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Research Questions

  1. What are the appropriate approaches for calculating the gross regional product (GRP) for the Kurdistan region — Iraq (KRI)?
  2. What data are available, and what data should be collected in the future, to calculate the KRI's GRP?
  3. What was the non-oil GRP for the governates of Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Duhok in 2012, in total and by sector?

To lay the foundation for successful policymaking, the Kurdistan Regional Government is seeking to develop comprehensive and reliable statistics on the Kurdistan Region — Iraq (KRI) as it charts a course toward peace and prosperity. In this report, the authors describe efforts to continue building capacity at the Kurdistan Regional Statistics Office (KRSO) by setting up a system for data collection and analysis to support the annual calculation of the gross regional product (GRP), a critical indicator for successful policy planning in many areas. The report presents estimates of the value added by different sectors of the KRI's economy for the year 2012 (excluding natural resources, due to lack of available data). The report covers three governorates: Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, and Duhok.

Key Findings

The Gross Regional Product of the Kurdistan Region — Iraq (KRI)

  • The non-oil GRP of the KRI in 2012 was approximately 27,381 billion Iraqi dinars (ID), or 23.52 billion U.S. dollars (USD).
  • The largest nongovernment sectors in terms of value added to the KRI in 2012 were construction (18.6 percent), wholesale and retail trade (9.1 percent), home ownership and rental (8.6 percent), and miscellaneous services (7.3 percent). The large contribution of construction to value added is consistent with KRI's rapid economic growth.
  • Also consistent with the region overall, KRI's share of value added in agriculture is low (3.1 percent).
  • Manufacturing contributed 6.1 percent of value added. This share is substantially lower than that reported by other countries in the region, suggesting that there is room for expansion of this sector.
  • As elsewhere in the Middle East region, public administration plays a very large role in the KRI's economy, accounting for 27.6 percent of value added (including both current operations and internally undertaken investment expenditures).


  • In the future, estimates of GRP would be improved by putting into place a set of streamlined and standardized procedures to gather the required information on value added from all sectors.
  • It is particularly important to count and gather limited information on revenues and employment from all large and medium firms, to ensure that the firms that account for the largest share of value added are fully represented.
  • Future estimates need to include value added from the natural resources sector. This will require data on revenues and costs from firms operating in this sector, which may be collected from a variety of sources.
  • Putting into place a system to conduct a periodic enterprise census, as well as more limited information from a sample of firms between census years, would make it easier to update GRP for the KRI on an annual and systematic basis.

The research described in this report was undertaken within RAND Labor and Population.

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