List of Iranian cities by population

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The most populated cities of Iran in 2010.
Iranian population density map (based on data from the 1996 census).

Iran has one of the highest urban population growth rates in the world. From 1950 to 2002, the urban proportion of the population increased from 27% to 60%.[1] The United Nations predicts that by 2030 80% of the population will live in urban areas.[2] Most internal migrants have settled near the cities of Tehran, Isfahan, Ahvaz, and Qom. Tehran, with a population of 8.2 million (2012 census), is the largest city in Iran and is the nation's capital. Tehran is home to around 11% of Iran's population. It is the hub of the country's communication and transport networks.[3]

Mashhad, with a population of 2.4 million, is the second-largest Iranian city and the centre of the province of Razavi Khorasan. Mashhad is one of the holiest Shi'a cities in the world as it is the site of the Imam Reza shrine. It is the centre of tourism in Iran and between 15 and 20 million pilgrims go to Imam Reza's shrine every year.[4][5]

The third most populous city of Iran is Tabriz (population 2.2 million) and the second-ranking industrial city of Iran after Tehran. Tabriz was the second largest city in Iran until the late 1960s and one of its former capitals.

The fourth most populous Iranian city is Isfahan, with a population of 1.5 million, which is the capital of Isfahan Province. The growth of the suburban area around the city has turned Isfahan into the fourth most populous metropolitan area with a population of 3.4 million.[6]

The other major cities are Karaj (population 1.3 million), and Shiraz (population 1.2 million). Karaj is the capital of Alborz province and is situated 20 km west of Tehran, at the foot of Alborz mountains; however, the city is increasingly becoming an extension of metropolitan Tehran. Shiraz is considered the heart of Iranian music and culture.

Cities over 100,000 population[edit]

Gallery[edit]

The following sorted table, lists the most populous cities in Iran with a population of more than 100,000 according to 2011 Census results announced by Statistical Center of Iran:[7]

Rank City Province Date of Official
Foundation of
Municipality
2016 2011 2006 1996 1986 1976 1966 1956
1 Tehran Tehran 1907[8] 16,250,976 8,154,051 7,705,036 6,758,845 6,042,584 4,530,223 2,719,730 1,512,082
3 Mashhad Razavi Khorasan 1917 4,685,459 2,749,374 2,104,697 1,898,060 1,308,482 1,017,976 713,413 439,996
2 Isfahan Isfahan Province 1928 5,643,945 1,756,126 1,250,800 1,057,405 972,541 716,770 446,416 221,984
4 Karaj Alborz 1989 3,468,543 1,614,626 2,311,250
5 Tabriz East Azerbaijan Province 1907 2,896,562 1,484,988 1,427,311 1,153,025 1,848,289 1,425,813 1,069,865 770,659
6 Shiraz Fars 1925 2,623,643 1,460,665 1,269,843 1,104,980 779,826 534,399 306,375 220,098
7 Ahvaz Khūzestān Province 1911 2,476,964 1,112,021 977,450 740,968 411,510 97,926 44,243 14,526
8 Qom Qom 1926 1,978,586 1,074,036 1,151,918 977,677 743,139 347,219 234,292 109,499
9 Kermanshah Kermanshah 1930 1,465,094 851,405 692,686 560,514 290,600 187,930 125,439
10 Orumieh West Azarbaijan 1928 1,397,845 667,499 435,200 300,746 164,419 110,749 67,605
13 Rasht Gīlān 1908 804,659 639,951 417,748 290,897 188,957 143,557 109,491
14 Zahedan Sistan and Baluchestan 1938 794,695 560,725 419,518 281,923 93,740 39,732 17,495
11 Kerman Kermān 1921 1,093,385 534,441 384,991 257,284 140,761 85,404 62,157
15 Arak Markazi 1927 723,846 526,182 380,755 265,349 116,832 61,925 58,998
16 Hamedan Hamadān 1911 718,875 525,794 401,281 272,499 165,875 124,167 99,909
12 Yazd Yazd 1926 1,050,976 432,194 326,776 230,483 135,925 93,241 63,502
17 Ardabil Ardabil 1925 679,405 418,262 340,386 281,973 147,865 83,596 65,742
18 Bandar Abbas Hormozgān 1925 645,970 367,508
21 Eslamshahr Tehran 1978 450,372 357,171
20 Qazvin Qazvīn 1924 495,293 349,821
19 Zanjan Zanjan 1923 510,535 341,801
23 Khorramabad Lorestān 1931 406,295 328,544
24 Sanandaj Kurdistan 1928 387,978 311,446
25 Gorgan Golestān 1925 368,953 269,226
22 Sari Māzandarān 1927 407,384 259,084
26 Kashan Isfahan 1930 248,789
27 Babol Māzandarān 1956 243,636
28 Golestan Tehran 1996 231,882
29 Shahr-e Qods Tehran 1989 229,354
30 Malard Tehran 1995 228,673
31 Dezful Khūzestān 1920 228,507
32 Borujerd Lorestān 1935 324,958 227,547
33 Khomeinishahr Isfahan 1932 218,737
34 Abadan Khūzestān 1924 217,988
35 Varamin Tehran 1941 208,569
36 Sabzevar Razavi Khorasan 1936 208,172
37 Najafabad Isfahan 1931 206,114
38 Nishapur Razavi Khorasan 1931 205,972
39 Amol Māzandarān 1933 197,470
40 Shahriar Tehran 1952 189,120
41 Saveh Markazi 1931 179,009
42 Khoy West Azarbaijan 1923 178,708
43 Qa'em Shahr Māzandarān 1935 174,246
44 Gharchak Tehran 1976 173,832
45 Bojnourd North Khorasan 1931 287,935 172,772
46 Sirjan Kermān 1936 167,014
47 Bushehr Bushehr 1922 203,583 161,674
48 Birjand South Khorasan 1928 157,848
49 Ilam Īlām 1936 201,384 155,289
50 Malayer Hamadān 1934 153,748
51 Bukan West Azarbaijan 1948 149,340
52 Maragheh East Azarbaijan 1921 146,405
53 Rafsanjan Kermān 1935 136,388
54 Nasimshahr Tehran 1995 135,824
55 Mahabad West Azarbaijan 1931 133,324
56 Saqqez Kurdistan 1935 131,349
57 Zabol Sistan and Baluchestan 1928 130,642
58 Gonbad-e Qabus Golestān 1934 127,167
59 Shahrood Semnān 1925 187,864 126,916
60 Shahrekord Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari 1931 204,284 126,746
61 Pakdasht Tehran 1991 126,281
62 Shahinshahr Eşfahān 1976 126,070
63 Semnan Semnān 1925 124,999
64 Khorramshahr Khūzestān 1925 123,866
65 Marvdasht Fars 1940 123,858
66 Andimeshk Khūzestān 1956 119,422
67 Torbat-e Heydarieh Razavi Khorasan 1928 119,360
68 Bandar-e Anzali Gīlān 1922 116,664
69 Marand East Azarbaijan 1929 114,165
70 Miandoab West Azarbaijan 1935 112,933
71 Mahshahr Khūzestān 1954 109,687
72 Shahreza Eşfahān 1929 108,299
73 Masjed Soleyman Khūzestān 1959 106,121
74 Izeh Khūzestān 1958 103,695
75 Jahrom Fars 1925 103,023
76 Dorood Lorestān 1949 100,528

Largest cities in the provinces[edit]

This is a list of the largest cities of the 31 provinces, based on the cities' population as of the 2006 census. (It should be noted that in 2006 Iran had only 30 provinces. The 31st province, Alborz, was split off from Tehran in 2010.)

Province Largest city 2nd Largest 3rd Largest 4th largest
Tehran Tehran Eslamshahr Golestan Shahr-e Qods
Razavi Khorasan Mashhad Nishapur Sabzevar Torbat-e Heydarieh
East Azarbaijan Tabriz Maragheh Marand Mianeh
Alborz Karaj Nazarabad Savojbolagh Taleghan
Isfahan Isfahan Kashan Khomeyni Shahr Najafabad
Fars Shiraz Marvdasht Jahrom Fasa
Khuzestan Ahvaz Dezful Abadan Khorramshahr
Mazandaran Sari Babol Amol Qa'em Shahr
West Azarbaijan Urmia Khoy Miandoab Salmas
Kerman Kerman Sirjan Rafsanjan Jiroft
Gilan Rasht Bandar-e Anzali Lahijan Langrud
Sistan and Baluchistan Zahedan Zabol Iran Shahr Chabahar
Kermanshah Kermanshah Eslamabad-e Gharb Harsin Kangavar
Lorestan Khorramabad Borujerd Dorood Koohdasht
Hamadan Hamadan Malayer Nahavand Asadabad
Golestan Gorgan Gonbad-e Qabus Ali Abad Bandar Torkaman
Kurdistan Sanandaj Saghez Marivan Baneh
Hormozgan Bandar Abbas Minab Dehbarez Bandar Lengeh
Markazi Arak Saveh Khomein Mahallat
Ardabil Ardabil Parsabad Meshkinshahr Khalkhal
Qazvin Qazvin Takestan Alvand Eqbaliyeh
Qom Qom Jamkaran Qanavat Jafariyeh
Yazd Yazd Meybod Ardakan Bafq
Zanjan Zanjan Abhar Khorramdareh Qidar
Bushehr Bushehr Borazjan Bandar Ganaveh Khormuj
Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Shahr-e Kord Borujen Farrokhshahr Farsan
North Khorasan Bojnurd Shirvan Esfarayen Garmeh Jajarm
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province Yasuj Dogonbadan Dehdasht Likak
South Khorasan Birjand Ghayen Ferdows Nehbandan
Semnān Shahrood Semnan Damghan Garmsar
Ilam Ilam Eyvan Dehloran Abdanan

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Payvand. "Iran: Focus on reverse migration". Retrieved 2006-04-17. 
  2. ^ "Islamic Azad University", retrieved 28 Jan 2008 Archived November 10, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Assari, Ali; T.M. Mahesh (2011). "Urbanization Process in Iranian Cities". Asian Journal of Development Matters 5 (1): 151–154. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Religious Tourism Potentials Rich retrieved 28 Feb 2008 Archived February 24, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Mashhad, Iran retrieved 28 Feb 2008
  6. ^ http://www.sci.org.ir/content/userfiles/_census85/census85/natayej/township/Os10.xls retrieved 27 Feb 2008
  7. ^ Statistical Center of Iran 2011 Census website
  8. ^ Mayors of Tehran since 1885