A recent study conducted by the Turkey-based research institution Jusoor for Studies has revealed that in the first quarter of 2023, Syria’s internal population is 16.76 million, with an additional 9.12 million Syrian nationals residing outside of Syria. The study has also documented that there are 897,000 Syrians whose whereabouts and conditions are currently unknown, and the total number of Syrian nationals worldwide, both inside and outside the country, is 26.7 million.
The study based its data, in part, on information from local Syrian civil society organizations, reports, and assessments issued by various humanitarian and aid institutions working in and outside of Syria, tracking the number, needs, and conditions of internal displacement and external asylum and refugee status.
According to the data, approximately 4.3 million Syrians live in the areas of northern Syria administered by the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) and Syrian Salvation Government (SSG), while those living in areas dominated by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) numbered 2.6 million. This means that 6.9 million of those living within Syria reside in areas outside of the Assad regime’s control, while 9.6 million are in Assad-administered territory, with over 150,000 of them held in regime prisons against their will.
Moreover, the study found that over 60% of Syrians have chosen to live in areas outside of Assad’s control, even when living in such areas entails suffering, discrimination, alienation, poverty, homelessness, displacement, besiegement, and living under constant threat of bombardment, airstrikes, and attacks.
However, the study also notes that obtaining accurate numbers is difficult due to various factors. For instance, arrests, abductions, and enforced disappearances, along with inconsistencies in registering births and deaths and the loss of official documents due to the war, mean that gaining precise numbers poses numerous challenges, and the actual figures are likely higher.