Syria Physical Map

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Physical Map: Defined
In addition to country borders, major cities and significant bodies of water, Physical Maps indicate the location of landforms like deserts, mountains and plains. This type of map also displays major cities and regions. Physical Maps are commonly used to see elevation and land contours as well as major rivers and lakes.

page last updated on September 26, 2011

Introduction :: Syria
Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French administered the area as Syria until granting it independence in 1946. The new country lacked political stability, however, and experienced a series of military coups during its first decades. Syria united with Egypt in February 1958 to form the United Arab Republic. In September 1961, the two entities separated, and the Syrian Arab Republic was reestablished. In November 1970, Hafiz al-ASAD, a member of the Socialist Ba'th Party and the minority Alawite sect, seized power in a bloodless coup and brought political stability to the country. In the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, Syria lost the Golan Heights to Israel. During the 1990s, Syria and Israel held occasional peace talks over its return. Following the death of President al-ASAD, his son, Bashar al-ASAD, was approved as president by popular referendum in July 2000. Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005. During the July-August 2006 conflict between Israel and Hizballah, Syria placed its military forces on alert but did not intervene directly on behalf of its ally Hizballah. In May 2007 Bashar al-ASAD was elected to his second term as president. Influenced by major uprisings that began elsewhere in the region, antigovernment protests broke out in the southern province of Da'ra in March 2011 and spread to other Syrian cities. Protesters called for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law allowing arrests without charge, the legalization of political parties, and the removal of corrupt local officials. The government responded with a mix of force and concessions, including the repeal of the Emergency Law, but as of mid-April 2011 had not succeeded in quelling protests.
Geography :: Syria
Middle East, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Lebanon and Turkey
Geographic coordinates:
35 00 N, 38 00 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 185,180 sq km
country comparison to the world: 89
land: 183,630 sq km
water: 1,550 sq km
note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than North Dakota
Land boundaries:
total: 2,253 km
border countries: Iraq 605 km, Israel 76 km, Jordan 375 km, Lebanon 375 km, Turkey 822 km
193 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
mostly desert; hot, dry, sunny summers (June to August) and mild, rainy winters (December to February) along coast; cold weather with snow or sleet periodically in Damascus
primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: unnamed location near Lake Tiberias -200 m
highest point: Mount Hermon 2,814 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 24.8%
permanent crops: 4.47%
other: 70.73% (2005)
Irrigated land:
13,560 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources:
46.1 cu km (1997)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 19.95 cu km/yr (3%/2%/95%)
per capita: 1,048 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
dust storms, sandstorms
volcanism: Syria's two historically active volcanoes, Es Safa and an unnamed volcano near the Turkish border have not erupted in centuries
Environment - current issues:
deforestation; overgrazing; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution from raw sewage and petroleum refining wastes; inadequate potable water
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note:
there are 41 Israeli settlements and civilian land use sites in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (2010 est.)
People :: Syria
22,517,750 (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
note: approximately 19,100 Israeli settlers live in the Golan Heights (2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 35.2% (male 4,066,109/female 3,865,817)
15-64 years: 61% (male 6,985,067/female 6,753,619)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 390,802/female 456,336) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 21.9 years
male: 21.7 years
female: 22.1 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.913% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
Birth rate:
23.99 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Death rate:
3.68 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 209
Net migration rate:
-11.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212
urban population: 56% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 2.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities - population:
Aleppo 2.985 million; DAMASCUS (capital) 2.527 million; Hims 1.276 million; Hamah 854,000 (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 15.62 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 115
male: 17.96 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 74.69 years
country comparison to the world: 94
male: 72.31 years
female: 77.21 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.94 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 67
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
fewer than 500 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
country comparison to the world: 105
Drinking water source:
urban: 94% of population
rural: 84% of population
total: 89% of population
urban: 6% of population
rural: 16% of population
total: 11% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
urban: 96% of population
rural: 95% of population
total: 96% of population
urban: 4% of population
rural: 5% of population
total: 4% of population (2008)
noun: Syrian(s)
adjective: Syrian
Ethnic groups:
Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%
Sunni Muslim 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%, Christian (various denominations) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)
Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian (widely understood); French, English (somewhat understood)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 79.6%
male: 86%
female: 73.6% (2004 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 12 years
female: 11 years (2007)
Education expenditures:
4.9% of GDP (2007)
country comparison to the world: 66

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