Governorates of Iraq

Iraq presently consists of 19 governorates (muḥāfażah in Arabic, parêzga in Kurdish), also known as "provinces". As per the Iraqi constitution, three or more governorates can join to form an autonomous region. Baghdad and Basra are the oldest standing administrative regions of Iraq while In 2014 the decision was made to create the Halabja Governorate out of the Halabja District of Sulaymaniyah Governorate.[1][2]

On 21 January 2014, the Council of Ministers of the Government of Iraq approved in principle proposals to create more governorates.[3] The Council 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,[3] which was announced in response to a Sunni Islamist uprising in the city.

Iraqi Governorates
المحافظات العراقية (Arabic)
پارێزگاکانی عێراق (Kurdish)
Also known as:
محافظة (Arabic)
The original 18 governorates
CategoryFederated state
LocationRepublic of Iraq
Number19 governorates
Populations220,000 (Halabja) – 7,055,200 (Baghdad)
Areas529 km2 (204.2 sq mi) (Baghdad) – 138,500 km2 (53,476 sq mi) (Al Anbar)


The governorates
Governorate Postal code ISO code Total area
in miles2
Total area
in km2
7 January 2011
Al Anbar 31 AN 53,476 138,501 1,561,400 Ramadi
Babil 51 BB 1,976 5,603 1,820,700 Hillah
Baghdad 10 BG 78.84 204.2 7,055,200 Baghdad
Basra 61 BA 7,360 19,070 2,532,000 Basra
Dhi Qar 64 DQ 5,000 12,900 1,836,200 Nasiriyah
Al-Qādisiyyah 58 QA 3,148 8,153 1,134,300 Al Diwaniyah
Diyala 32 DI 6,828 17,685 1,443,200 Baqubah
Dohuk 42 DA 2,530 6,553 1,128,700 Dohuk
Erbil 44 AR 5,820 15,074 1,612,700 Erbil
Halabja 46 1,180 3,060 337,000 Halabja
Karbala 56 KA 1,944 5,034 1,066,600 Karbala
Kirkuk 36 KI 3,737 9,679 1,395,600 Kirkuk
Maysan 62 MA 6,205 16,072 971,400 Amarah
Muthanna 66 MU 19,980 51,740 719,100 Samawah
Najaf 54 NA 11,129 28,824 1,285,500 Najaf
Nineveh 41 NI 14,410 37,323 3,270,400 Mosul
Saladin 34 SD 9,556 24,751 1,408,200 Tikrit
Sulaymaniyah 46 SU 6,573 17,023 1,878,800 Sulaymaniyah
Wasit 52 WA 6,623 17,153 1,210,600 Kut

Previous governorates

Irak Provinzengrenzen 1991
Borders of the Iraqi governorates, 1980–2003. Kuwait was annexed as 19th governorate, 1990–1991.
Governorate Now part of
Mosul Nineveh Governorate
Dohuk Governorate
Diwaniya Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate
Muthanna Governorate
Najaf Governorate
Dulaim (–1962)
Ramadi (1962–1976)
Al Anbar Governorate
Muntafiq (–1976) Dhi Qar Governorate
Amara (–1976) Maysan Governorate
Kut (–1976) Wasit Governorate
Baghdad Baghdad Governorate
Saladin Governorate
Kikuk (–1976)
At-Ta'mim (1976–2006)
Kirkuk Governorate

Formerly claimed governorates

See also


  1. ^ "KRG order turning Halabja into province sets off street celebrations". Rudaw. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Kurdistan Region President signs Halabja province directive". Kurdistan Region Presidency. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Resolutions of Council of Ministers For Session No. 3 on 21/1/2014". 21 January 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Iraqi Council of Ministers approved new provinces of Tuz Khurmatu and Tal Afar". Kurd Net. 21 January 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate

Al-Qadisiyah Governorate (Arabic: القادسية‎, romanized: Al Qādisiyah) is one of the governorates of Iraq. It is in the center-south of the country. The estimated population of the province is about a million and a half million people, according to the census of 2014. Its capital is Al Diwaniyah. Before 1976, it was part of the ad-Diwāniyah Governorate, along with al-Muthannā and Najaf. The province is named after the historical city of Al-Qādisiyah, the site of the Battle of al-Qādisiyah, where in 636 CE the Islamic Rashidun forces defeated the forces of the Sassanid Empire. The governorate is predominantly Shia Arab. It includes the Mesopotamian marsh of Hor Aldelmj.

Babil Governorate

Babil Governorate or Babylon Province (Arabic: محافظة بابل‎ Muḥāfaẓa Bābil) is a governorate in central Iraq. It has an area of 5,119 square kilometres (1,976 sq mi), with an estimated population of 1,651,565 people in 2002. The provincial capital is the city of Hillah, which lies opposite the ancient city of Babylon (بابل), on the Euphrates river.

Baghdad Governorate

Baghdad Governorate (Arabic: محافظة بغداد‎ Muḥāfaẓät Baġdād), also known as the Baghdad Province, is the capital governorate of Iraq. It includes the capital Baghdad as well as the surrounding metropolitan area. The governorate is the smallest of the 18 provinces of Iraq but the most populous.

Basra Governorate

Basra Governorate (Arabic: محافظة البصرة‎‎ Muḥāfaẓa al-Baṣra) (or Basra Province) is a governorate in southern Iraq, bordering Kuwait to the south and Iran to the east. The capital is the city of Basra. Other districts of Basra include Al-Qurnah, Az Zubayr, Al Midaina, Shatt Al Arab, Abu Al Khaseeb and Al Faw located on the Persian Gulf.

Dhi Qar Governorate

Dhi Qar Governorate (Arabic: ذي قار‎, romanized: Dhī Qār) is a governorate in southern Iraq. The provincial capital is Nasiriyah. Prior to 1976 the governorate was known as Muntafiq Governorate. Dhi Qar was the heartland of the ancient Iraqi civilization of Sumer, and includes the ruins of Ur, Eridu, Lagash, Larsa, Girsu, Umma, and Bad-tibira. The southern area of the governorate is covered by Mesopotamian Marshes.

Diyala Governorate

Diyala Governorate (Arabic: محافظة ديالى‎ Muḥāfaẓah Diyālā) or Diyala Province is a governorate in eastern Iraq.

Dohuk Governorate

Dohuk Governorate (Kurdish: پارێزگای دھۆک‎, Syriac: ܗܘܦܲܪܟܝܵܐ ܕܕܸܗܘܟ‎ , Arabic: محافظة دهوك‎ Muḥāfaẓat Dahūk) is a governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan. Its capital is the city of Dohuk. It includes Zakho, the city that meets Ibrahim Khalil border between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan. It borders the Al-Hasakah Governorate of Syria.Prior to 1976 it was part of Nineveh Governorate, which was called Mosul Governorate. Dohuk Governorate is mainly inhabited by Kurds and Assyrians, with a small number of Yazidis and Armenians. The estimated population in 2017 was 1,011,585.

Erbil Governorate

Erbil Governorate (Kurdish: Parêzgeha Hewlêr - پارێزگای ھەولێر‎, Syriac: ܗܘܦܲܪܟܝܵܐ ܕܐܲܪܒܝܠ‎, Arabic: محافظة أربيل‎ Muḥāfaẓat Arbīl), sometimes referred to by the alternative spelling Arbil Governorate, is a governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan.

. It derives its name from the city of Erbil (Kurdish: Hewler), which is its capital.

Erbil Governorate covers an area of 15,074 km2 in the north of Iraq, with a population of 2,113,391 (2017) people. It is largely populated by Kurds but has minority populations of Turkmens, Arabs and Assyrians.

Halabja Governorate

Halabja Governorate or Halabja Province (Kurdish: پارێزگای ھەڵەبجە‎, Arabic: محافظة حلبجة‎ Muḥāfaẓat Ḥalabǧa) is a governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan. The governorate was established in 2014, splitting off from Sulaymaniyah Governorate and becoming the sixth governorate in Northern Iraq. Its capital is the city of Halabja.

The Kurdish Parliament first agreed to turn Halabja District into a province in 1999, but it was not enacted at the time. The Kurdistan Regional Government approved of it becoming a governorate in June 2013. Iraq's Council of Ministers approved a bill on 31 December 2013 to enable it. The Iraqi Parliament had to pass the bill but failed to do so. However, the Speaker of the house, Osama Nujaifi, advised that the Kurdistan Regional Government had the power to make Halabja a province. On 13 March 2014, Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government, signed the decision of making Halabja district the fourth governorate of Kurdistan Region; that happened just three days before the remembrance of Halabja chemical attack, which happened on 16 March 1988. On March 16, 2014, Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani signed a regional directive to promote Halabja from district status to a province. The Kurdish Parliament passed a bill in February 2015 to establish the legal framework for selecting a provincial council and a governor. As of December 2015, the Iraqi Parliament had not yet officially recognised the province, apparently because of issues with budgeting finance for it. In August 2018, the then Iraqi Interior Minister, Qasim al-Araji, approved authorization for the opening of federal offices that would issue passports, national ID cards, and other civil documents under its own name.

Karbala Governorate

Karbala Governorate (Arabic: كربلاء‎ Karbalāʾ) is a governorate in central Iraq. Its administrative center is the city of Karbala, a holy city for Shia Muslims for housing the shrine of the revered Imam Hussein. The population is 100% Shia. The governorate includes part of the artificial Lake Milh.

Kirkuk Governorate

Kirkuk Governorate (Arabic: محافظة كركوك‎ Muḥāfaẓat Karkūk, Kurdish: پارێزگای کەرکووک‎ Parêzgay Kerkûk, Syriac: ܟܪܟ ܣܠܘܟ‎ Karḵ Sloḵ, Turkish: Kerkük ili) or Kirkuk Province is a governorate in northern Iraq. The governorate has an area of 9,679 square kilometres (3,737 sq mi). In 2017 the estimated population was 1,259,561 people. The provincial capital is the city of Kirkuk. It is divided into four districts.

From 1976 to 2006, it was named At-Ta'mim Governorate, which means "Nationalization" and refers to the national ownership of the regional oil and natural gas reserves. Prior to 1976 it had been named Kirkuk Governorate. In 2006, the name "Kirkuk Governorate" was restored.

List of Governorates of Iraq by Human Development Index

This is a list of Governorates of Iraq by Human Development Index as of 2018 with data for the year 2017.

Maysan Governorate

Maysan Governorate (Arabic: ميسان‎, romanized: Maysān) is a governorate in southeastern Iraq, bordering Iran. Its administrative centre is the city of Amarah. Prior to 1976 it was known as Amara Province.

Muthanna Governorate

Muthanna Governorate (Arabic: المثنى‎ Al Muthannā) or Al Muthanna Province, is a province in Iraq, named after the 7th-century Arab general al-Muthanna ibn Haritha. It is in the south of the country, bordering Saudi Arabia. Its capital is the city of Samawah.

Before 1976 it was part of the Diwaniya Province, which included present-day Najaf Governorate and Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate.

Samawah is very close to the ancient Sumerian-Babylonian city of Uruk (Aramaic: Erech), which is possibly the source of the name Iraq. After the decline of Babylon following the Seleucid founding of Seleucia, Uruk became the largest city in southern Babylonia, and its name (Erech) came to replace Babili (Babylonia), as the city long outlived the former capital, surviving into the 7th century AD.

Najaf Governorate

Najaf Governorate (Arabic: النجف‎, romanized: an-Najaf) or Najaf Province is a governorate in central and southern Iraq. The capital is the city of Najaf. The other major city is Al Kufah. Both cities are holy to Shia Muslims, who form the majority of the population. Prior to 1976 it was part of the Karbala Governorate.

Saladin Governorate

The Saladin or Salah ad Din Governorate (Arabic: صلاح الدين‎, Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn) is a governorate in Iraq, north of Baghdad. The governorate has an area of 24,363 square kilometres (9,407 sq mi). The estimated population in 2003 was 1,042,200 people. The capital is Tikrit; the governorate also contains the significantly larger city of Samarra. Before 1976 the governorate was part of Baghdad Governorate.

The province is named after leader Saladin (written Salah ad-Din in modern Arabic Latin transcription), a Muslim leader who defeated the Crusaders at Hattin, and who hailed from the province. Salah ad Din was the home province of Saddam Hussein; he was born in Al-Awja, a town near Tikrit.

Sulaymaniyah Governorate

Sulaymaniyah Governorate (Sorani Kurdish: پارێزگای سلێمانی‎, Arabic: محافظة السليمانية‎) or Sulaymaniyah Province is a mountainous governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan. Its capital is the city of Sulaymaniyah. Halabja Governorate was formerly the Halabja District of Sulaymaniyah, until it became a separate governorate in 2014.

Wasit Governorate

Wasit Governorate (Arabic: واسط‎, romanized: Wāsit) is a governorate in eastern Iraq, south-east of Baghdad and bordering Iran. Prior to 1976 it was known as Kut Province. Major cities include the capital Al Kut, Al-Hai and Al-Suwaira. The governorate contains the Mesopotamian Marshes of Shuwayja, Al-Attariyah, and Hor Aldelmj. Its name comes from the Arabic word meaning "middle," as the former city of Wasit lay along the Tigris about midway between Baghdad and Basra. Wasit city was abandoned after the Tigris shifted course.

Governorates of Iraq
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