Iraq wants to start population control in ‘unplanned’ boom

Iraq has seen a huge increase in its population in recent years, which the government now wants to control.

Iraq’s population could reach 50 million in less than a decade, plan ministry says [Getty]

Iraq announced on Tuesday that it was ready to launch a policy of population control after reports warned of a drastic increase in the country’s population.

The Ministry of Planning revealed in a recent report that “unplanned population growth” could see the population reach 50 million by 2030.

The head of the central statistics organization at the planning ministry, Diaa Awad Kazem, told the Al Sabah newspaper that unofficial figures 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 program focusing on family planning and reproductive health next month.

Social researcher Salam al-Qaisi said The new Arabicis affiliated, Al-Araby Al-Jadeedthat although the government says the plan is essential for the economic and societal future of the county, it is also controversial.

“Family planning cannot be done through imposed laws,” al-Qaisi said.

“The issue can only be resolved through educational campaigns, which the competent authorities must focus on in coordination with university and municipal institutions and religious people.”

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

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

Despite some of the world’s largest oil reserves, much of the population lives below the poverty line and in dire conditions after decades of war, political instability and corruption.