Iran by city

As the world’s 18th largest country by area, it’s no surprise that the country of Iran has a large population to match the size of its land area. Iran is the world’s 17th largest country by population with an estimated population of over 81 million as of 2016. Because its population is so large, of course it would have megacities that contribute to these large figures. The largest city in Tehran, which has a population that exceeds 7 million. Its second largest city, Masshad, has over 2 million inhabitants, falling far behind Tehran but still large when compared to other cities across the country and the entire world. Iran also has four additional cities that have recorded populations of over one million. There are 61 total cities with populations that fall below this milestone but have more than 100,000 inhabitants. There are also 128 major cities with populations that exceed 10,000 people.

Back in 1960, Iran’s population was primarily situated in rural areas. However, as cities have developed and grown and more people are moving to urban areas, this number has decreased dramatically over the years. Figures from 2015 show that just over one-quarter of the population — 27% to be exact — live in rural areas, with the remainder of the population living in the various urban cities that are spread across a total of 31 provinces.

Iran has 6 cities with more than a million people, 61 cities with between 100,000 and 1 million people, and 135 cities with between 10,000 and 100,000 people. The largest city in Iran is Tehran, with a population of 7,153,309 people.

Tehran

Iran’s capital has the 29th largest metropolitan area in the world.

7,153,309

Mashhad

The city is well-known for being the site of the tomb of Imam Reza.

2,307,177

Isfahan

This city, once one of the largest in the world, has one of the world’s largest city plazas and shopping malls.

1,547,164

Karaj

This major industrial city used to be a summer resort.

1,448,075

Tabriz

This summer resort city is one of Iran’s historical capitals.

1,424,641

Shiraz

The early history of this city dates all the way back to at least 2000 BC.

1,249,942

Qom

This holy city is also a major industrial center in Iran.

900,000

Ahvaz

This city is known for its sports organizations and universities.

841,145

Kermanshah

Kermanshah is Iran’s largest Kurdish speaking city.

621,100

Rasht

This is the country’s largest city on the Caspian Sea.

594,590