The population of Lebanon is estimated at approximately 4 million, with the principal urban concentrations in Beirut (1.3 million); Tripoli (500,000); Sidon (150,000); Tyre (30,000); and Zahle (60,000). Although almost half of Lebanon's population is found in greater Beirut, the Lebanese retain strong family ties with their villages of origin. The Lebanese people are a mixture of many ethnic and religious groups, and a distribution of governmental and parliamentary offices among Lebanon's 18 officially recognized religious communities is enshrined in the Constitution. Because of Lebanon's geography and history of trade, its culture is a mixture of Middle-Eastern and European influences.
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