Iraq wants to start population control amid 'unplanned' boom

Iraq wants to start population control amid 'unplanned' boom
Iraq has seen a huge surge in its population in recent years, which the government now wants to control.
2 min read
21 June, 2022
The ministry of planning says Iraq's population could reach 50 million in less than a decade [Getty]

Iraq announced on Tuesday its readiness to launch a population control policy after reports warned of a drastic increase in the country's population.

The ministry of planning in a recent report revealed that "unplanned population growth" could see the population rise to 50 million by 2030.

Head of the central statistical organisation at the Ministry of Planning, Diaa Awad Kazem, told the local Al Sabah newspaper that unofficial numbers show the population currently stands at 41 million.

Kazem stressed the importance of "controlling" population growth in light of the rapid increase and his ministry will launch a programme focusing on family planning and reproductive health next month.

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Societal researcher Salam al-Qaisi told The New Arab’s affiliate, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that despite the government saying the plan is essential for the economic and societal future of the county, it is also controversial.

"Family planning cannot happen through imposed laws," al-Qaisi said. 

"The matter can only be solved through educational campaigns that must be focused on by relevant authorities in coordination with academic and communal institutions and clerics."

Iraq has an exceptionally young population, with 40 percent of people in the country under the age of 15, according to official figures.

The vast majority of Iraqis are either Sunni or Shia Muslim, with much smaller Yazidi and Christian populations.

Despite having some of the biggest oil reserves, much of the population lives under the poverty line and in dire conditions after decades of war, political instability and corruption.