Mahmudiya District has approximately 550,000 inhabitants, about over 88 percent of them Sunni
and the rest Shia
. This ratio is the result of the Iraqi Civil War
of 2006–2007, when the Shias of Yusufiya
moved to Mahmudiya, and the Sunnis of Mahmudiya sought refuge in the other two cities. Most of the inhabitants live in rural areas.