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Governorates of Iraq

Iraqi Governorates
المحافظات العراقية (Arabic)
پارێزگاکانی عێراق (Kurdish)
Also known as:
محافظة (Arabic)
پارێزگا  (Kurdish)
Category Federated state
Location Republic of Iraq
Number 18 Governorates
Populations 719,100 (Muthanna) – 7,055,200 (Baghdad)
Areas 1,180 square miles (3,100 km2) (Kirkuk) – 53,476 square miles (138,500 km2) (Al Anbar)
Government Governorate government
Subdivisions Districts
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

Iraq consists of 19 governorates (muḥāfażah), also known as "provinces". The country was divided into eighteen governorates by Saddam Hussein in the 1970s,[1] which currently remain in place, but plans were announced in 2014 to divide the nation into more governorates.[2] Hussein divided the nation into these governorates and districts for reasons of ethnic manipulation, although it was later found that they were mainly ethnically balanced/neutral.[1] An area of the country that is part of Kurdistan, known as Iraqi Kurdistan, was granted autonomy in 1970. In 2003, after opposition from Kurdish people regarding the division of Kurdistan into governorates,[1] the autonomous standing of Iraqi Kurdistan was re-confirmed in 2005 in the constitution of Iraq.[3]

On 21 January 2014, the Council of Ministers of the Government of Iraq announced that two new governorates Tal Afar and Tuz Khurmatu would be formed from the current Nineveh Governorate and Saladin Governorate, respectively.[4] It was also announced that the city of Fallujah of the Al Anbar Governorate would become a separate governorate, which was announced in response to a Sunni Islamist uprising in the city.[2] Also in 2014, Nechervan Barzani, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, announced that the city of Halabja would become a separate governorate, and he signed this decision on 13 March 2014.[5] The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government Masoud Barzani signed and ratified this directive on 16 March 2014, turning the district of Halabja into a new governorate.[6]


  • Table 1
  • Formerly claimed governorates 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The governorates
Governorate Code Total area
in miles2
Total area
in km2
7 January 2011
Al Anbar 31 53,476 138,501 1,561,400 Ramadi
Babil 51 1,976 5,119 1,820,700 Hillah
Baghdad 10 1,759 4,555 7,055,200 Baghdad
Basra 61 7,360 19,070 2,532,000 Basra
Dhi Qar 64 5,000 12,900 1,836,200 Nasiriyah
Al Diwaniyah 58 3,148 8,153 1,134,300 Al Diwaniyah
Diyala 32 6,828 17,685 1,443,200 Baqubah
Dohuk 42 2,530 6,553 1,128,700 Dohuk
Erbil 44 5,820 15,074 1,612,700 Erbil
Halabja 46 1,180 3,060 337,000 Halabja
Karbala 56 1,944 5,034 1,066,600 Karbala
Kirkuk 36 3,737 9,679 1,395,600 Kirkuk
Maysan 62 6,205 16,072 971,400 Amarah
Muthana 66 19,980 51,740 719,100 Samawah
Najaf 54 11,129 28,824 1,285,500 Najaf
Nineveh 41 14,410 37,323 3,270,400 Mosul
Saladin 34 9,556 24,751 1,408,200 Tikrit
Sulaymaniyah 46 6,573 17,023 1,878,800 Sulaymaniyah
Wasit 52 6,623 17,153 1,210,600 Kut

Formerly claimed governorates

See also


  1. ^ a b c Brendan O'Leary (11 August 2006). The Future of Kurdistan in Iraq. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 30–.  
  2. ^ a b "Cabinet decision". 21 January 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Iraqi Constitution, Article 113.
  4. ^ "Iraqi Council of Ministers approved new provinces of Tuz Khurmatu and Tal Afar". Kurd Net. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "KRG Order Turning Halabja into Province Sets off Street Celebrations". RUDAW. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Kurdistan Region President Signs Halabja Province Directive". Kurdistan Region Presidency. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 

External links

  • Iraq Inter-Agency Information & Analysis Unit Reports, Maps and Assessments of Iraq from the UN Inter-Agency Information & Analysis Unit
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