polymath of his age...

 of Apamea
Apamea (Syria)
Apamea was a treasure city and stud-depot of the Seleucid kings, was capital of Apamene, on the right bank of the Orontes River. . Its site is found about to the northwest of Hama, Syria, overlooking the Ghab valley...

 influenced Livy
Titus Livius — known as Livy in English — was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC...

 and Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

. Syrians have contributed to Arabic literature
Arabic literature
Arabic literature is the writing produced, both prose and poetry, by writers in the Arabic language. The Arabic word used for literature is adab which is derived from a meaning of etiquette, and implies politeness, culture and enrichment....

 and music and have a proud tradition of oral
Oral literature
Oral literature corresponds in the sphere of the spoken word to literature as literature operates in the domain of the written word. It thus forms a generally more fundamental component of culture, but operates in many ways as one might expect literature to do...

 and written poetry. Although declining, the handicraft industry still employs thousands.

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Age structure

0–14 years:
35.9% (male 3,724,770/female 3,510,182)

15–64 years:
60.8% (male 6,285,866/female 5,980,029)

65 years and older:
3.4% (male 318,646/female 358,992) (2009 est.)

Death rate

4.61 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth:
1.06 male(s)/female

under 15 years:
1.06 male(s)/female

15–64 years:
1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and older:
0.89 male(s)/female

total population:
1.05 male(s)/female (2009 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population:
71.19 years

69.8 years

72.68 years (2009 est.)

Ethnic groups

Arabs 90%, other ethnic groups such as Kurds
Kurds in Syria
Kurds are the largest ethnic minority in Syria making up 10% of the country's population. Most of them are Sunni Muslims; there are also Yazidi and Yarsan Kurds in Syria and small numbers of Christians and Alawis. They face routine discrimination and harassment by the Syrian...

, Assyrians/Syriacs
Assyrians in Syria
Assyrians/Syriacs in Syria have lived in north eastern Syria since 2000 BC, parts of the region were an integral part of Assyria proper, and during the Neo Assyrian Empire the entirety of the modern country of Syria was under Assyrian rule...

, Armenians, Circassians, and Syrian Turkmen
Syrian Turkmen
Syrian Turks are Syrian citizens of Turkish descent, who have been living in the Syrian provinces of the Ottoman Empire before its dissolution and continue to live in the modern country of Syria...


Sunni Muslim 74%, Alawites and Ismailis 13%, Christian (various Churches) 10%, Druze 3% .


age 30 and older can read and write

total population:


73.6% (2004 census)
See also : Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

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