Provinces of Iran

Provinces of Iran
استان‌های ایران
  • Also known as:
  • Ostān
    استان
Iran provinces.svg
CategoryUnitary state
LocationIran
Number31
Populations580,158 (Ilam Province) – 13,267,637 (Tehran)
Areas5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi) (Alborz) – 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi) (Kerman Province)
Government
Subdivisions
Provinces of Iran by population in 2021
Provinces of Iran by population density in 2013
Map of the Iranian provinces by Human Development Index in 2017.
Legend:
  0.800 – 1.000 (Very high)
  0.700 – 0.799 (High)
  0.600 – 0.699 (Medium)
Provinces of Iran by contribution to national GDP in 2014
Provinces of Iran by GDP per capita in 2012

Iran is subdivided into thirty-one provinces (Persian: استان Ostān), each governed from a local centre, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital (Persian: مرکز, markaz) of that province. The provincial authority is headed by a Governor-general (Persian: استاندار Ostāndār), who is appointed by the Minister of the Interior subject to approval of the cabinet.[1]

Modern history[]

Iran has held its modern territory since the Treaty of Paris in 1857. From 1906 until 1950, Iran was divided into twelve provinces: Ardalan, Azerbaijan, Baluchestan, Fars, Gilan, Araq-e Ajam, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman, Larestan, Lorestan, and Mazandaran.[2]

In 1950, Iran was reorganized to form ten numbered provinces with subordinate governorates: Gilan; Mazandaran; East Azerbaijan; West Azerbaijan; Kermanshah; Khuzestan; Fars; Kerman; Khorasan; Isfahan.[2]

Iran has had a historical claim to Bahrain as its 14th province: Bahrain Province, until 1971 under British colonial occupation. Prior to 1957, Bahrain was placed under Fars Province.[3] During Safavid Iran, Bahrain was subordinate to Bushehr governorship and Zubarah (located in modern-day country of Qatar) was its capital city. In 1737, under Afsharid dynasty Bahrain was made subject to Fars governorship.[4] This claim was reasserted by the new theocratic Iranian leadership after 1979 with the famous 1981 coup attempt that occurred.[5]

From 1960 to 1981, the governorates were raised to provincial status one by one. Since then several new provinces have been created, most recently in 2010 when the new Alborz Province was split from Tehran province, and before that in 2004 when the province of Khorasan was divided into three provinces.[6]

Map of the 31 provinces of Iran

Information[]

Iran population broken down by province

Iran's GDP contribution by province.png

Current provinces[]

According to Donyaye Eqtesad, between 2017 and 2019, some 11 of the 20 poorest Iranian cities were in the province of Sistan and Baluchestan. Three other markedly poor cities were located in Kerman province. [7]

Iranian provinces along with additional information and statistics
Province Capital Population, 2016[8] Population 2011 Annual Population Growth Rate (2006–2016) Population of the capital city Capital's share of provincial population Land Area (km2) Population Density (people per km2) Shahrestans (counties) Life expectancy, male[9] Life expectancy, female[9] Notes Map
Alborz Karaj 2,712,400 2412513 3.21% 1592492 58.71% 5833 465.01 4 74.4 78 Until 23 June 2010, Alborz was part of Tehran province. IranAlborz-SVG.svg
Ardabil Ardabil 1,270,420 1248488 0.50% 529374 41.67% 17800 71.37 9 71.3 75.6 Until 1993, Ardabil was part of East Azerbaijan province.[10] IranArdabil-SVG.svg
Azerbaijan, East Tabriz 3,909,652 3724620 1.08% 1558693 39.87% 45650 85.64 19 72.5 75.9 IranEastAzerbaijan-SVG.svg
Azerbaijan, West Urmia 3,265,219 3080576 1.53% 793000 24.29% 37437 87.22 14 71.6 76.3 During the Pahlavi Dynasty Urmia was known as Rezaiyeh.[11] IranWestAzerbaijan-SVG.svg
Bushehr Bushehr 1,163,400 1032949 3.43% 223504 19.21% 22743 51.15 9 71 73.5 Originally part of Fars province. Until 1977, the province was known as Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf).[2] IranBushehr-SVG.svg
Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Shahrekord 947,763 895263 1.23% 190441 20.09% 16332 58.03 6 70.2 75 Until 1973 was part of Isfahan province.[12] IranChaharMahaalBakhtiari-SVG.svg
Fars Shiraz 4,851,274 4596658 1.49% 1565572 32.27% 122608 39.57 23 72.1 76.3 IranFars-SVG.svg
Gilan Rasht 2,530,696 2480874 0.63% 713000 28.17% 14042 180.22 16 72.1 76.5 IranGilan-SVG.svg
Golestan Gorgan 1,868,819 1777014 1.73% 350676 18.77% 20195 92.53 11 70.8 74.2 On the 31 May 1997, the shahrestans of Aliabad, Gonbad-e-kavus, Gorgan, Kordkuy, Minudasht, and Torkaman were separated from Mazandaran province to form Golestan province. Gorgan was called Esteraba or Astarabad until 1937.[2] IranGolestan-SVG.svg
Hamadan Hamadan 1,738,234 1738214 0.50% 554405 31.53% 19368 90.78 8 71.2 75.6 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[2] IranHamadan-SVG.svg
Hormozgān Bandar Abbas 1,776,415 1578183 3.01% 526648 29.65% 70669 25.14 11 69.9 73.7 Originally part of Kerman province.[2] Until 1977, the province was known as Banader va Jazayer-e Bahr-e Oman (Ports and Islands of the Sea of Oman).[2] IranHormozgan-SVG.svg
Ilam Ilam 580,158 557599 0.35% 194030 33.44% 20133 28.82 7 70.5 72 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[2] IranIlam-SVG.svg
Isfahan Isfahan 5,120,850 4879312 1.64% 2132000 41.63% 107029 47.85 21 73 77 In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranEsfahan-SVG.svg
Kerman Kerman 3,164,718 2938988 2.24% 537718 16.99% 183285 17.27 14 71.4 75.5 IranKerman-SVG.svg
Kermanshah Kermanshah 1,952,434 1945227 0.60% 1026000 52.55% 24998 78.10 13 70.4 75.3 Between 1950 and 1979, both Kermanshah province and city were known as Kermanshahan and between 1979 and 1995 were known as Bakhtaran.[2] IranKermanshah-SVG.svg
Khorasan, North Bojnourd 863,092 867727 0.90% 228931 26.52% 28434 30.35 6 69.8 72.6 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[6] IranNorthKhorasan-SVG.svg
Khorasan, Razavi Mashhad 6,434,501 5994402 1.67% 3208000 49.86% 118884 54.12 29 72.1 76.2 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[6] IranRazaviKhorasan-SVG.svg
Khorasan, South Birjand 768,898 662534 2.80% 203636 26.48% 151913 5.06 8 70.8 73.9 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[6] IranSouthKhorasan-SVG.svg
Khuzestan Ahvaz 4,710,509 4531720 1.24% 1244000 26.41% 64055 73.54 18 71.3 73.9 IranKhuzestan-SVG.svg
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Yasuj 713,052 658629 1.47% 134532 18.87% 15504 45.99 5 71.2 73.1 Originally part of Khuzestan province. Until 1990, the province was known as Bovir Ahmadi and Kohkiluyeh.[2] IranKohkiluyehBuyerAhmad-SVG.svg
Kurdistan Sanandaj 1,603,011 1493645 1.32% 412767 25.75% 29137 55.02 9 70.6 74.1 Originally part of Gilan province.[2] IranKurdistan-SVG.svg
Lorestan Khorramabad 1,760,649 1754243 0.42% 373416 21.21% 28294 62.23 9 71.1 74.5 Originally part of Khuzestan province.[2] IranLorestan-SVG.svg
Markazi Arak 1,429,475 1413959 0.77% 520944 36.44% 29130 49.07 10 72.9 76.7 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[2] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranMarkazi-SVG.svg
Mazandaran Sari 3,283,582 3073943 1.35% 309820 9.44% 23701 138.54 15 73.5 77 IranMazandaran-SVG.svg
Qazvin Qazvin 1,273,761 1201565 1.29% 402748 31.62% 15549 81.92 5 71.8 75.3 On 31 December 1996, the shahrestans of Qazvin and Takestan were separated from Zanjan province to form the province of Qazvin.[2] IranQazvin.svg
Qom Qom 1,292,283 1151672 2.47% 1288000 99.67% 11526 112.12 1 71.5 75.6 Until 1995, Qom was a shahrestan of Tehran province.[2] IranQom.svg
Semnan Semnan 702,360 631218 2.30% 134532 19.15% 97491 7.20 4 73.2 76.1 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[2] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranSemnan-SVG.svg
Sistan and Baluchestan Zahedan 2,775,014 2534327 1.81% 610000 21.98% 180726 15.35 8 65.7 69.2 Until 1986, the province was known as Baluchestan and Sistan.[2] IranSistanBaluchistan-SVG.svg
Tehran Tehran 13,267,637 12183391 1.82% 9135000 68.85% 18814 705.20 13 74.3 77.8 Until 1986, Tehran was part of Markazi province. IranTehran-SVG.svg
Yazd Yazd 1,138,533 1074428 1.88% 529673 46.52% 76469 14.89 10 73.2 76.7 Originally part of Isfahan province.[12] In 1986, part of Kerman province was transferred to Yazd province. In 2002, Tabas shahrestan (area: 55,344 km2) was transferred from Khorasan province to Yazd.[2] IranYazd-SVG.svg
Zanjan Zanjan 1,057,461 1015734 1.22% 430871 40.75% 21773 48.57 7 73.2 75.8 Originally part of Gilan province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[2] IranZanjan-SVG.svg
Iran (Total) Tehran 79,926,270 75129615 1.55% 31654423 40% 1,628,554 km2 (628,788 sq mi) 49.078 342 72.5 75.9 Iran location map.svg

Provinces' Abbreviation[]

Table below shows the provinces' abbreviation, which can be used in postal addresses and academic affiliations for the sake of simplicity.

Province Abbreviation Method
Alborz AL First two letters
Ardabil AR First two letters
Azerbaijan, East AS First two words
Azerbaijan, West AQ First two words
Bushehr BU First two letters
Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari CH First two letters
Fars FA First two letters
Gilan GI First two letters
Golestan GO First two letters
Hamadan HA First two letters
Hormozgān HO First two letters
Ilam IL First two letters
Isfahan IS First two letters
Kerman KE First two letters
Kermanshah KS First two words
Khorasan, North XS First two words
Khorasan, Razavi XR First two words
Khorasan, South XJ First two words
Khuzestan XU First two letters
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad KB First two words
Kurdistan KU First two letters
Lorestan LO First two letters
Markazi MR First and third letter
Mazandaran MZ First and third letter
Qazvin QA First two letters
Qom QO First two letters
Semnan SE First two letters
Sistan and Baluchestan SB First two words
Tehran TE First two letters
Yazd YA First two letters
Zanjan ZA First two letters

Historical provinces[]

See also[]

References and notes[]

  1. ^ IRNA, Online Edition. "Paris for further cultural cooperation with Iran". Archived from the original on 23 October 2007. Retrieved 21 October 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Gwillim Law, Statoids website. "Provinces of Iran". Archived from the original on 22 October 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2006.
  3. ^ Ebrahimi, Mansoureh; Rad Goudarzi, Masoumeh; Yusoff, Kamaruzaman (2018), The Dynamics of Iranian Borders: Issues of Contention, Springer, p. 106, ISBN 9783319898360
  4. ^ Mojtahed-Zadeh, Pirouz (2013). Security and Territoriality in the Persian Gulf: A Maritime Political Geography. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-0700710980.
  5. ^ "Former IRGC General Close To Supreme Leader Khamenei: 'Bahrain Is A Province Of Iran That Should Be Annexed To [It]'". MEMRI. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d Online ion, Al-Jazeera Satellite Network. "Iran breaks up largest province". Archived from the original on 20 May 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2006.
  7. ^ Monday, 23 Aug 2021 11:30 (23 August 2021). "Iran Enters A New Economic Era Marked By Poverty | Iran International". Iranintl.com. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  8. ^ "National census 2016". amar.org.ir. Archived from the original on 14 March 2017. Retrieved 14 March 2017.[]
  9. ^ a b 2015–2016 data, Statistical Centre of Iran, Source
  10. ^ Chamber Society, Iranian. "Ardabil Province". Archived from the original on 12 June 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  11. ^ "Urmia". Archived from the original on 8 September 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  12. ^ a b Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province, Ostandarie. "Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Province". Retrieved 23 July 2008.[permanent dead link]

External links[]

Official provincial websites