Data from recent random-sample surveys, including the last three sponsored by ABC News with media partners, contrast with these unsourced estimates. This survey puts Iraq's population at 51 percent Shiite Arab, 30 percent Sunni Arab, 15 percent Kurdish and 4 percent other. The previous surveys were similar; in aggregate, 49 percent Shiite Arab, 33 percent Sunni Arab, 15 percent Kurdish and 4 percent other.
These three surveys comprise more than 6,600 interviews from 1,376 sampling points, a large sample with an unusual level of geographical coverage.
Iraq surveys from other sources are difficult to compare; some ask religious doctrine different ways, often reporting significant numbers of Muslims of unspecified doctrine; some use different weights, including weighting to a predetermined assumption of distribution by religious doctrine. In the absence of other persuasive empirical data, this poll did not weight Iraqis' religious doctrine to any assumed target.