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Society of Syria

Deir al-Zor (Photo HH)

Syria’s ethnic and religious composition is fairly homogenous. The population is overwhelmingly Arab and of Sunni Muslim religious denomination. Its dominant culture is Arab Islamic. Ethnic and religious minorities have nonetheless left a significant mark on Syrian society. The population distribution is uneven, with most of the Syrians living in the western part of the country. An extensive desert stretches across most of Syria’s eastern territory.

Shopping street in Damascus (Photo Shutterstock)
Agriculture in Kurdish territory (Photo HH)
Aleppo (Photo HH)

Tea vendor in Damascus (Photo HH)

Further Reading

In 2012, Syria's Human Development Index (UNDP) was 0.648. Over the past thirty years, it rose by 0.77 percent annually from 0.603 in 1980. Still, Syria's HDI is lower than might be expected from an oil-producing country, especial...
Syria is not a tribal society, except for the semi-nomadic Bedouins, most of whom live in the Syrian deserts. Syria is – at least formally – a state in which ethnic or religious backgrounds are not supposed to play a role. It ...
The presidency of Bashar al-Assad, which began in 2000, saw the rise of new elites, young urban professionals from different ethnic or religious backgrounds, who share a high level of education as well as Bashar's aspiration to mo...
There are notable – regional and other – imbalances in Syria in regard to the distribution of age, work, wealth and – inversely – poverty. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, Poverty in Syria, data...
Syria's crime rate is extremely low, according to all sources, including the (US) Overseas Security Advisory Council. However, crime rates seem to be on the rise, partly due to poverty, which has increased following the recurrent ...
The structure of the Syrian labour market and the large number of jobs in the informal economy (estimated at 40 percent, see Informal sector) leaves a majority of workers without basic forms of social protection. The majority of t...
Traditional Arab family values exert a strong hold on Syrian society. Even the young generations are still experience close family ties. In a study among university students by the Norwegian research institute FAFO, 88 percent of ...
As in many other Arab countries, women in Syria enjoy fewer rights than men in many domains. The inheritance of Muslim women, for instance, is 50 percent of what a male receives. This hampers the small but increasing number of wom...
More than one in three Syrians is 14 years of age, or younger (36 percent in 2011). The population growth rate was 1.8 percent in 2011 (World Bank) The economy is not growing fast enough to provide jobs for the youth of Syria.
School education entails six years of compulsory primary education, three years of lower secondary education, and three years of upper secondary education. General secondary education offers academic courses and prepares students ...

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