Ostān

Iran is subdivided into thirty one provinces (Persian: استانOstān, plural استان‌ها Ostānhā), each governed from a local center, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital (Persian: Markaz) of that province. The provincial authority is headed by a Governor-General[1] (Persian: Ostāndār), who is appointed by the Minister of the Interior subject to approval of the cabinet.

Modern history

According to Encyclopædia Britannica,[2] in 1908 there were thirty five administrative divisions in Persia, as follows:

  • Provinces: 1. Arabistan and Bakhtiari, 2. Astarabad and Gurgan, 3. Azerbaijan, 4. Fars, 5. Gerrus, 6. Gilan and Talish, 7. Hamada[n], 8. Irak, Gulpaigan, Khunsar, [Kezzaz, Ferakan, and Tusirkhan], 9. Isfahan, 10. Kashan, 11. Kazvin, 12. Kerman and Baluchistan, 13. Kermanshah, 14. Kamseh, 15. Khar, 16. Khorasan, 17. Kum, 18. Kurdistan, 19. Luristan and Burujird, 20. Mazandaran, 21. Nehavend, Malayir and Kamereh, 22. Savah, 23. Samnan and Damghan, 24. Shahrud and Bostam, 25. Teheran, 26. Zerend and Bagdadi Shahsevens.
  • Dependencies: 1. Asadabad, 2. Demavend, 3. Firuzkuh, 4. Josehekan, 5. Kangaver, 6. Natanz, 7. [], 8. Tarom Ulia, 9. Kharakan.

Until 1950, Iran was divided into twelve provinces: Ardalan, Azerbaijan, Baluchestan, Fars, Gilan, Araq-e Ajam, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman, Larestan, Lorestan, and Mazandaran.[3]

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.[3]

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 2004 when the province of Khorasan was split into three new provinces[4] as well as splitting of the new Alborz province from Teheran province in 2010.

Current provinces

Provinces of Iran

Information

List

Province Capital Area[6] Population[7] Density
(population/km²)
Shahrestans (counties) Notes Map
Alborz Karaj 5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi) 1,375,450 235.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (611 /sq mi) 4 Until 23 June 2010, Alborz was part of Tehran province.
Ardabil Ardabil 17,800 km2 (6,900 sq mi) 1,257,624 70.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (183 /sq mi) 9 Until 1993, Ardabil was part of East Azerbaijan province.[8]
Azerbaijan, East Tabriz 45,650 km2 (17,630 sq mi) 3,620,183 76.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (199 /sq mi) 19
Azerbaijan, West Urmia 37,437 km2 (14,455 sq mi) 2,949,426 78.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (204 /sq mi) 14 During the Pahlavi Dynasty Urmia was known as Rezaiyeh.[9]
Bushehr Bushehr 22,743 km2 (8,781 sq mi) 887,115 35.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (93 /sq mi) 9 Originally part of Fars province. Until 1977, the province was known as Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf).[3]
Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari Shahrekord 16,332 km2 (6,306 sq mi) 842,002 51.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (134 /sq mi) 6 Until 1973 was part of Isfahan province.[10]
Fars Shiraz 122,608 km2 (47,339 sq mi) 4,385,869 35.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (93 /sq mi) 23
Gilan Rasht 14,042 km2 (5,422 sq mi) 2,410,523 171.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (445 /sq mi) 16
Golestan Gorgan 20,195 km2 (7,797 sq mi) 1,637,063 81.1 inhabitants per square kilometre (210 /sq mi) 11 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.[3]
Hamadan Hamadan 19,368 km2 (7,478 sq mi) 1,790,770 91 inhabitants per square kilometre (240 /sq mi) 8 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[3]
Hormozgān Bandar Abbas 70,669 km2 (27,285 sq mi) 1,410,667 18.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (48 /sq mi) 11 Originally part of Kerman province.[3] Until 1977, the province was known as Banader va Jazayer-e Bahr-e Oman (Ports and Islands of the Sea of Oman).[3]
Ilam Ilam 20,133 km2 (7,773 sq mi) 545,093 27.1 inhabitants per square kilometre (70 /sq mi) 7 Originally part of Kermanshah province.[3]
Isfahan Isfahan 107,029 km2 (41,324 sq mi) 4,590,595 41.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (108 /sq mi) 21 In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[3]
Kerman Kerman 180,836 km2 (69,821 sq mi) 2,660,927 13.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (35 /sq mi) 14
Kermanshah Kermanshah 24,998 km2 (9,652 sq mi) 1,938,060 77.5 inhabitants per square kilometre (201 /sq mi) 13 Between 1950 and 1979, both Kermanshah province and city were known as Kermanshahan and between 1979 and 1995 were known as Bakhtaran.[3]
Khorasan, North Bojnourd 28,434 km2 (10,978 sq mi) 820,918 27.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (72 /sq mi) 6 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[4]
Khorasan, Razavi Mashhad 144,681 km2 (55,862 sq mi) 5,620,770 36.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (93 /sq mi) 19 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[4]
Khorasan, South Birjand 69,555 km2 (26,855 sq mi) 640,218 7.3 inhabitants per square kilometre (19 /sq mi) 8 On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.[4]
Khuzestan Ahvaz 64,055 km2 (24,732 sq mi) 4,345,607 67.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (176 /sq mi) 18
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Yasuj 15,504 km2 (5,986 sq mi) 695,099 44.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (116 /sq mi) 5 Originally part of Khuzestan province. Until 1990, the province was known as Bovir Ahmadi and Kohkiluyeh.[3]
Kurdistan Sanandaj 29,137 km2 (11,250 sq mi) 1,574,118 54.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (140 /sq mi) 9 Originally part of Gilan province.[3]
Lorestan Khorramabad 28,294 km2 (10,924 sq mi) 1,758,628 62.2 inhabitants per square kilometre (161 /sq mi) 9 Originally part of Khuzestan province.[3]
Markazi Arak 29,130 km2 (11,250 sq mi) 1,361,394 46.7 inhabitants per square kilometre (121 /sq mi) 10 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[3] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[3]
Mazandaran Sari 23,701 km2 (9,151 sq mi) 2,940,831 118.9 inhabitants per square kilometre (308 /sq mi) 15
Qazvin Qazvin 15,549 km2 (6,004 sq mi) 1,166,861 75.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (194 /sq mi) 5 On 31 December 1996, the shahrestans of Qazvin and Takestan were separated from Zanjan province to form the province of Qazvin.[3]
Qom Qom 11,526 km2 (4,450 sq mi) 1,064,456 92.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (239 /sq mi) 1 Until 1995, Qom was a shahrestan of Tehran province.[3]
Semnan Semnan 97,491 km2 (37,641 sq mi) 590,512 6.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (16 /sq mi) 4 Originally part of Mazandaran province.[3] In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[3]
Sistan and Baluchestan Zahedan 181,785 km2 (70,188 sq mi) 2,410,076 12.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (33 /sq mi) 8 Until 1986, the province was known as Baluchestan and Sistan.[3]
Tehran Tehran 18,814 km2 (7,264 sq mi) 13,530,742 645.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,673 /sq mi) 13 Until 1986, Tehran was part of Markazi province.
Yazd Yazd 129,285 km2 (49,917 sq mi) 992,318 7.4 inhabitants per square kilometre (19 /sq mi) 10 Originally part of Isfahan province.[10] 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.[3]
Zanjan Zanjan 21,773 km2 (8,407 sq mi) 970,946 44.6 inhabitants per square kilometre (116 /sq mi) 7 Originally part of Gilan province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.[3]
Iran (Total) Tehran 1,628,554 km2 (628,788 sq mi) 71,767,413 44.0 inhabitants per square kilometre (114 /sq mi) 332

Historical provinces of Iran

See also

Iran portal

References and notes

External links

  • Atlas of Iran
  • Statistical Centre, Government of Iran
  • Ministry of Commerce (Iran)
  • Provinces of Iran at statoids.com
Official provincial websites
  • Ardabil
  • East Azarbaijan
  • West Azarbaijan
  • Bushehr
  • Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari
  • Fars
  • Gilan
  • Golestan
  • Hamadan
  • Hormozgan
  • Ilam
  • Isfahan
  • Kerman
  • Kermanshah
  • North Khorasan
  • Razavi Khorasan
  • South Khorasan
  • Khuzestan
  • Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad
  • Kurdistan
  • Lorestan
  • Markazi
  • Mazandaran
  • Qazvin
  • Qom
  • Semnan
  • Sistan and Baluchestan
  • Tehran
  • Yazd
  • Zanjan

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