Middle East Studies

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Demographic Developments and Population Policies in Ba’thist Syria

In the Series:
Demographic Developments and Socioeconomic Policies in the Middle East and North Africa

Onn Winckler is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Middle Eastern History and the Head of the Multi-Disciplinary Studies at the University of Haifa. He is the co-editor of Modern Syria, as well as the author of a book on Jordanian demographic developments.

This is the first book written in English to describe and analyze demographic and socioeconomic developments in Syria within the framework of demographic developments taking place throughout the Middle East during the later twentieth century. During the last 75 years, the Syrian population has increased almost twelve-fold – one of the highest rates in the Middle East. The demographic-economic factor is a prime lever in political decision-making and change in both internal affairs and foreign relations. This critical connection is traced in the light of President Asad’s policies.

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-902210-16-2
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $75.00
Release Date: April 1999
Page Extent / Format: 232 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: No


List of Figures and Illustrations
List of Tables
Foreword by Professor Moshe Ma'oz
Preface and Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: The Middle Eastern Demographic Transition

1 Sources for Syrian Demographic Trends and Developments
Population Growth and Natural Increase
Spatial Distribution of the Population
Migration Trends
Economic Data

2 Population Growth
Natural Increase of the Population
Mortality Rates and Life Expectancy
Marriage and Divorce
Economic Consequences of High Rates of Natural Increase
Contraceptive Use

3 The Spatial Distribution of the Population
The Rate of the Syrian Rural-to-Urban Migration Movement
The Pattern of Rural-to-Urban Migration
Reasons for Rural-to-Urban Migration
Economic Consequences of the Rapid Urbanization Process

4 Syrian Migration Abroad
Permanent Migration
Temporary Migration for Employment Purposes: Syrian Workers in Other Middle Eastern Countries
The Scope of Syrian Migrants in Other Middle Eastern Countries
The Incentives for Syrian Labor Migration
Distribution of Syrian Migrants in the Host Countries
Economic Consequences of Labor Migration

5 Demographic Policies of the Syrian Authorities
Family Planning
The Spatial Distribution of the Population
Labor Migration to Other Arab Countries
Evaluation of Syrian Demographic Policies

6 Conclusions: Demography, Economy, and Political Changes under Asad


The strength of this book lies in its straightforward presentation of a multitude of Syrian demographic statistics and trends. The text is clear and jargon-free, and the sources are meticulously documented.
Regional Studies

A fine study . . . unearths many interesting and curious facts.
Middle East Quarterly

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