Iran’s Census Shows 47 Percent Population Rise
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Iran’s population grew 47 percent in the past decade and now totals nearly 50 million, according to the latest government census.
The census, taken in October, showed that the Iranian population grew from 33,708,744 in 1976 to 49,764,874, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported Wednesday.
IRNA, monitored in Nicosia, said the country’s most populous province was Tehran, with a population of 8,719,480. The capital city itself has 6,022,029 citizens, the agency added.
Mashhad, in the northeast, with a population of 1.5 million, was the second biggest city, followed by Isfahan in central Iran, with 1 million citizens.
The agency said the census figures revealed a population growth of 4 percent a year.
The head of the government’s Statistics Center, Majid Jamshidi, said the population would reach 60 million in five years, IRNA reported. Jamshidi said 62 percent of the current population was literate.
Iraq, at war with Iran since 1980, has a population of more than 14 million. President Saddam Hussein last year urged Iraqis to have bigger families.