Iran Population, People, Languages and Religions

By | January 21, 2022

Iran Country Overview

Where is Iran located? The state of Iran is located in western Asia and is one of the most populous and largest in the world. On the time zone map, Iran is located in a world time zone in which the regional time is 3.5 hours ahead of the coordinated world time. This time zone is called “Iran Standard Time” (IRST) and clocks in this time zone are always 3.5 hours later than Universal Time (UTC +3.5). From March 22nd to the end of September the time in Iran will change to “Iran Daylight Time” (IRDT).

Iran National Flag

Population Distribution

As of 2023, the latest population of Iran is 84,923,314, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).

Total population 84,923,314
Population growth rate 1.10%
Birth rate 17.90 births per 1,000 people
Life expectancy
Overall life expectancy 70.62 years
Men life expectancy 69.09 years
Women life expectancy 72.24 years
Age structure
0-14 years 24.23%
15-64 years 70.30%
65 years and above 5.48%
Median age 28.80 years
Gender ratio (Male to Female) 1.03
Population density 51.53 residents per km²
Urbanization 66.70%
51% Persians, 24% Azerbaijanis, 8% Gilaki and Mazandarani, 7% Kurds, 3% Arabs, 2% Turkmen, 2% Lurs, 2% Baluch, Armenians and others
Shiites 89%, Sunnis 10%, Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians, and Baha’i 1%
Human Development Index (HDI) 0.797
HDI ranking 65th out of 194

People in Iran

People of different origins live and have lived in Iran. The Medes were the first Iranian people to settle. It was followed by the Arabs, who continued to expand and marry local women. Thracian tribes also immigrated and mostly moved through the country as nomads with their herds of cattle. They mainly chose northern Iran because the conditions for their animals were best here.

Today it is said that 60 to 65 out of 100 Iranians are Persians, who mainly live in the Persian highlands. Then there are the Kurds, after all, every seventh to tenth resident of the country is a Kurd. Others are added, such as the Lurs and Baluch. On the adjacent map you can see the distribution of the different races. However, there are no absolutely reliable figures, as Iran itself does not provide any information.

The average age in Iran is increasing – why is that?

Over a long period of time, Iran’s population increased. In 2011 there were over 75 million residents, while at the beginning of the 20th century only about twelve million lived there. Living conditions in Iran improved. Fewer children died at birth or as toddlers and so the population grew. However, women in Iran have fewer children today than in the past and the average age is therefore increasing. However, the number of residents is still increasing at the moment, it was estimated at 79 million in 2016.

Languages in Iran

With so many people of different origins living in Iran, there are also many languages ​​spoken in the country. Persian is the official language. The language that is spoken in government offices, but also in schools, is Persian.

There is also Arabic. There are also a number of other languages ​​that are related to and sound similar to the Persian language. Many Iranians grow up multilingual. It is also difficult to determine an exact number for the distribution of languages.

Persian and Arabic

Persian belongs to the Indo-European language family and thus differs from Arabic. Both languages ​​do not have a common root. Nevertheless, Persian has incorporated parts of Arabic and the alphabet has also been derived. In Iran, for example, not all people speak Persian, but just under half of the residents, especially the people who live on the Iranian plateau. However, Arabic is the language of the Koran that all Iranians have to learn.

Religions in Iran

Most are Muslims and a large part of them belong to Shiite Islam. A small proportion – four to ten out of 100 – of Iranians are counted among the Sunnis.