Ethnic Groups

Syrians are an overall indigenous Levantine people, closely related to their immediate neighbours, like Lebanese people, Palestinians, and Jordanians.

Syrian Arabs, together with some 400,000 UNRWA Palestinian Arabs make up over 90% of the population.

Druze number around 500,000, and concentrate mainly in the southern area of Jabal al-Druze.

Syria also hosts non-Arab ethnic minorities. The largest of these groups, Kurds, constitutes about 9% of the population, or approximately 2 million people.[128] Most Kurds reside in the northeastern corner of Syria and most speak the Kurmanji variant of the Kurdish language.

The majority of Syrian Turkmen live in Aleppo, Damascus and Latakia and number around 750,000–1,500,000.

The Assyrians/Syriacs are significant ethnic Christian minorities that mainly live in the north and northeast (Homs, al-Qamishli, al-Hasakah) and number around 877,000–1,200,000 in Syria. Assyrian people in particular retain Syriac, an Aramaic dialect, as a spoken language. Although their numbers have been boosted by many Iraqi refugees since the Iraq War.

Armenians number approximately 190,000. Syria holds the 7th largest Armenian population in the world.

In addition, approximately 1,300,000 Iraqi refugees were estimated to live in Syria in 2007. Roughly 50 percent of these refugees were Sunni Arab Muslims, 24 percent Shi'a Arab Muslim, and 20 percent Assyrian Christian. During the Mandate years, there was a significant French population, many of whom left Syria after the end of French rule. As of 1987, approximately 100,000 Circassians lived in Syria.

The Americas have long been a destination for Christian Arab migration, with Syrians arriving in some countries at least as early as the 19th century. The largest concentration of Syrians outside the Arab world is in Brazil, which has millions of people of Arab ancestry. The majority of Arab Argentines are from either Lebanese or Syrian background.


Additional information