Iraq Geography


Iraq Location:

Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait

Iraq Geographic coordinates:

33 00 N, 44 00 E

Iraq Map references:

Middle East

Iraq Area:

total: 438,317 sq km

land: 437,367 sq km

water: 950 sq km

country comparison to the world: 60

Iraq Area – comparative:

slightly more than three times the size of New York state

Area comparison map:

Iraq Land boundaries:

total: 3,809 km

border countries (6): Iran 1599 km, Jordan 179 km, Kuwait 254 km, Saudi Arabia 811 km, Syria 599 km, Turkey 367 km

Iraq Coastline:

58 km

Iraq Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: not specified

Iraq Climate:

mostly desert; mild to cool winters with dry, hot, cloudless summers; northern mountainous regions along Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring, sometimes causing extensive flooding in central and southern Iraq

Iraq Terrain:

mostly broad plains; reedy marshes along Iranian border in south with large flooded areas; mountains along borders with Iran and Turkey

Iraq Elevation:

mean elevation: 312 m

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m

highest point: Cheekha Dar (Kurdish for “Black Tent”) 3,611 m

Iraq Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur

Iraq Land use:

agricultural land: 18.1% (2011 est.)

arable land: 8.4% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.5% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 9.2% (2011 est.)

forest: 1.9% (2011 est.)

other: 80% (2011 est.)

Iraq Irrigated land:

35,250 sq km (2012)

Iraq Population distribution:

population is concentrated in the north, center, and eastern parts of the country, with many of the larger urban agglomerations found along extensive parts of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; much of the western and southern areas are either lightly populated or uninhabited

Iraq Natural hazards:

dust storms; sandstorms; floods

Iraq Environment – current issues:

government water control projects drained most of the inhabited marsh areas east of An Nasiriyah by drying up or diverting the feeder streams and rivers; a once sizable population of Marsh Arabs, who inhabited these areas for thousands of years, has been displaced; furthermore, the destruction of the natural habitat poses serious threats to the area’s wildlife populations; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation (salination) and erosion; desertification; military and industrial infrastructure has released heavy metals and other hazardous substances into the air, soil, and groundwater; major sources of environmental damage are effluents from oil refineries, factory and sewage discharges into rivers, fertilizer and chemical contamination of the soil, and industrial air pollution in urban areas

Iraq Environment – international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Iraq Geography – note:

strategic location on Shatt al Arab waterway and at the head of the Persian Gulf

Data for Educational Purpose Only.


The World Factbook 2016-17. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2016.

Other Pages Relating to Country Iraq:

Iraq at a Glance and One Page Summary

Iraq Background and Introduction

Iraq Geography

Iraq People and Society

Iraq Government

Iraq Economy

Iraq Energy Resources

Iraq Communications System

Iraq Transportation System

Iraq Military and Security System

Iraq Transnational Issues

Iraq Capital Flag and Currency

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