Factbook Iran

Iran is a vast country in southwest Asia. Covering a surface area of 1,648,195 square kilometers, it is bordered by Iraq (1,609 km) on the west, Turkey (486 km) on the northwest, the Republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan (all parts of the former Soviet Union), as well as the Caspian Sea (2,670 km) on the north, Afghanistan (945 km) on the east, Pakistan (978 km) on the southeast, the Persian Gulf (1,259 km) and the Sea of Oman (748 km) on the south. The Persian Gulf is the shallow marginal part of the Indian Ocean that lies between the Arabian Peninsula and the southwest Iran. The sea has an area of 240,000 square kilometers from the Arvand Rud (Shatt ol-Arab) delta to the Strait of Hormuz, which links it with the Sea of Oman. Its linear length is 900 km, and its width varies from a maximum of 338 km to minimum of 55 km in the Strait of Hormoz. It is bordered on the north, northeast and east by Iran, on the north west by Iraq and Kuwait, on the west and southwest by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and on the south and the southeast by the United Arab Emirates and partly by Oman.

Area:

total: 1,648,195 sq km
country comparison to the world: 18

land: 1,531,595 sq km

water: 116,600 sq km

 

Land Boundaries:

total: 5,440 km

border countries: Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper 432 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992 km

 

Coastline:

2,440 km; note - Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)

 

Terrain:

rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts

 

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m

highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m

 

Natural resources:

petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur

 

Land use:

arable land: 9.78%

permanent crops: 1.29%

other: 88.93% (2005)

 

Irrigated land:

89,930 sq km (2008)

 

Total renewable water resources:

137.5 cu km (1997)

 

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 72.88 cu km/yr (7%/2%/91%)

per capita: 1,048 cu m/yr (2000)

 

Natural hazards:

periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes

 

Environment - current issues:

air pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization

 

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

 

Geography - note:

strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport

 

People and Society

noun: Iranian(s)

adjective: Iranian

 

Ethnic groups:

Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%

 

Religions:

Muslim (official) 98% (Shia 89%, Sunni 9%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i) 2%

 

Languages:

Persian and Persian dialects (official) 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%

 

Population:

77,891,220 (July 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

 

Age structure:

0-14 years: 24.1% (male 9,608,342/female 9,128,427)

15-64 years: 70.9% (male 28,083,193/female 27,170,445)

65 years and over: 5% (male 1,844,967/female 2,055,846) (2011 est.)

 

Median age:

total: 26.8 years

male: 26.6 years

female: 27.1 years (2011 est.)

 

Population growth rate:

1.248% (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

 

Birth rate:

18.55 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 103

 

Death rate:

5.94 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 164

 

Net migration rate:

-0.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

 

Urbanization:

urban population: 71% of total population (2010)

rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

 

Major cities - population:

TEHRAN (capital) 7.19 million; Mashhad 2.592 million; Esfahan 1.704 million; Karaj 1.531 million; Tabriz 1.459 million (2009)

 

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

 

Maternal mortality rate:

30 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

 

Infant mortality rate:

total: 42.26 deaths/1,000 live births

country comparison to the world: 60

male: 42.75 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 41.75 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

 

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 70.06 years

country comparison to the world: 146

male: 68.58 years

female: 71.61 years (2011 est.)

 

Total fertility rate:

1.88 children born/woman (2011 est.)

country comparison to the world: 142

 

Health expenditures:

3.9% of GDP (2009)

 

Physicians density:

0.89 physicians/1,000 population (2005)

 

Hospital bed density:

1.38 beds/1,000 population (2006)

 

Drinking water source:

improved:

urban: 98% of population

rural: 83% of population

total: 93% of population

unimproved:

urban: 2% of population

rural: 17% of population

total: 7% of population (2000)

 

Sanitation facility access:

improved:

urban: 86% of population

rural: 78% of population

total: 83% of population

unimproved:

urban: 14% of population

rural: 22% of population

total: 17% of population (2000)

 

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

0.2% (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

 

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

92,000 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43

 

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

6,400 (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 33

 

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: intermediate

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea

vectorborne diseases: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever and malaria

note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases possible among US citizens who have close contact with birds (2009)

 

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

14.2% (2005)

 

Education expenditures:

4.7% of GDP (2009)

country comparison to the world: 71

 

Literacy:

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 77%

male: 83.5%

female: 70.4% (2002 est.)

 

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 13 years

male: 13 years

female: 13 years (2009)

 

Economy - overview:

Iran's economy is marked by an inefficient state sector, reliance on the oil sector, which provides the majority of government revenues, and statist policies, which create major distortions throughout the system. Private sector activity is typically limited to small-scale workshops, farming, and services. Price controls, subsidies, and other rigidities weigh down the economy, undermining the potential for private-sector-led growth. Significant informal market activity flourishes. The legislature in late 2009 passed President Mahmoud AHMADINEJAD's bill to reduce subsidies, particularly on food and energy. The bill would phase out subsidies - which benefit Iran's upper and middle classes the most - over three to five years and replace them with cash payments to Iran's lower classes. However, the start of the program was delayed repeatedly throughout 2010 over fears of public reaction to higher prices. This is the most extensive economic reform since the government implemented gasoline rationing in 2007. The recovery of world oil prices in the last year increased Iran's oil export revenue by at least $10 billion over 2009, easing some of the financial impact of the newest round of international sanctions. Although inflation has fallen substantially since the mid-2000s, Iran continues to suffer from double-digit unemployment and underemployment. Underemployment among Iran's educated youth has convinced many to seek jobs overseas, resulting in a significant "brain drain."

 

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$818.7 billion (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 20

$810.3 billion (2009 est.)

$809.8 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

 

GDP (official exchange rate):

$357.2 billion (2010 est.)

 

GDP - real growth rate:

1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 170

0.1% (2009 est.)

1% (2008 est.)

 

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$10,600 (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 104

$10,700 (2009 est.)

$10,800 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

 

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 11%

industry: 41.7%

services: 47.3% (2010 est.)

 

Labor force:

25.7 million

country comparison to the world: 22

note: shortage of skilled labor (2010 est.)

 

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 25%

industry: 31%

services: 45% (June 2007)

 

Unemployment rate:

14.6% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

10.3% (2008 est.)

note: data are according to the Iranian Government

 

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 23.01%

male: 20.21%

female: 33.95% (2008)

 

Population below poverty line:

18% (2007 est.)

 

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.6%

highest 10%: 29.6% (2005)

 

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

44.5 (2006)

country comparison to the world: 41

 

Investment (gross fixed):

27.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 31

 

Budget:

revenues: $110.9 billion

expenditures: $89.98 billion (2010 est.)

 

Taxes and other revenues:

31% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 84

 

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

5.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 13

 

Public debt:

16.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 115

18.7% of GDP (2009 est.)

 

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

10.1% (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 199

13.5% (2009 est.)

note: official Iranian estimate

 

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

12.5% (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 80

12% (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Stock of narrow money:

$50.15 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 44

$48.16 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Stock of broad money:

$166.7 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 42

$147.2 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Stock of domestic credit:

$135 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 43

$121.7 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

 

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$86.62 billion (31 December 2010)

country comparison to the world: 48

$63.3 billion (31 December 2009)

$49.04 billion (31 December 2008)

 

Agriculture - products:

wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, sugar cane, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar

 

Industries:

petroleum, petrochemicals, fertilizers, caustic soda, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), ferrous and non-ferrous metal fabrication, armaments

 

Industrial production growth rate:

-1.4% excluding oil (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 154

 

Electricity - production:

212.8 billion kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 19

 

Electricity - consumption:

206.7 billion kWh (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

 

Electricity - exports:

6.15 billion kWh (2009 est.)

 

Electricity - imports:

2.06 billion kWh (2009 est.)

 

Oil - production:

4.252 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 5

 

Oil - consumption:

1.845 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

 

Oil - exports:

2.523 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

 

Oil - imports:

297,100 bbl/day (2009 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

 

Oil - proved reserves:

137 billion bbl based on Iranian claims

country comparison to the world: ?

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