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Table Total, Male and Female Population of Iran as revealed by General Censuses Conducted in 1956-1996


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Section One : Population Overview and Poverty in Asia and Pacific




    1. Population Size

The total number of the population enumerated in 1996 census was 60,055,000. It is almost twice (1.78 times) the size of the population enumerated in 1976. Of the total population enumerated in 1996, 58.95 million (over 98%) were Iranian citizens among the approximately 1.1 million foreign citizens enumerated in 1996, the largest majority were from Afghanistan (804,404 or 74.5%) and Iraq (179,061 or 16.5%) while another relatively large group (96,493 or 9%) was described as “of undeclared citizenship”


Table 1. Total , Male and Female Population of Iran as revealed by General Censuses Conducted in 1956-1996.

Place and Sex

1956

1966

1976

1986

1991

1996

All Country

Female

9,309,760

12,432,921

16,352,697

24,164,048

27,068,713

29,540,328

Male

9,644,944

13,355,801

17,356,348

25,280,960

28,768,450

30,515,160

Total

18,954,704

25,788,722

33,708,744

49,445,010

55,837,163

60,055,488

Urban

Female

2,883,414

4,697,592

7,563,229

13,074,944

15,401,354

18,012,766

Male

3,070,149

5,096,654

8,291,451

13,796,617

16,435,244

18,805,024

Total

5,953,563

9,794,246

15,854,680

26,844,560

31,836,598

36,817,788

Rural

Female

6,426,346

7,735,329

8,789,168

11,089,105

11,667,359

11,527,563

Male

6,574,795

8,259,147

9,064,896

11,511,344

12,333,206

11,710,136

Total

13,001,141

15,994,476

17,854,064

22,600,448

24,000,564

23,237,700

.

    1. Number and Type of Households

Of the population enumerated in 1996, 98% were living in 12,388,000 ordinary (settled) households, the rest belonging to collective (1.6%) and unsettled (0.4%) households. The ratio of the people living in unsettled households to the total population has increased significantly since 1986. In 1986, only 128,000 people were reported as living in non-settled households. The number had risen to 171,000 by 1991 and stood at 211,000 in 1996. The number of collective households ( mostly nomadic tribes) has also increased.


Table 2. Number of people living in normal (settled), non-settled and collective households and their intercensal growth rates, 1976-1996.

Census Date

Household Type



1976

1986

1991

19996

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

All Types

33,709

100

49,445

100

55,837

100

60,055

100

Normal/Settled

33,003

97.9

49,066

99.2

55,302

99.0

58,906

98.1

Non-settled

358

1.1

128

0.3

171

0.3

211

0.4

Collective

348

1.0

251

0.5

364

0.7

938

1.6

The total number of ordinary (settled) households enumerated in 1996 is 1.28 times that of 1986.The urbanization rates of households enumerated in 1986 and 1991 were 57.14% and 60.47%.




    1. Household Size

The average household size for the country as a whole had increased steadily (from 4.76 to 5.21) between 1956-1991, the increase being more consistent and higher (from 4.77 to 5.62) in rural areas. It has dropped noticeably since then in both rural (from 5.62 to 5.18) and urban (from 4.88 to 4.64) areas.


Table 3. Number of households enumerated in 1956-1996, by Population, mean household size, and place of residence.

Mean Household Size

1956

1966

1976

1986

1991

1996

Urban

4.72

4.99

4.86

4.86

4.88

4.64

Rural

4.77

4.99

5.18

5.45

5.62

5.18

All country

4.76

4.99

5.02

5.11

5.21

4.85

The overall mean household size for 1996 (4.85) is the lowest observed since 1956 (4.76). The distribution of households of different sizes in 1986-1996 (table 4) reveals that only about 4.4% of the households enumerated in 1996 (as compared with 4.47 of those in the 1986 census) had only one member. The proportion of single-member households is only slightly higher in rural (4.7%) than urban (4.2%) areas. Another forty five per cent of all households (49.3% of urban and 39.2% of rural households) consist of relatively small households with 2 to 4 members. Close to thirty per cent (28.7%) are rather large households with 5-6 members, and the remaining 21.2% are very large households with 7 or more members. The proportion of the large (5-6) and very large (7+) households in 1986 had been 29.2% and 27%, respectively, while large households with 6+ members had accounted for 35.3% and 47.6% of the urban and rural households, respectively. The relative share of such large households with 6+ members of the population of urban and rural households enumerated in 1996 had fallen to 29.3% and 42.3%.




    1. Areal Distribution

At the time of 1996 census, Iran was divided into 26 independent administrative divisions or provinces. Over two third of the total population live in 9 provinces. Almost one fifth (18.6%) of the total population live in Tehran province which includes the metropolitan Tehran area. The share of Tehran province of the total population was 17.04% in 1976. It has risen at a slow but consistent rate over the past two decades. With just over 10% of the population, khorasan province is the second largest province. Other provinces with a population of over 3 millions and a relative share of 5% or more of the total population are Masandaran (6.7%), Esfahan (6.5%), Fars (6.4%), Khuzistan (6.2%) and East Azerbaijan (5.5%).




    1. Population Density

In view of Iran’s huge land size, even in 1996 the density of the population was no higher than 37 people per square kilometers. Using figures obtained by the 1987 agricultural survey on the size of arable lands and the population enumerated in 1996, the biologic density would seem to have risen from 2.88 to about 3.50 individuals per hectare of arable land between 1986-1996.




    1. Urbanisation

According to the 1996 census, over 61% of the population were living in a community officially defined as urban, that is a community with an officially designated “Shahrdar” or mayor and a municipal administration “shahrdari”. As the proportion of the population living in urban areas was just under fifty per cent in 1976, this figure indicates a considerable (14.3%) increase in the share of the urban population during the past two decades. Moreover, the bulk of this increase would seem to have taken place since 1986 when the urbanisation rate was only 54.3%. By 1991, it had risen to 57.0% (figure 3).



2. POPULATION COMPOSITION
2.1 Sex ratio
The overall sex ratio of the population enumerated in 1996 is 103.3 which is somewhat smaller than those of the 1986 (104.6) and 1976 (106.1) censuses. It is relatively lower in rural (101.6) than urban areas (104.4). Except for some noticeable drop at age groups 20-24 (96.6) and 45-49 (96.8). There is little variation from the overall sex ratio until age group 55-59 where it rises above 110 and continues at even higher levels (119.7-112.7) until age group 75-79. It falls to 102.3 for age group 80-84 and drops to below 90 thereafter.
2.2 Age structure
The age pyramid of the 1996 census is also clearly indicative of the progressive decrease in fertility rate that has taken place during the second half of the intercensal period 1986-1996. The relative shares of the three major age groups, 0-14, 15-64, and 65+, of the total population of Iran between 1956-1996 are summarized in Table 4.
Table 4. Share of the Main Age Groups of the Total Population of Iran 1956-1996.

Place and Age Groups

1956

1966

1976

1986

1991

1996

All Country

0-14

42.2

46.1

44.5

45.5

44.3

39.5

15-64

53.8

50.0

52.0

51.5

52.2

56.1

65+

4.0

3.9

3.0

3.0

3.5

4.3

Urban

0-14

40.2

44.1

41.0

42.8

42.3

37.6

15-64

56.3

52.4

55.7

54.2

54.4

58.4

65+

3.5

3.5

3.3

3.0

3.3

4.0

Rural

0-14

43.1

47.4

47.7

48.6

46.9

42.6

15-64

52.7

48.5

48.6

48.3

49.4

52.6

65+

4.2

4.1

3.7

3.1

3.7

4.9

The data presented in Table 4, leave no doubt about the sharp drop in fertility rates and consequent rise in the mean and median ages of the population since 1966.


Table 6. Mean and Median Ages of Iranian Population by Sex and Residence, 1966-1996

Place, Sex and Year

1966

1976

1986

1991

1996

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

Mean

Median

All country

Total

22.2

16.9

22.4

17.4

21.7

17

22.1

17.6

24

19.4

Male

22.4

16.9

22.6

17.1

21.9

17

22.4

17.7

24.2

19.4

Female

22.0

17.1

22.2

17.7

21.6

17.0

21.9

17.5

23.9

19.5

Urban

Male

22.6

18.0

23.0

18.7

22.3

18.4

23.0

19.0

24.7

20.5

Female

22.2

17.5

22.8

18.6

22.1

18.3

22.3

18.6

24.4

20.4

Rural

Male

22.3

15.8

22.2

15.4

21.4

15.5

21.7

16.3

23.3

17.9

Female

2.1.9

16.8

21.7

16.7

21.0

15.7

21.3

16.2

23.2

18.3


2.3 Dependency ratio
As a result of the increased fertility rate and abundance of children, the general dependency ratio, that is the ratio of children aged 0-14 plus old people aged 65+ years, had risen slightly, from 92.5% to 94.3% between 1976-1986. Thanks to the marked decline in fertility, it has gone down noticeably (from 94.3% to 78.2%) between 1986-1996.


3. POPULATION GROWTH

3. 1 Overall growth rate
The overall average annual population growth rate which had risen to 3.9 per cent between 1976-1986 has dropped markedly, to just under 2% between 1986-1996.comparing the results of the 1986 and 1996 censuses with those of the 1991 census/survey, it would appear that the average annual growth rate during the first half of the second decade (2.46%) was much higher than that for the second half (1.47%).
Table 4. Size and intercensal growth rates of Iranian Population by Urban/Rural status,1900-1996.

Date

Population (in millions)

Annual Growth Rate (%)

Total

Urban

Rural

Total

Urban

Rural

1900*

9.9

-

-

-

-

-

1926*

11.9

-

-

0.7

-

-

1946*

15.9

-

-

1.5

-

-

1956**

19.0

6.0

13.0

1.7

-

-

1966**

25.8

9.8

16.0

3.1

4.9

2.1

1976**

33.8

15.9

17.9

2.7

4.8

1.1

1986**

49.4

26.8

22.6

3.8

5.2

2.3

1991**

55.8

31.8

24.0

2.5

3.5

1.2

1996**

60.0

36.8

23.2

1.5

2.9

-0.7
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