World Comparison

Afghanistan vs Iraq – Country Comparison

Afghanistan and Iraq are two countries that have been in the international spotlight for many years. Both countries have faced significant challenges and have undergone political and social transformations.

In this article, we will compare Afghanistan and Iraq in terms of their region and annual GDP. By understanding these aspects, we can gain a deeper insight into these nations and their current situations.


Area: Afghanistan is a landlocked country in South Asia, bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. It spans an area of approximately 652,230 square kilometers.

On the other hand, Iraq is located in the Middle East, bordered by Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey. It covers an area of about 438,317 square kilometers.

Capital: Afghanistan’s capital and largest city is Kabul, situated in the eastern part of the country. On the other hand, Iraq’s capital and largest city is Baghdad, located in the central part of the nation.

Official Language: The official language of Afghanistan is Dari and Pashto. Dari is spoken by a majority of the population and is similar to Persian.

Iraq’s official language is Arabic, which is spoken by the majority of the country’s population. Currency: The official currency of Afghanistan is the Afghani, while Iraq uses the Iraqi Dinar as its official currency.

Government Form: Afghanistan is a presidential Islamic republic, with a president as the head of state and government. Iraq, on the other hand, is a federal parliamentary republic, meaning it has both a president and a prime minister.

Annual GDP:

GDP per capita: Afghanistan has a relatively low GDP per capita of around $580, making it one of the poorest nations in the world. In contrast, Iraq has a higher GDP per capita of approximately $5,000, indicating a relatively higher standard of living.

Inflation Rate: Afghanistan has been grappling with high inflation rates, with an average of around 5% over the past few years. This has contributed to the economic challenges faced by the country.

On the other hand, Iraq has experienced lower inflation rates, averaging around 2%, indicating a more stable economic situation. These statistics highlight key differences between Afghanistan and Iraq in terms of their region and economic status.

Understanding these factors is important in comprehending the challenges and opportunities faced by each nation. By examining these aspects, policymakers and researchers can gain insights into the potential areas for development and the ways in which international cooperation can support these countries.

In conclusion, the comparison between Afghanistan and Iraq reveals notable distinctions in terms of their region and annual GDP. While Afghanistan faces geographical challenges as a landlocked country, Iraq enjoys a more strategic location in the Middle East.

Moreover, the economic disparities between the two nations indicate the need for targeted efforts to uplift the standard of living in Afghanistan. By understanding these aspects, the international community can better support these countries in their efforts for progress and stability.


Life Expectancy: Afghanistan has a relatively low life expectancy compared to Iraq. As of 2021, the average life expectancy in Afghanistan is around 64 years for men and 66 years for women.

This can be attributed to various factors such as ongoing conflicts, limited access to healthcare services, and high infant mortality rates. In contrast, Iraq has a higher life expectancy, with an average of around 67 years for men and 70 years for women.

Despite its own challenges, Iraq has made significant progress in healthcare infrastructure, which has contributed to better health outcomes for its population. Unemployment Rate: Both Afghanistan and Iraq face significant employment challenges.

In Afghanistan, the unemployment rate stands at around 15%, according to the latest available data. This is partly due to a lack of job opportunities, especially in rural areas, and ongoing conflicts that disrupt economic activities.

Similarly, Iraq has a high unemployment rate, estimated to be around 12%. Factors such as political instability, corruption, and inadequate infrastructure contribute to the unemployment problem in Iraq.

Both countries need to focus on job creation and economic diversification to address this issue effectively. Average Income: The average income in Afghanistan is quite low, with a per capita income of approximately $2,100, as of 2020.

This reflects the widespread poverty and economic challenges faced by the Afghan population. In contrast, Iraq has a higher average income, with a per capita income of around $6,000.

However, it is important to note that income inequality remains a significant issue in both countries, with a small percentage of the population controlling a large portion of the wealth. Infrastructure:

Roadways: Afghanistan’s road infrastructure is relatively underdeveloped, particularly in rural areas.

The country has been plagued by decades of conflicts, which have hindered the development of transportation networks. However, efforts have been made to improve the roadways, especially in connection with regional trade and connectivity projects.

On the other hand, Iraq has a relatively more developed road infrastructure, with a network of highways connecting major cities and regions. The country has invested in infrastructure projects to rebuild its roadways after years of conflict and instability.

Harbours: Afghanistan is a landlocked country, lacking direct access to the sea. Therefore, it does not have any major harbors and relies on neighboring countries for trade through their ports.

This adds an additional transportation cost and logistical challenges for Afghan businesses. In contrast, Iraq benefits from its access to the Persian Gulf, which grants it multiple ports.

The Port of Basra, located in southern Iraq, is the main gateway for trade in the region. These ports play a crucial role in Iraqs economy, facilitating imports and exports of goods.

Passenger Airports: Afghanistan has a few international airports, with the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul being the busiest and most significant. Several other airports, such as Kandahar International Airport and Herat International Airport, serve domestic and international routes.

However, due to security concerns and limited resources, many airports in Afghanistan lack modern facilities and face challenges in providing reliable air transportation services. Iraq, on the other hand, has a more developed aviation sector.

The Baghdad International Airport serves as the main gateway for international travel, while several other airports, including Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports in the Kurdistan region, handle both domestic and international flights. In summary, when comparing Afghanistan and Iraq, we find notable differences in terms of population and infrastructure.

Afghanistan struggles with a lower life expectancy, high unemployment, and low average income. By contrast, Iraq has achieved higher life expectancy, albeit facing its own unemployment and income inequality challenges.

In terms of infrastructure, Afghanistan faces limitations in its roadways and harbors due to being landlocked, while Iraq benefits from a more developed road network and access to the Persian Gulf. These comparisons shed light on the unique socio-economic landscapes of each country and highlight areas that need attention for their future development and stability.

Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI):

Corruption remains a significant issue in both Afghanistan and Iraq, as measured by the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). The CPI ranks countries based on the perceived levels of public sector corruption.

A higher score indicates a lower level of corruption. In the latest CPI report, Afghanistan scored 19 out of 100, ranking it 165th out of 180 countries.

This low score highlights the widespread corruption and the need for comprehensive anti-corruption measures in the country. Iraq, on the other hand, scored 30 out of 100, ranking 160th.

While this score is slightly better than Afghanistan, it still indicates a significant corruption problem that needs to be addressed. Population below the Poverty Line:

Both Afghanistan and Iraq have significant portions of their populations living below the poverty line, indicating the presence of high levels of poverty and income inequality.

In Afghanistan, approximately 55% of the population lives below the poverty line, according to the latest available data. This is primarily due to ongoing conflicts, political instability, and a lack of economic opportunities.

In Iraq, around 20% of the population lives below the poverty line, reflecting relatively better economic conditions. However, it is essential to note that these statistics do not capture the full extent of poverty, as they are based on income levels and do not account for other factors such as access to basic services and quality of life.

Human Freedom Index:

The Human Freedom Index measures the overall level of personal, civil, and economic freedom in a country. It considers factors such as rule of law, individual rights, free markets, and freedom of expression.

In the most recent Human Freedom Index, Afghanistan ranked 161 out of 162 countries, indicating a severely limited level of freedom. Ongoing conflicts and the influence of extremist groups have had a significant impact on personal freedoms in the country.

Iraq, despite its own challenges, scored slightly higher, ranking 140 out of 162 countries. However, constraints on freedom of expression, limitations on rights, and security concerns continue to impact the overall freedom in Iraq.

Percentage of Internet Users:

Access to the internet plays a crucial role in today’s interconnected world, enabling access to information, communication, and various online services. In Afghanistan, the percentage of internet users remains relatively low compared to global standards.

As of 2021, only around 22% of the population has access to the internet. Limited infrastructure and low literacy rates contribute to this low penetration.

On the other hand, Iraq has a higher percentage of internet users, with approximately 64% of the population having access. Despite the challenges faced during conflicts and political instability, Iraq has made significant progress in improving its telecommunications infrastructure and expanding internet connectivity.

English Speaking Percentage:

Proficiency in the English language is an asset in today’s globalized world, enabling better access to educational and employment opportunities. In Afghanistan, English proficiency remains relatively low, with only about 11% of the population speaking English.

This can be attributed to the dominance of local languages and limited access to quality English language education. In Iraq, the English-speaking percentage is higher, with around 29% of the population speaking English.

The historical influence of English in certain sectors and increased access to English language education contribute to this higher percentage. These factors, including the Corruption Perceptions Index, population below the poverty line, Human Freedom Index, percentage of internet users, and English speaking percentage, provide a more comprehensive understanding of the social, economic, and political landscape of Afghanistan and Iraq.

By examining these indicators, policymakers and researchers can identify critical areas that require attention and development to enhance the overall well-being and progress of these countries. It is essential to address corruption, poverty, and limited freedoms, while also focusing on expanding access to technology and promoting language proficiency for increased opportunities and connectivity.

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