Iran - Ethnic groups

Present-day Iranians, or Persians, are considered to be direct descendants of the Aryans who moved into the plateau in the second millennium BC . They speak Persian, or Farsi, and number more than half the total population. In the Zagros range and its extensions are to be found the Kurds, Lurs, Bakhtiari, Qashqa'i, and Qajars; the first three are said to be of stock similar to the Iranian element, and they speak languages that stem from ancient Indo-European languages. At various times after the 10th century AD , Turkish tribes settled in the region, and Turkish-speaking groups are still found in several parts of the country. One-eighth of the total population dwells in East and West Azerbaijan, and there are sizable groups of Azerbaijanis in major cities elsewhere, including Tehran. Arab groups arrived during and after the 7th century AD ; their descendants live in the south and southwest and in scattered colonies elsewhere.

In general, non-Iranian elements are to be found along the perimeter of the country. Of these, certain nomadic groups move back and forth across the frontiers. Tribal groups have been a conspicuous element in Iran for many centuries, migrating vertically in spring and fall between high mountain valleys and hot, lowland plains. The important migratory groups include the Qashqa'i, Qajars, Bakhtiari, Balochi, and Turkmen. A large proportion of these people are now settled, however. The nomadic way of life is on the decline, and official policy has sought to resettle these groups on farmlands.

According to 1999 estimates, Persians account for 51% of the population, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Balochi 2%, and Turkmen 2%.

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reza shahbazian
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Dec 11, 2007 @ 5:05 am
It seems to me that statistics menthioned in the article shall be reviewed in some way, according to this fact that most of iranians living in Tehran(The capital of iran) which now makes around 10-15 percent of iranian population are not persian origin. they have immigrated from all around iran including all ethnic groups of this country; for example you can go to tehran streets, bazars and etc and easily talk in turkish(Azeri)with most of the people because they are not persian. There is a common sens in Tehran bazar that turkish language in bazar is the defualt language. From the other point of view Tehran have been stabished as a major city around 150 years ago and so it is obvious that very larg percent of the people now living there are not regional people of persians. This fact may dramatically change the ethnic fuigures in iran declared in the article. I would like to get some explanation about the matter if there is.


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