Sūriyyīn “سوريين"
Total population

c. 18 million in Syria,[1]Syrian ancestry: +10 million

Syrian refugees: +6 million
Regions with significant populations
 Syria17,185,170 [2]
 Brazil4,011,480 [3]
 Turkey2,764,500 [4]
 Lebanon1,500,000 [5]
 Jordan1,400,000 [6]
 Venezuela1,015,632 [7][8][9][10]
 Germany600,000 [11]
 United States154,560 [13]
 Austria48,116 [14]
 Canada40,840 [15]
Arabic (Syrian Arabic)
Neo-Aramaic (Surayt/Turoyo, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Western Neo-Aramaic).
Islam (mostly Sunni, and a minority of Shi'as and Alawites)
Christianity (Mostly Greek Orthodox and Greek Catholic; a minority of Syriac Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, Chaldean Catholic)
Related ethnic groups
Jews[16],Palestinians,Lebanese,Jordanians, Arabs, Assyrians

Syrians (Arabic: سوريون‎), also known as the Syrian people (Arabic: الشعب السوريALA-LC: al-sha‘ab al-Sūrī; Syriac: ܣܘܪܝܝܢ‎), are the inhabitants of Syria, who share a common Levantine Semitic ancestry. The cultural and linguistic heritage of the Syrian people is a blend of both indigenous elements and the foreign cultures that have come to rule the land and its people over the course of thousands of years.

The Syrian Arab Republic has a population of nearly 17 million as of 2014,[1] in addition to 4 million Syrian refugees. The dominant racial group is the Syrian descendants of the old indigenous peoples who mixed with Arabs and identify themselves as such in addition to ethnic Aramean.

The Syrian diaspora consists of 15 million people of Syrian ancestry[17] who immigrated to North America (United States and Canada), European Union member states (including Sweden, France and Germany), South America (mainly in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela and Colombia), the West Indies,[18] Australia and Africa.[17]


The name "Syrians" was employed by the Greeks and Romans to denote the inhabitants of Syria; however, they called themselves Arameans and Assyrians. The ethnic designation "Syrian" is derived from the word "Assyrian" and appeared in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Some argue that the discovery of the Çineköy inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria.

Appellation of the name

The Greeks used the terms "Syrian" and "Assyrian" interchangeably to indicate the indigenous Arameans, Assyrians and other inhabitants of the Near East, Herodotus considered "Syria" west of the Euphrates. Starting from the 2nd century BC onwards, ancient writers referred to the Seleucid ruler as the King of Syria or King of the Syrians.[19] The Seleucids designated the districts of Seleucis and Coele-Syria explicitly as Syria and ruled the Syrians as indigenous populations residing west of the Euphrates (Aramea) in contrast to Assyrians who had their native homeland in Mesopotamia east of the Euphrates.[20] However, the interchangeability between Assyrians and Syrians persisted during the Hellenistic period.[20]

In one instance, the Ptolemies of Egypt reserved the term "Syrian Village" as the name of a settlement in Fayoum. The term "Syrians" is under debate whether it referred to Jews or to Arameans, as the Ptolemies referred to all peoples originating from Modern Syria and Palestine as Syrian.[21]

The term Syrian was imposed upon Arameans of modern Levant by the Romans. Pompey created the province of Syria, which included modern-day Lebanon and Syria west of the Euphrates, framing the province as a regional social category with civic implications.[22] Plutarch described the indigenous people of this newly created Roman province as "Syrians",[23] so did Strabo, who observed that Syrians resided west of the Euphrates in Roman Syria,[22] and he explicitly mentions that those Syrians are the Arameans, whom he calls Aramaei, indicating an extant ethnicity.[24] Posidonius noted that the people called Syrians by the Greeks refer to themselves as Arameans.[25]

In his book The Great Roman-Jewish War, Josephus, a Hebrew native to the Levant, mentioned the Syrians as the non-Hebrew, non-Greek indigenous inhabitants of Syria.[26]

The Arabs called Syria and the Levant Al-Sham. The national and ethnic designation "Syrian" is one that has been reused, accepted and espoused by the Syrian people since the advent of modern nationalism, which emanated from Europe and began with the culmination of the Napoleonic Wars of the early 1800s.

Other Languages
العربية: سوريون
azərbaycanca: Suriyalılar
български: Сирийци
čeština: Syřané
Ελληνικά: Σύροι
فارسی: سوری‌ها
français: Syriens
հայերեն: Սիրիացիներ
русский: Сирийцы
Scots: Sirie fowk
српски / srpski: Сиријци
Türkçe: Suriyeliler
українська: Сирійці
中文: 敘利亞人