The population of Iran in 2003 was estimated by the United Nations at 68,920,000, which placed it as number 18 in population among the 193 nations of the world. In that year approximately 5% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 33% of the population under 15 years of age. There were 103 males for every 100 females in the country in 2003. According to the UN, the annual population growth rate for 2000–2005 is 1.24%, with the projected population for the year 2015 at 81,422,000. The population density in 2002 was 40 per sq km (104 per sq mi).
It was estimated by the Population Reference Bureau that 62% of the population lived in urban areas in 2001. The capital city, Tehran, had a population of 7,158,000 in that year. The populations of other major metropolitan areas were Mashad, 2,378,000; Esfahan, 2,644,000; Tabriz, 1,624,000; Shiraz, 1,113,000; Ahvaz, 1,018,000; and Kermanshan, 949,000. According to the United Nations, the urban population growth rate for 2000–2005 was 1.8%.