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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Sunday, 3 September 2006
What is the sex ratio in Iraq?
Topic: Politics

I read a long time ago that Iraq was 62 per cent female. I wish I'd bookmarked where I read it, because when I tried to track down the statistic, I could only source it to this:

which states: 

"Women are 62 percent of the population and represent tremendous intellectual and human resource pool."

Has anyone got a better source? If true, then it's a shocking revelation of the horrors of the Saddam era. Even if the coalition forces have killed the number claimed in the Lancet report of 2004 (100,000), that does not in any way explain a 62 to 38 female - male ratio in a country of over 20 million people. When Mark Steyn drove around Iraq in 2003, he said that he encountered many families that were almost entirely female, so many men having been killed in the wars against Iran and Kuwait, as well as the hundreds of thousands killed in the Al Anfal campaign and the suppression of the uprising against Saddam in 1991.

I've even read it claimed that one reason why the Americans underestimated the level of post-war violence was that they believed that the high level of women relative to men in Iraq would have a pacifying effect.

I know that I have at least one Iraqi reader. Would any care to comment on the gender split, please?

Tuesday, 5 September 2006 - 3:50 AM BST

Name: "Matt Arnott"

 Wikipedia would appear to contradict the other information source.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006 - 8:23 AM BST

Name: "TRS"

The CIA World Factbook also contradicts this unusual assertion.

There's a link to it from your blog, so its reasonable to assume you implicitly consider this a good source.

Thursday, 7 September 2006 - 1:57 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

As straw clutching exercises go, this is pretty lame David.


Thursday, 7 September 2006 - 2:03 PM BST

Name: "anonymous"

Just found another one: 

 which reports -

"Up to half of the national population is currently unemployed in Iraq, where women represent almost 60 percent of the total populace."

the report notes:

This item comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian news and information service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. All IRIN material may be reposted or reprinted free-of-charge; refer to the copyright page for conditions of use. IRIN is a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

so this source would appear to be the United Nations.

Thursday, 7 September 2006 - 2:11 PM BST

Name: "David Young"

That last one was from me by the way.

I've just found another reference to the extreme sex imbalance there: 

which states - "Given the population distribution in Iraq with almost two-thirds of the population female...."

I am of course aware of what the CIA factbook is reporting. That's why I raised this issue in the first place. But I still think there is some explaining to be done.


Thursday, 7 September 2006 - 2:16 PM BST

Name: "David Young"

Curiouser and curiouser...

This release from the US state department contains a claim that women are 55 per cent of the population. 


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