The Human Truth Foundation

Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#china #iran #russia #syria

Syria
Syrian Arab Republic
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index171st best
CapitalDamascus
Land Area 183 630km21
LocationAsia, The Mediterranean, The Middle East
Population16.9m2
Life Expectancy69.65yrs (2017)3
GNI$2 441 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesSY, SYR, 7605
Internet Domain.sy6
CurrencyPound (SYP)7
Telephone+9638

1. Overview

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 Alawi 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 Syrian troops - stationed in Lebanon since 1976 in an ostensible peacekeeping role - were withdrawn in April 2005.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's second term as president was approved by popular referendum. Influenced by major uprisings that began elsewhere in the region, antigovernment protests broke out in the southern province of Dar'a in March 2011 with protesters calling for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law allowing arrests without charge, the legalization of political parties, and the removal of corrupt local officials. Since then demonstrations and unrest have spread to nearly every city in Syria, but the size and intensity of protests have fluctuated over time. The government responded to unrest with a mix of concessions - including the repeal of the Emergency Law and approving new laws permitting new political parties and liberalizing local and national elections - and force. However, the government's response has failed to meet opposition demands for ASAD to step down, and the government's ongoing security operations to quell unrest and widespread armed opposition activity have led to extended violent clashes between government forces and oppositionists. International pressure on the ASAD regime has intensified since late 2011, as the Arab League, EU, Turkey, and the United States have expanded economic sanctions against the regime. Lakhdar BRAHIMI, current Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States on the Syrian crisis, in October 2012 began meeting with regional heads of state to assist in brokering a cease-fire. In December 2012, the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces was recognized by more than 130 countries as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. Unrest persists in 2013, and the death toll among Syrian Government forces, opposition forces, and civilians has topped 70,000.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverDue to a civil war that has dominated the news headlines and traumatised a nation, Syria has been off-limits for several years. But travellers to this gateway to the Middle East remember a time when Syria was famed for its culture and hospitality. At the time of writing, you can´t go: if you can, you shouldn't. Peaceful protests against the Assad regime that began in early 2011 have evolved into a chaotic and multi-faceted civil war spanning much of the country.

There´s violent conflict around Aleppo in the rebel-held north, Homs in central Syria and also around Damascus in the government stronghold of the south. Although organisations such as the UN and the Arab League have attempted to broker peace, events remain unpredictable.

As a result, how long this will continue is impossible to guess. When it ends, the wealth of historic sites, from Palmyra in the desert to the crusader castles like Crac des Chevaliers, within sight of the >!--VCCM_Mediterranean-->, will lure us back and the gracious hospitality of Syrians will warm us to their country.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Syria National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
146Kenya146
147Pakistan147
148Swaziland148
149Syria149
150Angola150
151Tanzania151
152Nigeria152
153Cameroon153
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
159Tajikistan$2 601
160Kiribati$2 475
161Tanzania$2 467
162Syria$2 441
163Nepal$2 337
164Yemen$2 300
165Senegal$2 250
166Mali$2 218
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Taiwan30.2
2Denmark30.5
3Norway30.9
...
168N. Korea117.1
169Niger117.1
170Marshall Islands117.1
171Syria117.2
172Swaziland117.6
173Sudan118.2
174Comoros119.3
175Mauritania119.3
World Avg86.4
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Syria's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Syria's population is predicted to rise to 27.86 million by 2030. These millions of extra people will all need space to live, food to eat, energy to consume, and will increase the burden on the planet's resources. This country has a fertility rate of 2.81. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
65Guatemala17.2m
66Ecuador17.1m
67Netherlands17.1m
68Syria16.9m
69Cambodia16.2m
70Senegal15.9m
71Chad15.5m
72Somalia15.0m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
119Nepal69.99
120Bhutan69.85
121Mongolia69.81
122Syria69.65
123Iraq69.63
124Kazakhstan69.59
125Tajikistan69.58
126Uzbekistan69.40
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
112Portugal1.31
113Belize2.70
114Malta1.28
115Syria2.81
116Bosnia & Herzegovina1.13
117Paraguay2.87
118Hong Kong1.12
119Israel2.91
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
57Gabon08.5
58Pakistan08.6
59Bahrain08.7
60Syria09.0
61Djibouti09.1
62Tajikistan09.1
63Equatorial Guinea09.4
64Kiribati09.5
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
78Finland6.2%
79Marshall Islands6.2%
80Turkey6.0%
81Syria5.5%
82Thailand5.2%
83Hungary5.2%
84Palestine5.2%
85Argentina4.9%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
121Germany4.3%
122S. Korea4.3%
123Belgium4.2%
124Syria4.2%
125Burundi4.2%
126Panama4.0%
127Norway3.8%
128Bahrain3.7%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #syria #tolerance

Syria is amongst the worst places in the world at ensuring human rights and freedom, and it has severe cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Syria does better than average for speed of uptake of HR treaties19. But unfortunately Syria gets most other things wrong. It does worse than average in its nominal commitment to Human Rights20 (still high for Asia) and in opposing gender inequality21 (one of the highest in Asia). It falls into the worst-performing 20 in commentary in Human Rights Watch reports22, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms23 (one of the highest in Asia) and in supporting press freedom24 (one of the highest in Asia). And finally, it is the worst in LGBT equality25. The Syrian government has "conducted deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians", including "numerous chemical weapons attacks", with support of Russia and Iran26. Together they have "withheld humanitarian aid, employed starvation as war tactic" and used torture on perceived enemies26. Russia and China have been blocking and vetoing the United Nation's efforts to stem mass atrocities, and have prevented the International Criminal Court from starting direct investigations. Many non-state armed groups are also committing atrocities26.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Syria's Health

#alcohol #birth_control #demographics #health #life_expectancy #longevity #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #Syria #vaccines

Health (2020)27,28
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank27,28
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
135Afghanistan103.5
136Tonga103.6
137Bulgaria104.0
138Syria104.9
139Romania105.1
140Timor-Leste (E. Timor)105.3
141Lesotho105.8
142Kenya106.4
143Senegal107.5
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives27. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea27.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe27, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia27.

Health:

Syria has some poor policies and cultural issues which cause some public health problems. Syria comes in the best 20 when it comes to its alcohol consumption rate29. It does better than average when it comes to its smoking rate30. When it comes to most other metrics, Syria does not do well. It does worse than average in its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance31, its adolescent birth rate21, its fertility rate15 and in its average life expectancy12. And finally, it falls into the worst 20 in its immunizations take-up32 (the lowest in Asia). The prevalence of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the past 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
119Nepal69.99
120Bhutan69.85
121Mongolia69.81
122Syria69.65
123Iraq69.63
124Kazakhstan69.59
125Tajikistan69.58
126Uzbekistan69.40
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)29
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita29
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
4Mauritania0.0
5Somalia0.0
6Yemen0.1
7Afghanistan0.2
8Saudi Arabia0.2
9Syria0.3
10Pakistan0.3
11Kiribati0.4
12Iraq0.4
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
112Portugal1.31
113Belize2.70
114Malta1.28
115Syria2.81
116Bosnia & Herzegovina1.13
117Paraguay2.87
118Hong Kong1.12
119Israel2.91
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)30
Pos.Higher is worse30
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
...
79Nicaragua 488
78Ivory Coast 477
77Djibouti 476
76Syria 459
75Botswana 449
74Costa Rica 432
73Sudan 428
72Swaziland 427
World Avg 819
q=182.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
85Bolivia85
86Kyrgyzstan86
87Moldova87
88Syria88
89Azerbaijan89
90Uganda90
91Chile91
92Tunisia92
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)33
Pos.Lower is better
%33
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
142Morocco60.4
143Ireland60.6
144Dominican Rep.61.2
145Syria61.4
146Spain61.6
147Hungary61.6
148Costa Rica61.6
149Tunisia61.6
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)21
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100021
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
91Vietnam38.6
92Pakistan38.7
93Haiti39.3
94Syria39.4
95Kyrgyzstan39.6
96Georgia39.7
97Barbados40.7
98Vanuatu43.1
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)32
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %32
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
184Haiti65.7
185Vanuatu65.5
186Guinea63.3
187Syria62.4
188Ukraine55.2
189Chad52.5
190Nigeria50.0
191Central African Rep.49.4
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Syria's Modernity and Learning

#education #intelligence #modernity #politics #religion #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)34
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank34
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
...
141St Vincent & Grenadines95.5
142Burkina Faso95.7
143Benin97.0
144Syria97.7
145Mali98.1
146Togo99.4
147Malawi99.8
148Gabon100.2
149Swaziland100.4
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Secondary Education (2018)35
Pos.Higher is better35
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
122Zambia44.3%
123El Salvador42.8%
124Namibia41.1%
125Syria41.0%
126Sao Tome & Principe40.8%
127Togo40.5%
128Laos40.4%
129Algeria38.9%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)36
Pos.Higher is better
Years36
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
...
177Guinea9.0
178Senegal9.0
179Burkina Faso8.9
180Syria8.9
181Ethiopia8.7
182Yemen8.7
183Mauritania8.5
184Pakistan8.5
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
...
137Papua New Guinea137
138Congo, DR138
139Ecuador139
140Syria140
141Mauritania141
142Nigeria142
143Mali143
144Congo, (Brazzaville)144
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Religiosity (2009)37
Pos.Lower is better
%37
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
67Zimbabwe88
68Panama88
69Bolivia89
70Syria89
71Tanzania89
72Kosovo90
73India90
74Kuwait91
World Avg75.1
q=114.
IQ (2006)38
Pos.Higher is better38
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
88Libya83
89Tunisia83
90Oman83
91Syria83
92India82
93Bangladesh82
94Lebanon82
95Dominican Rep.82
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)39
Pos.Higher is better39
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
130Cuba32%
131Micronesia31%
132Vanuatu31%
133Syria30%
134Sri Lanka29%
135Samoa29%
136Ghana28%
137Swaziland28%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
Freedom On The Internet (2012)40
Pos.Lower is better40
1Estonia10
2USA12
3Germany15
...
40Vietnam73
41Ethiopia75
42Myanmar (Burma)75
43Uzbekistan77
44Syria83
45China85
46Cuba86
47Iran90
World Avg46.7
q=47.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)41
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio41
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
...
133Morocco0.0
134Timor-Leste (E. Timor)0.0
135Honduras0.0
136Syria0.0
137Nicaragua0.0
138Solomon Islands0.0
139Congo, (Brazzaville)0.0
140Sao Tome & Principe0.0
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

Personal Charitability
(World Position, 2013-2016)
42
Pos.Lower is better42
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
47Uganda41.25
48Singapore42
49Somaliland42
50Syria43.67
51Luxembourg43.75
52Panama45
53Haiti45
54Malawi45.25
World Avg68.1185897435897
q=156.
Corruption (2012-2016)43
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score43
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
161Eritrea19.8
162Angola19.4
163Guinea-Bissau19.2
164Syria18.8
165Haiti18.8
166Yemen18.4
167Venezuela18.4
168Uzbekistan18.4
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)44
Pos.Higher is better44
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
147Malawi3.6
148Haiti3.6
149Liberia3.5
150Syria3.5
151Rwanda3.4
152Yemen3.4
153Tanzania3.3
154S. Sudan3.3
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
...
149Zambia149
150Pakistan150
151Guinea-Bissau151
152Syria152
153Liberia153
154Venezuela154
155Yemen155
156Iraq156
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
...
144St Vincent & Grenadines144
145Samoa145
146Jamaica146
147Syria147
148Iran148
149India149
150Cameroon150
151Suriname151
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2012)45
Pos.Lower is better45
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
143Colombia2.63
144Chad2.67
145Nigeria2.80
146Syria2.83
147Libya2.83
148Pakistan2.83
149Israel2.84
150Central African Rep.2.87
World Avg2.02
q=157.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
128Montenegro128
129Dominican Rep.129
130Papua New Guinea130
131Syria131
132Belarus132
133Portugal133
134El Salvador134
135Macedonia135
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)31
Pos.Lower is better
Rank31
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
139Mali139
140Haiti140
141Mongolia141
142Syria142
143Mauritania143
144Rwanda144
145Chad145
146Central African Rep.146
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)46
Pos.Lower is better
Score46
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
143Yemen7.26
144India7.52
145Somalia7.80
146Pakistan7.89
147Syria8.01
148Nigeria8.60
149Iraq9.24
150Afghanistan9.60
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #over-exploitation #the_environment

Forest Area Change 1990-2015 (2015)47
Pos.Higher is better
%47
1Iceland205.6
2Bahrain144.4
3Uruguay131.3
...
15Spain33.2
16China32.6
17Montenegro32.1
18Syria32.1
19UAE31.7
20Samoa31.5
21Moldova28.2
22Israel25.0
World Avg02.8
q=184.
Environmental Performance (2018)48
Pos.Higher is better48
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
4Malta80.9
5Sweden80.5
6UK79.9
7Luxembourg79.1
8Austria79.0
9Ireland78.8
10Finland78.6
11Iceland78.6
12Spain78.4
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
135Nicaragua1996 Feb 18
136Latvia1996 Mar 13
137Singapore1996 Mar 20
138Syria1996 Apr 03
139Suriname1996 Apr 11
140Poland1996 Apr 17
141Lithuania1996 May 01
142Yemen1996 May 21
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)49
Pos.Higher is better
%49
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
101Palestine27.5%
102Saudi Arabia27.2%
103Belgium26.9%
104Syria26.6%
105Qatar26.5%
106Bahrain26.3%
107S. Africa26.2%
108Lithuania25.6%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #poverty #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)50
Pos.Higher is worse50
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
106Honduras13.30
105Mongolia13.10
104Nicaragua13.10
103Syria13.00
102Morocco13.00
101Vietnam12.90
100Suriname12.80
99El Salvador12.50
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Multidimensional Poverty (2018)51
Pos.Lower is better
Severity51
1Armenia.001
2Ukraine.001
3Serbia.001
...
34Mexico.025
35S. Africa.025
36Indonesia.028
37Syria.029
38Tajikistan.029
39El Salvador.032
40Iraq.033
41Suriname.041
World Avg.154
q=101.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#belief #buddhism #christianity #god #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion

Religiosity (2009)37
Pos.Lower is better
%37
1Estonia16
2Sweden17
3Denmark19
...
67Zimbabwe88
68Panama88
69Bolivia89
70Syria89
71Tanzania89
72Kosovo90
73India90
74Kuwait91
World Avg75.1
q=114.
Disbelief In God (2007)52
Pos.Higher is better
%52
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
...
90Burkina Faso0
91Brunei0
92Botswana0
93Syria0
94Sierra Leone0
95Thailand0
96Togo0
97Benin0
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below53:

Christian5.2%
Muslim92.8%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.1%
Folk Religion0.1%
Jew0.1%
Unaffiliated2%

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Sunni Muslim (Islam - official) 74%, other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%, Christian (various denominations) 10%, Jewish (tiny communities in Damascus, Al Qamishli, and Aleppo)54.

Links: