Iran | Facts & Information

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff
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Facts & Figures

  • Chief of State: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (1989)

    President: Hassan Rouhani (2013)

    Land area: 631,659 sq mi (1,635,999 sq km); total area: 636,293 sq mi (1,648,000 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 80,840,713 (growth rate: 1.22%); birth rate: 18.23/1000; infant mortality rate: 39/1000; life expectancy: 70.89

    Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Tehran, 7.304 million

    Other large cities: Mashhad 2.713 million; Esfahan 1.781 million; Karaj 1.635 million; Tabriz 1.509 million; Shiraz 1.321 million (2011)

    Monetary unit: Rial

    National name: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran

    Current government officials

    Languages: Persian (official) 53%, Azeri Turkic and Turkic dialects 18%, Kurdish 10%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 7%, Luri 6%, Balochi 2%, Arabic 2%, other 2%

    Ethnicity/race: Persian 61%, Azeri 16%, Kurd 10%, Arab 2%, Lur 6%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other

    Religions: Muslim (official) 99.4% (Shia 90-95%, Sunni 5-10%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian) 0.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2011 est.)

    National Holiday: Republic Day, April 1

    Literacy rate: 85% (2008 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2013 est.): $987.1 billion; per capita $12,800. Real growth rate: -1.5%. Inflation: 42.3%. Unemployment: 16%. Arable land: 10.05%. Agriculture: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar. Labor force: 27.72 million; note: shortage of skilled labor; agriculture 16.9%, industry 34.4%, services 48.7% (2012 est.). Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabrication, armaments. Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur. Exports: $61.22 billion (2013 est.): petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets. Imports: $64.42 billion (2013 est.): industrial raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services, military supplies. Major trading partners: Japan, China, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, UAE, India (2012).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 28.76 million (2012); mobile cellular: 58.16 million (2012). Broadcast media: state-run broadcast media with no private, independent broadcasters; Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the state-run TV broadcaster, operates 5 nationwide channels, a news channel, about 30 provincial channels, and several international channels; about 20 foreign Persian-language TV stations broadcasting on satellite TV are capable of being seen in Iran; satellite dishes are illegal and, while their use had been tolerated, authorities began confiscating satellite dishes following the unrest stemming from the 2009 presidential election; IRIB operates 8 nationwide radio networks, a number of provincial stations, and an external service; most major international broadcasters transmit to Iran (2009). Internet hosts: 197,804 (2012). Internet users: 8.214 million (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: 8,442 km (2010). Roadways: total: 198,866 km; paved: 160,366 km (including 1,948 km of expressways); unpaved: 38,500 km (2010). Waterways: 850 km (on Karun River and Lake Urmia) (2012). Ports and harbors: Assaluyeh, Bushehr. Airports: 319 (2013).

    International disputes: Iran protests Afghanistan's limiting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Iraq's lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which are occupied by Iran; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratified Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on a one-fifth slice of the sea; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey.

    Major sources and definitions