People and population

The population of Iran estimated at 79,997,380 in 2016. In 1998, 61 percent of the population lived in urban areas. About 99 percent of rural Iranians resided in villages. Only 240,000 were nomads (people without permanent residences that migrate seasonally), a fraction of the 2 million nomads counted in 1966.

Tehran, the country’s capital and largest city, serves as the main administrative, commercial, educational, financial, industrial, and publishing center. Iran’s major cities included:

Shiraz, a manufacturing center in the south near the ruins of the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis;

Mashhad, a manufacturing and commercial center in the northeast and the site of the country’s most important religious shrine;

Esfahan, a manufacturing center for central Iran with several architecturally significant public buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries;

Tabriz, the main industrial and commercial center of the northwest;

Ahvaz, Major and principal commercial and manufacturing center in the southwestern oil region.