The aftermath of war, severe food shortages, lawlessness and the lack of essential medicine throughout the country hamper the nation's chances of prosperity any time soon.
It won't come as a surprise to too many people that Iraq isn't the best place for a holiday at the moment. The turbulent and extreme domestic situation makes Iraq one of the least desirable places in the world to be. Even if you wanted to go, chances are you'd have trouble getting there; there are only a few infrequent commercial carriers running flights to Baghdad's International Airport and only journalists, business people and aid workers are being issued visas.
Full country name: Republic of Iraq
Area: 432,162 sq km
Population: 24.68 million
Capital City: Baghdad
Religion: The official religion is Islam. Muslims make up 95% of the population, with considerably more Shiites than Sunni. The Shiites tend to live in the south of the country, the Sunni in the central and northern districts. The largest group of non-Muslims are Christians who belong to various sects, including Chaldeans, Assyrians, Syrian and Roman Catholics, Orthodox Armenians and Jacobites. Other religious minorities are the Yezidis, often erroneously called devil worshippers, and the Sabaeans, or Mandeans, who are followers of John the Baptist.
GDP: US$456 billion
GDP per capita: US$7,000
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