Thursday, 20 December 2012, 11:44 GMT
Kurdistan population hits five million
By The Kurdish Globe
By Salih Waladbagi -- Erbil

Sulaimaniyah, the second geographically biggest province, is the most crowded

According to statistics from all three Kurdistan provinces administrations', Erbil, Sulaimaniyah and Duhok, Kurdistan population has so far reached around 5 million and 300 thousand persons.

"Actually, the number is taken from food ration coupons which are registered in Iraqi and Kurdistan's ministry of trade," an official said.

Of which, around 2 million and 56 thousand and 186 persons are from the second geographically biggest province Sulaimaniyah, according to Mahmud Othman Director of the city's statistic unit.

In regard to the Kurdish capital, Erbil's population, Mudhafar Tahir, Director of Data Analysis and Statistic department, said that the city's population has up to now reached around 1 million, 927 thousand and 118 people.

"Indeed, population of the third province Duhok is around 1 million and 316 thousand people," said Tahir.

Population and national budget

Increasing Kurdistan's population has not so far benefited to increase Kurdistan's share from the national budget, Kurdistan's Ministry of Finance and Economy along with Kurdish officials in Baghdad say.

According to them, the budget has to be fairly distributed over Iraqis and Kurdish people, adding that it should be distributed in accordance with population.

Kurdistan's share has been 17 percent until Saddam's ousting in 2003 while population of the three provinces was about 4 million, 320 thousand and 604 people.

The budget that comes to Kurdistan is still calculated in keeping with the statistics of 2003 and no change has been done so far, officials say.

Rashid Tahir, Kurdistan Ministry of Finance and Economy's undersecretary, said that consistent with the budget draft of 2013, which has been sent to Iraq Parliament, the country's population has been presupposed around 34 million, 410 thousand and 560 people.

"In the budget draft, Kurdistan population has been calculated as about 4 million and 320 thousand people."

The region's population, Tahir says, is considered around 12 percent of all Iraq's population, while according to previous consensus by Iraqi parties the region's share should be 17 percent.