What percent of the Iraqi population lives in the "Sunni Triangle"?

Without getting into the war good/war bad debate, I would like to know what percent of the Iraqi population lives in the so-called Sunni Triangle. Without knowing that, it is hard to determine whether the administration claims (that most of the unrest is limited to that region) are significant.

I have already found out that Sunnis comprise about 20% of the total Iraqi population, but that’s not what I want to know. Specifically, what is the population of the region known as the Sunni Triangle, and what portion of the total Iraqi population does it represent?

Anybody have a reliable source of information for that datum?

20% of the total Iraqi population? That figure is a little low… I’ve read that about 35-40% of the Muslim population in Iraq is Sunni. So out of the whole population it should be about 35%.

That is roughly correct. However many of those Sunni Muslims are Kurds in the north. Maybe 20% Sunni Arab is probably close, of which the great majority live in the “Sunni Triangle”.

  • Tamerlane

Not an exact answer, but here are two maps showing the population density of Iraq, to give you a general idea where most of the people are:

Or, I could just use google and get this:

Sunni Triangle, a volatile tribal heartland dominated by Iraq’s Sunni minority, and home to between 15 percent and 20 percent of the country’s population. …

(from iml.jou.ufl.edu/Newszine/global/3.htm)

With a population of 25 million, this makes up 3.75 to 5 million people.

Course Baghdad alone has a population of ~5.6 million, 22% of Iraq’s total population. Falujah, Ramadia and Samarra add another 875,000 people for a total of about 25% of Iraq’s population (Iraq cities).

On the lib.utexas.edu maps above, the city of Tikrit is not marked. If you’re defining the ‘Sunni Triangle’ as Baghdad, Ramadi (Al-Ramadi, Ar-Ramadi), and Tikrit, then you should know that the tiny red splotch north-northeast of Baghdad is Tikrit.

Wikipedia (wikipedia.org), a user-filtered encyclopedia that I usually find to be pretty accurate, lists the populations of those areas as follows:

Tikrit - 28,900 (2002 est)
Baghdad - 5,772,000 (2003 est)

http://www.library.uu.nl/wesp/populstat/Asia/iraqt.htm , a university source I was unable to correlate, lists Ramadi’s population as 423,000. It agrees with wikipedia on Tikrit and estimates Baghdad (2002) as 5.6M instead of 5.77M.

Ar Ramadi - 423,300 (2002 est)

The same source lists the population of Salah-ah Din Province, of which Tikrit is the capital, as 1.13M (2002 est); Baghdad Province as 6.21M (2002 est); and Al-Anbar province as having 1.26M (2002 est). I advise you to check out http://www.1uptravel.com/worldmaps/iraq23.html
to see what those provinces include, however. The percentage of Al-Anbar that is encompassed in the Sunni triangle is quite small, and Al-Anbar extends down toward the marshes where the majority are Shia Muslims.

In any case, you can use just city populations (6.22M) to get a lower estimate (~25%) to your question, or the province populations (8.6M) to get an upper estimate (~35%). I’m dividing those into the CIA World Fact Book population figure for Iraq(24.68M) to get percentages above.

Realize, though, that both figures include the total population of Baghdad in the “Sunni Triangle” and that there are non-trivial numbers of Shia in Baghdad that will definitely skew the Sunni-ness of your Triangle.

Hope this helps…