Syria - Population
The population of Syria in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 17,800,000, which placed it as number 55 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 41% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 102 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 2.38%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 23,018,000. The population density in 2002 was 95 per sq km (245 per sq mi), but most of it was concentrated in a small area; 70% of Syria's people live in Damascus and the six western provinces. Desert areas in the east are largely uninhabited.
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 55% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Damascus, had a population of 2,270,000 in that year. The population of Aleppo (Halab), a northern trading and agricultural center, was an estimated 2,173,000. Other main cities are Homs (Hims), 481,000; Hamath (Hama); and Latakia (Al-Ladhiqqiyah). According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 3.3%.