Iran, which is also called Persia or the Islamic Republic of Iran, is located in western Asia. Adjoining Iran to the north are Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia, with Kazakhstan and Russia to the north across the Caspian Sea. Iran's east is bordered by Pakistan and Afghanistan, and its south is bordered by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. It is bordered on the west by Iraq and on the northwest by Turkey.
Iran is home to many different cultures and religions, and Iran offers freedom to practice and carry these out in their own ways. Moreover, Iran has the fourth largest petroleum reserves and largest natural gas reserves. Iran is one of the oldest civilizations in the world dating back to 3200-2800 BC.
Iran is a very diverse country although the Iranian government does not collect information about ethnicity through its census. The largest ethnic groups are the Persians and Azerbaijanis. About 79% of the population belong to an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group. Persians account for 61% of the population, followed by Kurds (10%), Lurs (6%), and Balochs (2%). Other ethnicities account for the remaining 21%, including the Azerbaijanis (16%), Arabs (2%), Turkmens and Turkic tribes (2%), as well as Armenians, Assyrians, and Georgians.
Languages used in Iran include: Persian (official), Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luri, Balochi, Arabic, and other languages.
Iran Religion, Economy and Politics
The major part (89%) of the population in Iran is Shi'a Muslim, 10% is Sunni Muslim, and the remaining 1% are Christian, Zoroastrian, Baha’i and Jewish. Judaism has a very long history in the country, although the Revolution and the establishment of Israel have left just under 9,000 Jews in the country. Christians are the largest minority religion at 250,000 to 370,000. Most Christians have an Armenian origin.
Iran has one of the largest refugee populations in the world, containing more than one million refugees, mostly from Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran also has a sizeable diaspora as over 5 million Iranians emigrated to other countries following the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Iran Population History
From 1880 till 1920 the population of Iran remained at 10 million or below. From 1920 on it increased steadily, and the population rate reached 20 million by 1955. Then, according to the statistics, the drastic increase made the population reach 50 million in 1985. After increasing to 60 in 1995, it grew straight up to 70 million in 2005. The population statistics graph shows how dramatically the population had been increasing from year to year, and now the population of Iran is over 78 million.