Iran Geography and Population of Iran

Iran Geography

The Islamic Republic of Iran covers a total area of about 1.65 million km² and is bordered by Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan to the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan to the east, the Oman Sea and the Persian Gulf to the south, and Iraq and Turkey to the west. About 52 % of the country area consists of mountains and deserts and some 16% of the country has an elevation of more than 2 000 m above sea level. The largest mountain massif is that of the Zagros, which runs from north-western Iran first southwards to the shores of the Persian Gulf and then continues eastwards till the most south-eastern province. Other mountain ranges run from the north-west to the east along the southern edge of the Caspian Sea. Finally, along the eastern frontier of Iran several scattered mountain chains exist. The Central or Interior Plateau is located in between these mountain chains and covers over 50% of the country. It is partly covered by a remarkable salt swamp (Kavir) and partly by areas of loose sand or stones with stretches of better land near the foothills of the surrounding mountains.

The cultivable area is estimated at about 51 million ha, which is 31% of the total area. In 1993 about 18.5 million ha, or 36% of the cultivable area, were considered usable for agriculture, while 14.4 million ha were actually cultivated. Of this area, 12.8 million ha consisted of annual crops and 1.6 million ha of permanent crops. About 70 % of the landholders possess less than 5.5 ha (of which on average 2.13 ha irrigated and 3.25 ha rainfed).

Population of Iran

The total population is about 77.45 million (2013), of which 38.3% is rural. The average population density is 36.4inhabitants/km, but it ranges from less than 10 in the eastern part of the country up to more than 150 in the Gilan province, located in the Caspian Plain in the north, which is by far the most densely populated region in the country. In the Tehran province, where the capital is located, the population density reaches 400 inhabitants/ km². The annual demographic growth rate was estimated at 3.9% over the period 1976-1986 and at 2.46% over the period 1986-1991 and 1.47 over the period 1991-1996.