Feb. 19, 2016
How War Is Redrawing Syria’s Demographic Map Forever – Etienne Dubuis (Le Temps-Switzerland-Worldcrunch)
- Youssef Courbage, research director of the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) in Paris, notes that in Syria, the Alawites now have a fertility rate of slightly more than two children per woman, which is close to European averages, while the Sunnis still have five children per woman, though the Sunni urban upper classes had a fertility rate similar to the Alawite elites.
- So far, the Syrian civil war has killed some 90,000 regime soldiers and 80,000 rebels.
- The Alawite camp, which ruled over 21.5 million Syrians five years ago, now controls just 10 million, or 63% of the 16 million people still in the country. Of those Syrians still in the country, some 6.5 million have been uprooted, redrawing the communal map and contributing to the creation of more ethnically or religiously homogenous areas.
- Religious minorities (Alawite, Christians and Druse) that represented just 22% of Syria’s total population are now 41% of the population in the territory controlled by the regime in Damascus.
- The Sunnis form the great majority of refugees fleeing the country. One-fourth of Syria’s population – 5.3 million people – fled between 2011 and 2015. With this, the proportion of Alawites increased from 10% to 13% and the Arab Sunnis decreased from 64% to 61%. The proportion of the Christian community fell from 5% to 3%.
- The exile of several million Syrians has also had a profound effect on Jordan and Lebanon. In Jordan, the influx of 600,000 Syrians after the arrival of 1 million Iraqis has distinctly reduced the proportion of Palestinians in the population.
- In Lebanon, the arrival of 1.5 million Syrians has doubled the Sunni community there, far outnumbering the local Shia community.