interesting facts about Iran

25 Interesting Facts about Iran

Want to learn a little more about the countries of the Middle East? Take a look at these 24 super interesting facts about Iran!

  1. In 1935, this Middle Eastern country changed its name from Persia to Iran.
  2. Iran has a population of 83.99 million (2020) – that’s around 15 million more than the UK!
  3. Approximately 70% of this population is under the age of 30.
Flag of Iran

Flag of Iran

  1. Only an estimated 7 million Iranians have access to the internet.
  2. Dating back to 4000 B.C, Iran is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations with settlements!
  3. At 636,371 square miles (1.648 million square km), Iran is the 18th largest country in the world.
  4. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey are all neighbors of Iran.
  5. Iran’s urban growth rates leapt from 27% to 60% between 1950 and 2002, meaning it has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world. By 2030 it is expected that 80% of the population will be urban.
  6. We bet you didn’t know that couples in Iran who want a marriage license are required to take an hour-long lecture on contraception!
  1. Tehran is Iran’s capital and largest city; the word means ‘warm slope’ and its home to nearly 9 million people! (2016).
  2. Tehran is also one of the worst places in the world for air pollution! According to local officials, 3,600 people died in a single month due to the hazardous air quality!
  3. It’s estimated that a rather large (excuse the pun) 25.8% of Iranians are obese. This figure places Iran as the 47nd most obese country in the world (2019).  Just in case you’re wondering, the USA comes in at 12th place, with 36.2% of its population classed as obese and the UK wins 36th place at 27.8%

Iran Facts

  1. Iran has an arid desert climate, with less than a mere 4 inches of rain every year (compared to 48.03 inches in the UK).
  2. The Iranian currency is called the Iranian rial
  3. Iran has reserves of 125 billion barrels of oil which equates to 10% of the world’s total reserves. It pumps nearly 4 million barrels of oil each day!
interesting facts about Iran

Ferdos Garden, Tehran, Iran

  1. If you’re a fan of caviar, head to Iran because it controls 50% of the Caspian Sea caviar market!
  2. Iran relies on a water system that was developed 3000 years ago! The Qanat system is an ecologically balanced water recovery method that collects underground water in arid regions such as this.
  3. Traditional Iranian homes don’t have tables and chairs as people prefer to sit on cushions on the floor to eat their meals.
  4. The Persian cat is one of the world’s oldest breeds and became an exotic status symbol in 17th Century Europe when Italian traders brought them across to sell.
  5. Who’d have thought it – Iran built the earliest known windmills!
  6. Strangely, it has been said that Iran is ‘the nose job capital of the world’. Apparently the general shape of a Western nose has become the desired nose shape of young Iranian women!
Interesting facts about Iran

Isfahan, Iran

  1. The Iranian government are very generous; they fork out for the bill for mass weddings to reduce the cost of the otherwise expensive traditional wedding, the idea being to encourage young Iranians to get married!
  2. Polo isn’t just a Western sport – it was played in Iran as early as the 6th century B.C., mainly as training for the cavalry.
  3. Yogurt is called ‘Persian milk’ in Iran. It’s considered a miracle food by many Iranians and used to treat ulcers, relieve sunburn, and thought to prolong life!
  4. Want to call your friends in Iran?  You’ll need to use the international dialling code +98.

Back soon – just going to buy a few tubs of yogurt…

Do you know any interesting or fun facts about Iran we’ve not mentioned?  Share them here in the comments section below!

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This page was last modified on October 20, 2021. Suggest an edit

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