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Country name: Syria
Conventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic
Conventional short form: Syria
Local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah
Local short form: Suriyah
Former: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)Syria
Government type: republic under an authoritarian military-dominated regime
Capital: Damascus
Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Independence: 17 April 1946 (from League of Nations mandate under French administration)
Total: 185,180 sq km
Land: 184,050 sq km
Water: 1,130 sq km
Note: includes 1,295 sq km of Israeli-occupied territory
Climate: 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
Terrain: primarily semiarid and desert plateau; narrow coastal plain; mountains in west
Natural resources: petroleum, phosphates, chrome and manganese ores, asphalt, iron ore, rock salt, marble, gypsum, hydropower
Population: 19,314,747
Note: in addition, about 40,000 people live in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - 20,000 Arabs (18,000 Druze and 2,000 Alawites) and about 20,000 Israeli settlers (July 2007 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 2.244% (2007 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 36.5% (male 3,633,562/female 3,423,435)
15-64 years: 60.1% (male 5,952,275/female 5,664,236)
65 years and over: 3.3% (male 303,346/female 337,893) (2007 est.)
Median Age:
Total: 21.1 years
Male: 20.9 years
Female: 21.2 years (2007 est.)
Birth Rate: 27.19 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death Rate: 4.74 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Religions: Sunni Muslim 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%, Christian (various denominations) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)
Languages: 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)
GDP (purchasing power parity): $77.66 billion (2006 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $24.26 billion (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,100 (2006 est.) 
GDP - composition by sector:
Agriculture: 24%
Industry: 18%
Services: 58% (2005 est.)
Labor force: 5.505 million (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 26%
Industry: 14%
Services: 60% (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate: 12.5% (2005 est.)
Currency (code): Syrian pound (SYP)

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