According to various sources, in 2010, there were an estimated four to five million Iranians living abroad, mostly in North America, Europe, Persian Gulf States, Turkey, Australia and the broader Middle East. For the most part, they emigrated after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
Their combined net worth is $1.3 trillion (2006 est.) In 2000, the Iran Press Service reported that Iranian expatriates had invested between $200 and $400 billion in the United States, Europe, and China, but almost nothing in Iran. In Dubai, Iranian expatriates have invested an estimated $200 billion (2006). Migrant Iranian workers abroad remitted less than two billion dollars home in 2006.
The government has proposed setting up a joint investment fund with $5 billion in basic capital and an economic union to serve Iranians living abroad. The stated goal is to attract investment from Iranian expatriates and using their experience in stimulating foreign investments. Later, in 2010, it was announced that Iran will start the process by creating a national fund with a basic capital of eight million euros. This fund will later transform into a bank.
The currency used in the fund is the euro and investors are supported by the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran. Iran will pay a guaranteed 10 percent interest on foreign investment. The value of each share in the fund is 1,000 euros. The minimum and the maximum investment amounts are 100,000 and 500,000 shares [sic], respectively.
A number of Iranians have converted to Christianity in the diaspora, and Iranian churches exist in places like the USA and the UK. A significant number of Iranians abroad, especially Iranian-Americans, are irreligious, agnostic and atheist.
Statistics by country
[note 1] The Iranian citizens abroad (scope of this article) differ from the other Iranian peoples living in other areas of Greater Iran, who are of related ethnolinguistical family, speaking languages belonging to the Iranian languages, which is a branch of Indo-European languages. There are an estimated 150 to 200 million native speakers of Iranian languages (including 70 million in Iran as of 2006), the five major groups of Persians, Lurs, Pashtuns, Kurds and Baloch accounting for about 90% of this number. Currently, most of these Iranian people live in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, parts of Uzbekistan (especially Samarkand and Bukhara), the Caucasus (Ossetia and Azerbaijan) and the Kurdish areas (referred to as Kurdistan) of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Smaller groups of Iranian people can also be found in western China, southern Pakistan and a few in western India. Due to recent migrations, there are also large communities of speakers of Iranian languages in Europe, the Americas and Israel.
[note 2] In some countries naturalized citizens, dual citizens, or children with only one Iranian/foreign-born parent are counted (for statistical purposes) as citizens/nationals of the host country only (i.e. citizen of the country of residence). For example all naturalized Swiss citizens have a legal "Swiss origin" even though it is often not the same as their place of birth.
[note 3] Same as "Iranian-born" but includes their children born abroad.
[note 5] In the period from 1961 to 2005, the United States has been the main destination of Iranian emigrants. A total of 378,995 Iranians have immigrated to the United States in that period, where the major concentrations of Iranian immigrants are California (158,613 Iran-born in 2000), New York state (17,323), Texas (15,581), Virginia (10,889), and Maryland (9,733) Los Angeles Metropolitan Area was estimated to be host to approximately 114,712 Iranian immigrants, earning the Westwood area of LA the nickname Tehrangeles. In the case of the United States, the US Census Bureau's decennial census form does not offer a designation for individuals of Iranian descent. Consequently, it is estimated that only a fraction of the total number of Iranians are writing in their ancestry. The 2000 Census Bureau estimates that the Iranian-American community (including the US-born children of the Iranian foreign born) numbers around 330,000. However, studies using alternative statistical methods have estimated the actual number of Iranian Americans in the range of 691,000 to 1.2 million.
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- Iranian Space Agency
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iranian diaspora.|
- History of Iranian diaspora - Encyclopædia Iranica
- Country Profile - Iran Migration Policy Institute (including modern history of Iranian migration)
- Iranian Diaspora in pre-Islamic times
- High Council of Iranians Abroad- "Strengthening the national identity of Iranians outside Iran and to defend their rights, helping the propagation of Persian calligraphy and language, and easing the participation in national security."
- Iranians Abroad - resources and links parstimes.com
- Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) (non-profit, non-partisan, and non-religious)
- Iranian diaspora - press article (2009)
- Seminar for Iranians Abroad Held in Tehran on August 2010