Demographics of Iran

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Changes in population of Iran

Iran's population increased dramatically during the later half of the 20th century, reaching about 75 million by 2011.[1][2] In recent years, however, Iran's birth rate has dropped significantly.[dubious ] Studies project that Iran's rate of population growth will continue to slow until it stabilizes above 100 million by 2050.[3][4] More than half of Iran's population is under 35 years old (2012).[5]

In 2009, the number of households stood at 15.3 million (4.8 persons per household).[6] According to the Central Bank of Iran in 2012, in 22.5 per cent of Iranian families, all family members were unemployed.[7] Families earn some 11.8 million rials (about $960) per month on average (2012).[8]

According to the OECD/World Bank statistics population growth in Iran from 1990 to 2008 was 17.6 million and 32%.[9] The literacy rate was 80% in 2007,[10][11][12] and 85% in 2008[13]

Population[edit]

According to the 2011 population census the population of Iran was 75 million,[1] a fourfold increase since 1956. Between 1976 and 1986, an average annual population growth of almost 4% was reached, but due to decreasing fertility levels the growth decreased to 1.3% between 2006 and 2011.

Population census results[1]
Census date Population Average annual
growth (%)
Population
density/km2
Proportion
urban (%)
Household size
1956-11-01 18,954,704 . 12 31.4
1966-11-01 25,785,210 3.1 16 ~37.5
1976-11-01 33,708,744 2.7 20 47.0 5.02
1986-11-22 49,445,010 3.9 30 ~54.0 5.11
1996-11-01 60,055,488 2.0 36 ~61.0 4.84
2006-11-01 70,495,782 1.6 43 68.5 4.03
2011-11-01 75,149,669 1.3 46 71.4 3.55
2014-11-01 80,840,713 1.22 49 71.4 3

Vital statistics[edit]

UN estimates[14][edit]

Period Live births per year Deaths per year Natural change per year crude birth rate1 crude death rate1 natural change1 total fertility rate2 infant mortality rate3
1950–1955 933,000 529,000 404,000 50.6 28.7 21.9 6.93 262.1
1955–1960 1,018,000 505,000 514,000 49.2 24.4 24.8 6.93 212.5
1960–1965 1,093,000 479,000 614,000 46.5 20.3 26.2 6.93 172.6
1965–1970 1,164,000 455,000 709,000 43.3 16.9 26.4 6.70 140.7
1970–1975 1,253,000 443,000 811,000 40.8 14.4 26.4 6.24 116.4
1975–1980 1,503,000 430,000 1,073,000 42.1 12.0 30.1 6.27 92.2
1980–1985 1,889,000 720,000 1,170,000 44.4 16.9 27.5 6.54 69.8
1985–1990 1,955,000 550,000 1,406,000 38.6 10.8 27.8 5.62 55.4
1990–1995 1,633,000 359,000 1,274,000 28.5 6.3 22.2 3.95 47.1
1995–2000 1,316,400 333,200 983,200 20.9 5.3 15.6 2.63 32.0
2000–2005 1,214,400 345,800 868,600 17.9 5.1 12.8 1.97 25.0
2005–2010 1,308,000 369,800 938,200 18.1 5.2 13.0 1.79 19.0
2010–2015 1,390,600 376,200 1,014,400 18.1 4.7 13.5 1.75 15.0
1per 1000; 2 TFR = number of children per woman; 3per 1000 births

Registered births and deaths[15][16][edit]

Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total Fertility Rate
1999 62,738 1,177,557 374,838 802,719 18.8 6.0 12.8
2000 63,658 1,095,165 382,674 712,491 17.2 6.0 11.2
2001 64,592 1,110,836 421,525 689,311 17.2 6.5 10.7
2002 65,540 1,122,104 337,237 784,867 17.1 5.1 12.0
2003 66,480 1,171,573 368,518 803,055 17.6 5.5 12.1
2004 67,477 1,154,368 355,213 799,155 17.1 5.3 11.8
2005 68,467 1,239,408 363,723 875,685 18.1 5.3 12.8
2006 70,496 1,253,912 408,566 845,346 17.8 5.8 12.0 1.60[17]
2007 71,532 1,286,716 412,736 873,980 18.0 5.8 12.2
2008 72,584 1,300,166 417,798 882,368 17.9 5.8 12.2
2009 73,651 1,348,546 393,514 955,032 18.3 5.3 13.0
2010 74,733 1,363,542 441,042 922,500 18.3 5.9 12.4
2011 75,149 1,382,229 422,133 960,096 18.3 5.6 12.7 1.30[17]
2012 1,421,689 367,512 1,054,177 18.7 4.8 13.9
2013 1,471,834 372,279 1,099,555 19.1 4.8 14.3
2014 1,534,362 446,333 1,088,029

Structure of the population[edit]

Structure of the population 2006 and 24.10.2011 (Census):

Age group Number(2006) Percentage(2006) Number(2011) Percentage(2011)
Total 70,495,782 100 75,149,669 100
0–4 5,463,978 7.75 6,232,552 8.29
5–9 5,509,057 7.81 5,657,791 7.53
10–14 6,708,591 9.52 5,671,435 7.55
15–19 8,726,761 12.38 6,607,043 8.79
20–24 9,011,422 12.78 8,414,497 11.20
25–29 7,224,952 10.25 8,672,654 11.54
30–34 5,553,531 7.88 6,971,924 9.28
35–39 4,921,124 6.98 5,571,018 7.41
40–44 4,089,158 5.80 4,906,749 6.53
45–49 3,522,761 5.00 4,030,481 5.36
50–54 2,755,420 3.91 3,527,408 4.69
55–59 1,887,981 2.68 2,680,119 3.57
60–64 1,464,452 2.08 1,862,907 2.48
65–69 1,197,550 1.70 1,343,731 1.79
70–74 1,119,318 1.59 1,119,968 1.49
75–79 694,122 0.98 913,531 1.22
80+ 645,601 0.92 919,539 1.22
Unclear - - 46,322 0.06
Number of children 0-14 Number of people 15-49 Proportion Number of women 15-49 Proportion
17,681,629 (2006) 43,049,709 (2006) 0.4107 (2006) ~21,524,855 (2006) 0.8215 (2006)
17,561,778 (2011) 45,174,366 (2011) 0.3888 (2011) ~22,587,183 (2011) 0.7775 (2011)
Year 0-14 15-64 65+
1976 44.5 52 3.5
1985 45.5 51.5 3
1996 39.5 56.1 4.3
2006 25.08 (17,681,629) 69.73 (49,157,562) 5.19 (3,656,591)
2011 23.37 (17,561,778) 70.91 (53,297,122) 5.72 (4,290,769)
Provinces of Iran by population in 2014.

Table 9 – Population and Average Annual Growth by Provinces: 2006 and 2011

Province 2006 2011 Average annual growth
Alborz 2,076,991 2,412,513 3.04
Ardabil 1,228,155 1,248,488 0.33
Bushehr 886,267 1,032,949 3.11
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari 857,910 895,263 0.86
East Azerbaijan 3,603,456 3,724,620 0.66
Fars 4,336,878 4,596,658 1.17
Gilan 2,404,861 2,480,874 0.62
Golestan 1,617,087 1,777,014 1.90
Hamadan 1,703,267 1,758,268 0.64
Hormozgan 1,403,674 1,578,183 2.37
Ilam 545,787 557,599 0.43
Isfahan 4,559,256 4,879,312 1.37
Kerman 2,652,413 2,938,988 2.07
Kermanshah 1,879,385 1,945,227 0.69
Khuzestan 4,274,979 4,531,720 1.17
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad 634,299 658,629 0.76
Kurdistan 1,440,156 1,493,645 0.73
Lorestan 1,716,527 1,754,243 0.44
Markazi 1,351,257 1,413,959 0.91
Mazandaran 2,922,432 3,073,943 1.02
North Khorasan 811,572 867,727 1.35
Qazvin 1,143,200 1,201,565 1.00
Qom 1,046,737 1,151,672 1.93
Razavi Khorasan 5,593,079 5,994,402 1.40
Semnan 589,742 631,218 1.37
Sistan and Baluchestan 2,405,742 2,534,327 1.05
South Khorasan 636,420 662,534 0.81
Tehran 11,345,375 12,183,391 1.44
West Azerbaijan 2,873,459 3,080,576 1.40
Yazd 990,818 1,074,428 1.63
Zanjan 964,601 1,015,734 1.04
Total 70,495,782 75,149,669 1.29

1 The population of the provinces of Alborz and Tehran for 2006 and their average annual growth have been calculated based on the data of 2011.

Unofficial Translation 17

Table 10 – Population Percentages by Province: 2006 and 2011 (Percentage)

Province 2006 2011
Alborz 2.95 3.21
Ardabil 1.74 1.66
Bushehr 1.26 1.37
Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari 1.22 1.19
East Azerbaijan 5.11 4.96
Fars 6.15 6.12
Gilan 3.41 3.30
Golestan 2.29 2.36
Hamadan 2.42 2.34
Hormozgan 1.99 2.10
Ilam 0.77 0.74
Isfahan 6.47 6.49
Kerman 3.76 3.91
Kermanshah 2.67 2.59
Khuzestan 6.06 6.03
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad 0.90 0.88
Kurdistan 2.04 1.99
Lorestan 2.43 2.33
Markazi 1.92 1.88
Mazandaran 4.15 4.09
North Khorasan 1.15 1.15
Qazvin 1.62 1.60
Qom 1.48 1.53
Razavi Khorasan 7.93 7.98
Semnan 0.84 0.84
Sistan and Baluchestan 3.41 3.37
South Khorasan 0.90 0.88
Tehran 16.09 16.21
West Azerbaijan 4.08 4.10
Yazd 1.41 1.43
Zanjan 1.37 1.35
Total 100 100

1 The population of the provinces of Alborz and Tehran for 2006 and their average annual growth have been calculated based on the data of 2011.

Languages and ethnic groups[edit]

Ethnicities and religions in Iran

The largest linguistic group comprises speakers of Iranian languages, like modern Persian, Kurdish, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Luri, Talysh, and Balochi. Speakers of Turkic languages, most notably Azerbaijanis, which is by far the second-most spoken language in the country, but also the Turkmen, and the Qashqai peoples, comprise a substantial minority. The remainder are primarily speakers of Semitic languages such as Arabic and Assyrian. There are small groups using other Indo-European languages such as Armenian, Russian, Pashto; Georgian (a member of the Kartvelian language family), spoken in a large pocket only by those Iranian Georgians that live in Fereydan, Fereydunshahr. Most of those Georgians who live in the north Iranian provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran, Isfahan, Tehran Province and the rest of Iran no longer speak the language but keep a Georgian conscience. The Circassians in Iran, a very large minority in the past and speakers of the Circassian language, have been strongly assimilated and absorbed within the population in the past few centuries. However, significant pockets do exist spread over the country, and they are the second-largest Caucasus-derived group in the nation after the Georgians.[18][19]

Jews have had a continuous presence in Iran since the time of Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire. In 1948, there were approximately 140,000–150,000 Jews living in Iran. According to the Tehran Jewish Committee, the Jewish population of Iran was (more recently) estimated at about 25,000 to 35,000, of which approximately 15,000 are in Tehran with the rest residing in Hamadan, Shiraz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Yazd, Kerman, Rafsanjan, Borujerd, Sanandaj, Tabriz and Urmia. However, the official 2011 state census recorded only 8,756 Jews in Iran.[20]

The CIA World Factbook (which is based on 2013 statistics) gives the following numbers for the languages spoken in Iran today: Persian, Luri, Gilaki and Mazandarani 66%; Azerbaijani and other Turkic languages 18%; Kurdish 10%; Arabic 2%; Baloch 2%; others 1% (Armenian, Georgian, Circassian, Assyrian, etc.).[21]

Other sources, such as the Library of Congress, and the Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden)[22] give Iran's ethnic groups as following: Persians 65%, Azerbaijanis 16%, Kurds 7%, Lurs 6%, Arabs 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmens 1%, Turkic tribal groups (e.g. Qashqai) 1%, and non-Persian, non-Turkic groups (e.g. Armenians, Georgians, Assyrians, Circassians,) less than 1%.[23] For sources prior to and after 2000, see Languages and ethnicities in Iran.

Urban Population[edit]

Provinces of Iran by population density in 2013.

In addition to its international migration pattern, Iran also exhibits one of the steepest urban growth rates in the world according to the UN humanitarian information unit. According to 2005 population estimates, approximately 67 percent of Iran's population lives in urban areas, up from 27 percent in 1950.[24] The following is a list of the six most populous cities in the country.

Rank City (Province) 2007
population
1. Tehran (Tehran Province) 12,765,238 (conurbation and commuter towns included)[25][dubious ]
(8,088,287 in the city itself)[25]
2. Mashhad (Razavi Khorasan) 2,868,350 (this includes suburban population)
(2,410,800 in the city itself)[25]
3. Isfahan (Isfahan Province) 3,430,353 (including its metropolitan area and the population living within the Isfahan conurbation)
(1,602,110 in the city itself)[25]
4. Tabriz (East Azarbaijan) 1,597,319 (city proper and main suburbs)
(1,378,935 in the city itself)[25]
5. Karaj (Alborz Province) 1,377,450[25]
6. Shiraz (Fars Province) 1,204,882[25]

Religious affiliations[edit]







Circle frame.svg

Religion in Iran (2011) [26]

  Islam (99.4%)
  Other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian) (0.3%)
  Unspecified (0.4%)
The entrance to Shah Mosque (aka Imam Mosque or Shah Jame' Mosque) in Isfahan. This mosque is a fantastic example of Persian architecture during the Safavid dynasty.
Population of Iran according to religion 1956-2011 per the UN[1][15]
Religion census 1956 census 1966 census 1976 census 2006 census 2011
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Muslims 18,654,127 98.4 24,771,922 98.8 33,396,908 99.1 70,097,741 99.4 74,682,938 99.4
Christians 114,528 0.6 149,427 0.6 168,593 0.5 109,415 0.2 117,704 0.2
Zoroastrians 15,723 0.1 19,816 0.1 21,400 0.1 19,823 0.0 25,271 0.0
Jews 65,232 0.3 60,683 0.2 62,258 0.2 9,252 0.0 8,756 0.0
Other 59,256 0.3 77,075 0.3 54,234 0.1 49,101 0.1
Unknown 45,838 0.2 59,583 0.2 205,317 0.3 265,899 0.4

About 99% of the Iranians are Muslims; 90% belong to the Shi'a branch of Islam, the official state religion, and about 9% belong to the Sunni branch, which predominates in neighboring Muslim countries.[11] Less than 1% non-Muslim minorities include Christians, Zoroastrians, Jews, Bahá'ís, Mandeans, and Yarsan. By far the largest group of Christians in Iran are Armenians under the Armenian Apostolic Church which has between 110,000,[27] 250,000,[28] and 300,000,[29] adherents. There are hundreds of Christian churches in Iran.[30] The Bahá'í Faith, Iran's largest non-Muslim religious minority with a population around 300,000, is not officially recognized (and therefore not included in the census results), and has been persecuted during its existence in Iran. Since the 1979 revolution the persecution of Bahá'ís has increased with executions, the denial of civil rights and liberties, and the denial of access to higher education and employment.[31][32] Unofficial estimates for the Assyrian Christian population range between 20,000,[33][34] and 70,000.[35][36] The number of Iranian Mandaeans is a matter of dispute. In 2009, there were an estimated 5,000 and 10,000 Mandaeans in Iran, according to the Associated Press.[37] Whereas Alarabiya has put the number of Iranian Mandaeans as high as 60,000 in 2011.[38]

Iranian citizens abroad[edit]

The term "Iranian citizens abroad" or " Iranian/Persian diaspora" refers to the Iranian people born in Iran and their children but living outside of Iran. Migrant Iranian workers abroad remitted less than two billion dollars home in 2006.[39]

As of 2010, there are about four to five million Iranians living abroad, mostly in the United States, Canada, Europe, Persian Gulf States, Turkey, Australia and the broader Middle East.[24][40][41] According to the 2000 Census and other independent surveys, there are an estimated 1 million Iranian-Americans living in the U.S., in particular, the Los Angeles area is estimated to be host to approximately 72,000 Iranians, earning the Westwood area of LA the nickname Tehrangeles.[42] Other metropolises that have large Iranian populations include Dubai with 300,000 Iranians, Vancouver, London, Toronto, San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Stockholm, Berlin, Hamburg and Frankfurt. Their combined net worth is estimated to be $1.3 trillion.[43]

Note that this differs 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.

Refugee population[edit]

Iran hosts one of the largest refugee population in the world, with more than one million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan (80%) and Iraq (10%). Since 2006, Iranian officials have been working with the UNHCR and Afghan officials for their repatriation.[44][45] Between 1979 and 1997, UNHCR spent more than US$1 billion on Afghan refugees in Pakistan but only $150 million on those in Iran. In 1999, the Iranian government estimated the cost of maintaining its refugee population at US$10 million per day, compared with the US$18 million UNHCR allocated for all of its operations in Iran in 1999.[45]

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics[edit]

Net Iranian migration (1979-2008). A positive value represents more people entering Iran than leaving it

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[46]

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.69% (male 9,937,715/female 9,449,716)
15-24 years: 17.58% (male 7,386,826/female 6,998,188)
25-54 years: 46.87% (male 19,534,794/female 18,817,480)
55-64 years: 6.58% (male 2,650,049/female 2,731,997)
65 years and over: 5.28% (male 1,990,961/female 2,326,544) (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 28.8 years
male: 28.6 years
female: 29.1 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate

1.2% (2015 est.)

Birth rate

17.99 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate

5.94 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 73.4% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 2.07% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 71.15 years
male: 69.56 years
female: 72.82 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.83 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Youth literacy

definition: age 15-24 can read and write
total population: above 90%[47]
male youth: 98%
female youth: 98.0% (2008 est.)

Genetics[edit]

Y-chromosome DNA[edit]

Y-Chromosome DNA Y-DNA represents the male lineage, the Iranian Y-chromosome pool is as follows where haplogroups, R1 (25%), J2 (23%) G (14%), J1 (8%) E1b1b (5%), L (4%), Q (4%),comprise more than 85% of the total chromosomes.[48]

Haplogroup[49] n B C E1b1a E1b1b1a2 E1b1b1a3 E1b1b1c F G H I J1 J2 K L N O P,R Q R1a R1b R1b1a R1b1b R2 T
Marker M2 V13 V22 M34 M343 V88 M269 M70
Iran 566 0.53 0.18 1.41 1.77 1.8 0.88 0.35 14.00 2.65 0.8 8.13 23.86 0.71 4.00 2.12 1.41 0.71 4.01 17.49 1.24 0.35 6.18 1.41 2.12

Mitochondrial DNA[edit]

Mitochondrial DNA mtDNA represents the female lineage. The Iranian mitochondrial DNA shows more Western Eurasian lineages than the Y-DNA lineages.[50] Nonetheless, a West Eurasian MtDNA makes up over 90% of the Iranian population on average. (2013).[51]

Among them, U3b3 lineages appear to be restricted to populations of Iran and the Caucasus, while the sub-cluster U3b1a is common in the whole Near East region.[51]

In Iran outliers in the Y-chromosomes and Mitochondrial DNA gene pool are consisted by the north Iranian ethnicities, such as the Gilaki's and Mazandarani's, who's genetic build up including chromosomal DNA are nearly identical to the major South Caucasian ethnicites, namely the Georgians, Armenians and Azerbaijani's. Other outliers are made by the Baloch people, representing a mere 1-2% of the total Iranian population, who have more patrilinial and mitochondrial DNA lines leaning towards northwest South Asian ethnic groups.

Levels of genetic variation in Iranian populations are comparable to the other groups from the Caucasus, Anatolia and Europe.[51]

People of Iranian Ancestry[edit]

See also: Greater Iran

Tats (Caucasus)[edit]

Main article: Tats (Caucasus)

The "Tats" are an Iranian people, presently living within Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, and Russia (mainly Southern Dagestan). The Tats are part of the indigenous peoples of Iranian origin in the Caucasus.[52][53][54]

Tats use the Tat language, a southwestern Iranian language and a variety of Persian[55][56][57][58][59] Azerbaijani and Russian are also spoken. Tats are mainly Shia Muslims, with significant Sunni Muslim minority. Likely the ancestors of modern Tats settled in South Caucasus when the Sassanid Empire from the 3rd to 7th centuries built cities and founded military garrisons to strengthen their positions in this region.[60]

Parsis[edit]

Main article: Parsis

The Parsis are the close-knit Zoroastrian community based primarily in India but also found in Pakistan. Parsis are descended from Persian Zoroastrians who emigrated to the Indian subcontinent over 1,000 years ago. Indian census data (2001) records 69,601 Parsis in India, with a concentration in and around the city of Mumbai (previously known as Bombay). There are approximately 8,000 Parsis elsewhere on the subcontinent, with an estimated 2,500 Parsis in the city of Karachi and approximately 50 Parsi families in Sri Lanka. The number of Parsis worldwide is estimated to be fewer than 100,000 (Eliade, 1991:254).

Iranis[edit]

Main article: Iranian peoples

In Pakistan and India, the term "Irani" has come to denote Iranian Zoroastrians who have migrated to Pakistan and India within the last two centuries, as opposed to most Parsis who arrived in India over 1000 years ago. Many of them moved during the Qajar era, when persecution of Iranian Zoroastrians was rampant. They are culturally and linguistically closer to the Zoroastrians of Iran. Unlike the Parsis, they speak a Dari dialect, the language spoken by the Iranian Zoroastrians in Yazd and Kerman. Their last names often resemble modern Iranian names, however Irani is a common surname among them. In India they are mostly located in modern-day Mumbai while in Pakistan they are mostly located in modern-day Karachi. In both Pakistan and India, they are famous for their restaurants and tea-houses.[61] Some, such as Ardeshir Irani, have also become very famous in cinema.

Ajam (Bahrain)[edit]

Main article: Ajam (Bahrain)

The "Ajam" are an ethnic community of Bahrain, of Iranian origin. They have traditionally been merchants living in specific quarters of Manama and Muharraq. The Iranians who adhere to Shiite sect of Islam are Ajam, and they are different from the Huwala, who are Sunnis and some of them have Arab origin.

In addition to this, many names of ancient villages in Bahrain are of Persian origin. It is believed that these names were given during the Safavid rule of Bahrain (1501–1722). i.e. Karbabad, Salmabad, Karzakan, Duraz, Barbar, which indicates that the history of Ajams is much older.

Huwala[edit]

Main article: Huwala

Huwala are the descendants of Persians and Persian Arabs who belong to the Sunni sect of Islam.[62] Huwala migrated from Ahwaz in Iran to the Persian Gulf in the seventeenth and eighteenth century.[62][63]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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