Demographics of IranMore than two-thirds of Iran's people are of Aryan origin--their ancestors migrated from Central Asia. The major groups in this category include Persians, Kurds, Lurs, and Baluchi. The remainder are primarily Turkic but also include Arabs, Armenians, Jews, and Assyrians.
The 1979 Islamic revolution and the war with Iraq transformed Iran's class structure politically, socially, and economically. In general, however, Iranian society remains divided into urban, market-town, village, and tribal groups. Clerics, called mullahs, dominate politics and nearly all aspects of Iranian life, both urban and rural. After the fall of the Pahlavi regime in 1979, much of the urban upper class of prominent merchants, industrialists, and professionals, favored by the former Shah, lost standing and influence to the senior clergy and their supporters. Bazaar merchants, who were allied with the clergy against the Pahlavi shahs, have also gained political and economic power since the revolution. The urban working class has enjoyed somewhat enhanced status and economic mobility, spurred in part by opportunities provided by revolutionary organizations and the government bureaucracy.
Unemployment, a major problem even before the revolution, has many causes, including population growth, the war with Iraq, and shortages of raw materials and trained managers. Farmers and peasants received a psychological boost from the attention given them by the Islamic regime but appear to be hardly better off in economic terms. The government has made progress on rural development, including electrification and road building but has not yet made a commitment to land redistribution.
Most Iranians are Muslims; 89% belong to the Shi'a branch of Islam, the official state religion, and about 10% belong to the Sunni branch, which predominates in neighboring Muslim countries. Non-Muslim minorities include Zoroastrians, Jews, Baha'is, and Christians.
Population: 65,619,636 (July 2000 est.)
0-14 years: 34% (male 11,542,446; female 11,035,705)
15-64 years: 61% (male 20,151,083; female 19,879,432)
65 years and over: 5% (male 1,592,753; female 1,418,217) (2000 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.83% (2000 est.)
Birth rate: 18.29 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)
Death rate: 5.45 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)
Net migration rate: -4.55 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.12 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2000 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 30.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 69.66 years
male: 68.34 years
female: 71.05 years (2000 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.2 children born/woman (2000 est.)
Languages: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 72.1%
female: 65.8% (1994 est.)
- See also : Iran