Jordan / Cities and Towns /
City in northern Jordan with about 300,000 inhabitants (2005 estimate), in the highlands at an elevation of 620 metres. It is the capital of Irbid Governorate with an area of 1,572 km² and 1 million inhabitants (2005 estimate).
Irbid is the centre of the most fertile agricultural region in Jordan, and is also housing a good number of industries. The city and the region is fed by several springs, but the main source is the Yarmuk River.
Irbid is well connected with other urban centres of Jordan by road. Amman is 120 km south, Ramtha 20 km east, both connected by excellent highways.
Perhaps the most important reason for its high population today is the large number of Palestinian refugees originally coming from the West Bank.
Irbid has two universities, the Yarmuk University and the Jordan University of Science and Technology.
Settlements at Irbid are believed to date to the Early Bronze Age, involving a continuous history of 6000-7000 years. It is quite possible that Irbid is the Beth Arbel of the Bible.
1st century BCE: Known as Arbila and part of the Hellenistic league of the Decapolis.
1950's: Rapid growth in the population, due to large crowds of Palestinian refugees settling here.
1967: Following the Six-Day War, a new wave of Palestinian refugees comes to Irbid.
1976: Yarmuk University is founded.