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Demographics of Lebanon
The population of Lebanon comprises different ethnic groups and religions: Muslims (Sunnis and Shiites), Christians (mainly West Aramean/Syriac but some Armenian), Druze, and others. Because the matter of religious balance is such a sensitive political issue, a national census has not been conducted since 1932, before the founding of the modern Lebanese State. Consequently there is an absence of accurate data on the relative percentages of the population of the major religions and groups. Many observers believe that Muslims, at around 60 per cent of the population,  make up a slight majority, but they do not represent a homogenous group. Heterogeneous Christian denominations constitute most of the remainder of the population. There is also a small Jewish population, traditionally centered in Beirut. Add to this some negligible numbers of Baha'is, Buddhists, and Hindus. As for the emigrant population, millions of Lebanese are present outside the country.
There are 18 officially recognized religious groups. Their ecclesiastical and demographic patterns are extremely complex. Divisions and rivalries between groups date back as far as 15 centuries, and still are a factor today. The pattern of settlement has changed little since the Seventh century, although there has been a steady numerical decline in the number of Christians compared to Muslims. The main branches of Islam are Shi'a and Sunni. Since the Eleventh century, there has been a sizable Druze presence, concentrated in rural, mountainous areas east and south of Beirut. The smallest Muslim minorities are the Alawites and the Ismaili ("Sevener") Shi’a order. The "Twelver" Shi’a, Sunni, and Druze each have state-appointed clerical bodies to administer family and personal status law through their own religious courts, which are subsidized by the State. The Maronites are the largest of the Christian groups. They have had a long and continuous association with the Roman Catholic Church, but have their own patriarch, liturgy, and customs. The second largest Christian group is the Greek Orthodox Church (composed of ethnic Arabs who maintain a Greek-language liturgy). The remainder of the Christians are divided among Greek Catholics, Armenian Orthodox (Gregorians), Armenian Catholics, Syrian Orthodox (Jacobites), Syrian Catholics, Assyrians (Nestorians), Chaldeans, Copts, evangelicals (including Protestant groups such as the Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and Friends), and Latins (Roman Catholic). 
While 360,000 Palestinian refugees have registered in Lebanon with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) since 1948, estimates of those remaining range between 160,000 and 225,000. They are not accorded the legal rights enjoyed by the rest of the population.
With no official figures available, it is estimated that 600,000-900,000 (??) persons fled the country during the initial years of civil war (1975-76). Although some returned, continuing instability until 1992 sparked further waves of emigration, casting even more doubt on population figures.
Many Lebanese still derive their living from agriculture. The urban population, concentrated mainly in Beirut and Mount Lebanon, is noted for its commercial enterprise. A century and a half of migration and return have produced Lebanese commercial networks around the globe--from North and South America to Europe, the Gulf, and Africa. Lebanon has a high proportion of skilled labor compared with many other Middle Eastern countries.
Population: 3,777,218 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 26.9% (male 517,356; female 496,888) 15-64 years: 66.3% (male 1,197,430; female 1,305,339) 65 years and over: 6.9% (male 117,930; female 142,275) (2004 est.)
Median age: total: 26.9 years male: 25.9 years female: 27.9 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.3% (2004 est.)
Birth rate: 19.31 births/1,000 population (2004 est.) Death rate: 6.28 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.92 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 25.48 deaths/1,000 live births male: 28.21 deaths/1,000 live births female: 22.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 72.35 years male: 69.91 years female: 74.91 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate: 1.95 children born/woman (2004 est.)
- Lebanese Arabs : 95% (Shiites, Maronites, Sunnis, Druze, Alawites and others)
- Armenians : 3-4%
- Others: Kurds (less than 1%); others less than 1%
- Various expatriate Arabs: Palestinian refugees 360,000; Syrians aproximately between 150,000 to 300,000 (lebanese ministry estimations), also a sizable Egyptian labor pool.
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