Sorin Cosoveanu provided 2004-09-22 census data and revised areas of subdivisions from the Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics.
The Ottoman Empire had a Syria province, containing the vilayets of Aleppo, Beirut, Syria (or Damascus), and Zor. During World War I,
the British and French seized the southern part of the Ottoman Empire and parceled it out between themselves. The Treaty of Sèvres
(1920-08-10) mandated Syria and Lebanon to France. Syria and Lebanon became independent and separate countries on 1944-01-01. Syria
formed a union with Egypt, the United Arab Republic (U.A.R.), on 1958-02-01. They both became regions of the U.A.R. Syria withdrew from
the union on 1961-09-29.
Other names of country:
- Arabic: al-Jumhuriya al-Arabiya as-Suriya (formal)
- Danish: Syrien
- Dutch: Syrië, Syrische Arabische Republiek (formal)
- English: Syrian Arab Republic (formal)
- Finnish: Syyria
- French: Syrie f, République f Arabe Syrienne (formal)
- German: Syrien, Arabische Republik f Syrien n (formal)
- Icelandic: Sýrland
- Italian: Siria f
- Norwegian: Den arabiske republikk Syria (formal) (Bokmål), Den arabiske republikken Syria (formal) (Nynorsk), Syria
- Portuguese: Síria, República f Árabe Síria f (formal)
- Russian: Сирийская Арабская Республика (formal), Сирия
- Spanish: Siria, República f Árabe Siria f (formal)
- Swedish: Syrien
- Turkish: Suriye Arap Cumhuriyeti (formal)
Origin of name:
Syria is probably from Phoenician tsur: rock
Syria is divided into fourteen muhafazah (provinces, or governorates).
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- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced
hyphens, these are the same as the province codes from ISO 3166-2.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
- Population: 2004-09-22 census.
- Capitals: Capitals have the same names as their provinces, except that
Damascus is the capital of both Damascus
and Rif Dimashq.
See the Districts of Syria page.
The provinces are divided into sixty manatik (sing. mantika: districts), which are further divided into nawahi (sing. nahia:
subdistricts). The nawahi contain villages, which are the smallest administrative units.
Syria claims the Turkish province of Hatay, which the Syrians call Iskenderun.
Origins of names:
- Aleppo: said to derive from Arabic Hala al-Shahbaa: milking the fair cow, referring to a legend that the patriarch Abraham
milked a cow there
- Al Jazira: Arabic for the island, referring to the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
- Jabal Druze: Arabic jabal: mountain, named for Mount Druze in southern Syria
- 1920: France organized its mandate of Syria. Beirut became the capital. There were six semi-autonomous areas: Aleppo,
Alexandretta, Damascus, Jabal Druze, Alaouites (Alawiya, `Alawite), and Lebanon (Great Lebanon; French: Grand Liban).
- 1923: Northern strip of Syria restored to Turkey by the Treaty of Lausanne.
- 1925: Syria state formed by merging Aleppo and Damascus provinces.
- 1926-05: Status of Lebanon changed from province to state, with its borders somewhat enlarged.
- 1930-05-14: The French imposed a new constitution, under which the French mandate consisted of the republics of Latakia (former
Alaouites; French: Lattaquié), Lebanon, and Syria (including Alexandretta), and the semi-autonomous area of Jabal Druze.
- 1936: Latakia and Jabal Druze merged with Syria under new treaty with France.
- 1938-09-02: Alexandretta became independent as the Republic of Hatay (later merged with Turkey).
- 1944-01-01: Lebanon split from Syria.
- ~1946: Syria reorganized into the districts of Aleppo, Damascus, Euphrates (Al Furat), Hama, Hauran, Ḥimṣ,
Jabal Druze, Al Jazira, and Latakia.
- ~1954: Name of Hauran changed to Dar`ā; name of Jabal Druze changed to As Suwaydā'; name of Al Jazira changed to Al
- ~1960: Euphrates split into Al Rashid and Dayr az Zawr; Idlib split from Aleppo.
- ~1962: Damascus split into Dimashq (Damascus) province and Damascus city (Madīnat Dimashq).
- ~1963: Name of Al Rashid changed to Ar Raqqah.
- 1964-08-27: Quneitra province split from Dimashq.
- 1967: Israel occupied the Golan Heights. This represents most of Quneitra and part of Dar`ā.
- ~1972: Ţarţūs split from Latakia.
- 1987: Status of Damascus city changed from governorate to province; Dimashq province brought under the jurisdiction of Damascus and
called Rif Dimashq rural area.
Other names of subdivisions:
- Aleppo: Alep (French); Alepo (Spanish); Haleb, Ḥalab (variant)
- Al Ḥasakah: Al Hasaka, Al-Haska, Al Hassake, El Haseke, Haseke, Hassakeh, Hazakieh (variant); Hassetché (French); Al Jezira,
- Quneitra: Al Qunatirah, Al Qunayţirah, Al-Qunaytrah, Al Quneitera, El Quneitra, El Kenitra, Kunaitra, Kuneitra, Qunaytira,
- Ar Raqqah: Al Rakka, Raqqa (variant); Al Rashid, Rashid (obsolete)
- As Suwaydā': Djebel Druze, Jabal Druze, Jebel Druse, Jebel ed Druz, Al Jubal ad Druze (obsolete); Gebel Druso (Italian-obsolete);
Al Sueida, Es Sueida, Es Suweida, Soueida, Suwaidaa, Suwaydá, Swaidaa, Sweida (variant); Suayda (French)
- Damascus: Damas, Damas-Ville (French); Damasco (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish); Damaskus (German, Norwegian, Swedish); Damascus City,
Dimashq, Dimishq, Madînat Dimashq (variant)
- Dar`ā: Dara'a, Dária, Dera`a, Derraa (variant); Hauran (obsolete)
- Dayr az Zawr: Dair-Ezzor, Dayr az Zaur, Deir Al Zour, Deir ez Zor, Der Azzor, Dier Elzour (variant)
- Hama: Ḥamāh (variant)
- Ḥimṣ: Homs (variant)
- Idlib: Adlib, Edleb, Idleb (variant)
- Latakia: Al Lādhiqīyah, El Ladhiqiya, Lattakia, Lattakieh, Lattikia (variant); Lattaquie (French)
- Rif Dimashq: Damas Campagne (French); Damascus Countryside, Damascus Rural (variant)
- Ţarţūs: Tartaus, Tartous (variant)
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- 1960 census: Encyclopædia Britannica World Atlas, 1964 edition.
- 1970 census: Almanaque Abril, 1979 edition. Editora Abril, São Paulo, 1978.
- 1981 census: The Statesman's Year-Book, 1988-89 edition. St. Martin's Press, New York, 1988.
- Data from the 1994-09-03 census by province are not available. The total population was about 13,783,000.
- 2004 census: Syrian Central Bureau of Statistics
- A statistics page from the Arab Organization for Agricultural
Development had population estimates for 2002.