Iran is subdivided into thirty-one provinces (Persian: استان Ostān, plural استانها Ostānhā), each governed from a local center, usually the largest local city, which is called the capital (Persian: مرکز, markaz) of that province. The provincial authority is headed by a Governor-General (Persian: استاندار Ostāndār), who is appointed by the Minister of the Interior subject to approval of the cabinet.
|Provinces of Iran|
استانهای ایران ‹See Tfd›(in Persian)
|Also known as:|
|Populations||557,599 (Ilam Province) – 12,183,391 (Tehran)|
|Areas||5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi) (Alborz) – 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi) (Kerman Province)|
|Government||Provincal Government, National Government|
Iran has held its modern territory since the Treaty of Paris in 1857. From 1906 until 1950, Iran was divided into twelve provinces: Ardalan, Azerbaijan, Baluchestan, Fars, Gilan, Araq-e Ajam, Khorasan, Khuzestan, Kerman, Larestan, Lorestan, and Mazandaran.
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.
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 2010 when the new Alborz Province was split from Teheran province, and before that in 2004 when the province of Khorasan was divided into three provinces.
|Alborz||Karaj||5,833 km2 (2,252 sq mi)||2,712,400||413.6/km2 (1,071/sq mi)||4||Until 23 June 2010, Alborz was part of Tehran province.|
|Ardabil||Ardabil||17,800 km2 (6,900 sq mi)||1,270,420||70.1/km2 (182/sq mi)||9||Until 1993, Ardabil was part of East Azerbaijan province.|
|Azerbaijan, East||Tabriz||45,650 km2 (17,630 sq mi)||3,909,652||82.3/km2 (213/sq mi)||19|
|Azerbaijan, West||Urmia||37,437 km2 (14,455 sq mi)||3,265,219||78.8/km2 (204/sq mi)||14||During the Pahlavi Dynasty Urmia was known as Rezaiyeh.|
|Bushehr||Bushehr||22,743 km2 (8,781 sq mi)||1,163,400||45.4/km2 (118/sq mi)||9||Originally part of Fars province. Until 1977, the province was known as Khalij-e Fars (Persian Gulf).|
|Chahar Mahaal and Bakhtiari||Shahrekord||16,332 km2 (6,306 sq mi)||947,763||54.8/km2 (142/sq mi)||6||Until 1973 was part of Isfahan province.|
|Fars||Shiraz||122,608 km2 (47,339 sq mi)||4,851,274||37.5/km2 (97/sq mi)||23|
|Gilan||Rasht||14,042 km2 (5,422 sq mi)||2,530,696||176.7/km2 (458/sq mi)||16|
|Golestan||Gorgan||20,195 km2 (7,797 sq mi)||1,868,819||88.0/km2 (228/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.|
|Hamadan||Hamadan||19,368 km2 (7,478 sq mi)||1,738,234||90.8/km2 (235/sq mi)||8||Originally part of Kermanshah province.|
|Hormozgān||Bandar Abbas||70,669 km2 (27,285 sq mi)||1,776,415||22.3/km2 (58/sq mi)||11||Originally part of Kerman province. Until 1977, the province was known as Banader va Jazayer-e Bahr-e Oman (Ports and Islands of the Sea of Oman).|
|Ilam||Ilam||20,133 km2 (7,773 sq mi)||580,158||27.7/km2 (72/sq mi)||7||Originally part of Kermanshah province.|
|Isfahan||Isfahan||107,029 km2 (41,324 sq mi)||5,120,850||45.6/km2 (118/sq mi)||21||In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.|
|Kerman||Kerman||183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi)||3,164,718||16.3/km2 (42/sq mi)||14|
|Kermanshah||Kermanshah||24,998 km2 (9,652 sq mi)||1,952,434||77.8/km2 (202/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.|
|Khorasan, North||Bojnourd||28,434 km2 (10,978 sq mi)||863,092||30.5/km2 (79/sq mi)||6||On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.|
|Khorasan, Razavi||Mashhad||118,884 km2 (45,901 sq mi)||6,434,501||41.4/km2 (107/sq mi)||29||On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.|
|Khorasan, South||Birjand||151,913 km2 (58,654 sq mi)||768,898||9.5/km2 (25/sq mi)||8||On 29 September 2004, Khorasan was divided into three provinces. North Khorasan; Razavi Khorasan; South Khorasan.|
|Khuzestan||Ahvaz||64,055 km2 (24,732 sq mi)||4,710,509||67.8/km2 (176/sq mi)||18|
|Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad||Yasuj||15,504 km2 (5,986 sq mi)||713,052||42.5/km2 (110/sq mi)||5||Originally part of Khuzestan province. Until 1990, the province was known as Bovir Ahmadi and Kohkiluyeh.|
|Kurdistan||Sanandaj||29,137 km2 (11,250 sq mi)||1,603,011||51.3/km2 (133/sq mi)||9||Originally part of Gilan province.|
|Lorestan||Khorramabad||28,294 km2 (10,924 sq mi)||1,760,649||62.0/km2 (161/sq mi)||9||Originally part of Khuzestan province.|
|Markazi||Arak||29,130 km2 (11,250 sq mi)||1,429,475||48.5/km2 (126/sq mi)||10||Originally part of Mazandaran province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.|
|Mazandaran||Sari||23,701 km2 (9,151 sq mi)||3,283,582||129.7/km2 (336/sq mi)||15|
|Qazvin||Qazvin||15,549 km2 (6,004 sq mi)||1,273,761||77.3/km2 (200/sq mi)||5||On 31 December 1996, the shahrestans of Qazvin and Takestan were separated from Zanjan province to form the province of Qazvin.|
|Qom||Qom||11,526 km2 (4,450 sq mi)||1,292,283||99.9/km2 (259/sq mi)||1||Until 1995, Qom was a shahrestan of Tehran province.|
|Semnan||Semnan||97,491 km2 (37,641 sq mi)||702,360||6.5/km2 (17/sq mi)||4||Originally part of Mazandaran province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.|
|Sistan and Baluchestan||Zahedan||180,726 km2 (69,779 sq mi)||2,775,014||13.9/km2 (36/sq mi)||8||Until 1986, the province was known as Baluchestan and Sistan.|
|Tehran||Tehran||18,814 km2 (7,264 sq mi)||13,267,637||647.6/km2 (1,677/sq mi)||13||Until 1986, Tehran was part of Markazi province.|
|Yazd||Yazd||129,285 km2 (49,917 sq mi)||1,138,533||8.3/km2 (21/sq mi)||10||Originally part of Isfahan province. 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.|
|Zanjan||Zanjan||21,773 km2 (8,407 sq mi)||1,057,461||46.6/km2 (121/sq mi)||7||Originally part of Gilan province. In 1986, some parts of Markazi province were transferred to Isfahan, Semnan, and Zanjan provinces.|
|Iran (Total)||Tehran||1,628,554 km2 (628,788 sq mi)||79,926,270||46.1/km2 (119/sq mi)||342|
Alborz Province (Persian: Ostāne Alborz, Ostan-e Alborz ) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, centered in Karaj.Alborz Province was formed by division of Tehran Province into two provinces, after the Parliamentary approval on June 23, 2010, and was introduced as 31st province of Iran. In 2014 it was placed in Region 1.Situated northwest of Tehran, the Province of Alborz has 6 counties, Karaj County, Savojbolagh County, Taleqan County, Eshtehard County, Fardis County and Nazarabad County. Karaj is the seat of the province. Alborz Province is situated 35 km west of Tehran, at the foothills of the Alborz mountains, and is Iran's smallest province in area.
According to the National Census, in 2011 population of Alborz was 2,412,513 out of which 90,5% lived in urban areas.Bushehr Province
Bushehr Province (Persian: استان بوشهر, Ostān-e Būshehr ) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, with a long coastline onto the Persian Gulf. Its center is Bushehr, the provincial capital. The province has ten counties: Asaluyeh, Bushehr, Dashtestan, Dashti, Deyr, Deylam, Jam, Kangan, Ganaveh and Tangestan. In 2011, the province had a population of approximately 1 million people.
The province was put as part of Region 2 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014.Fars Province
Fars Province (; Persian: استان فارس, Ostān-e Fārs, pronounced [ˈfɒː(ɾ)s]) also known as Pars (Persian: پارس, Pārs) or Persia in the Greek sources in historical context, is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran and known as the cultural capital of the country. It is in the south of the country, in Iran's Region 2, and its administrative center is Shiraz. It has an area of 122,400 km². In 2011, this province had a population of 4.6 million people, of which 67.6% were registered as urban dwellers (urban/suburbs), 32.1% villagers (small town/rural), and 0.3% nomad tribes. The etymology of the word Persian (From Latin Persia, from Ancient Greek Περσίς (Persis)), found in many ancient names associated with Iran, is derived from the historical importance of this region. Fars Province is the original homeland of the Persian people.Golestan Province
Golestān Province (Persian: استان گلستان, Ostān-e Golestān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, located in the north-east of the country south of the Caspian Sea. Its capital is Gorgan.
The province was put as part of Region 1 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014. Majority of its population are Sunni Muslims.Golestān was split off from the province of Mazandaran in 1997. It has a population of 1.7 million (2011) and an area of 20,380 km². The province is divided into the following twelve counties (shahrestans): Aliabad County, Aqqala County, Azadshahr County, Bandar-e Gaz County, Gonbad-e Qabus County, Gorgan County, Kalaleh County, Kordkuy County, Maraveh Tappeh County, Minudasht County, Ramian County, and Torkaman County. Present-day Gorgan was called Esterabad until 1937.Hormozgan Province
Hormozgan Province (Persian: استان هرمزگان, Ostān-e Hormozgān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the south of the country, in Iran's Region 2, facing Oman and UAE. Its area is 70,697 km2 (27,296 sq mi), and its provincial capital is Bandar Abbas. The province has fourteen islands in the Persian Gulf and 1,000 km (620 mi) of coastline.
The province has 13 major cities: Bandar Abbas, Bandar Lengeh, Hajiabbad, Minab, Qeshm, Sardasht, Sirik, Jask, Bastak, Bandar Khamir, Parsian, Rudan, and Abumusa. The province has 13 counties (or districts), 69 municipalities, and 2,046 villages. In 2011 a little more than 1.5 million people resided in Hormozgan Province. The counties of Hormozgan Province are Parsian County, Bastak County, Bandar Lengeh County, Abumusa County, Qeshm County, Khamir County, Bandar Abbas County, Hajjiabad County, Rudan County, Minab County, Sirik County, Bashagard County & Jask County.Isfahan Province
Isfahan province (Persian: استان اصفهان, romanized: Ostāne Esfahan), also transliterated as Esfahan, Espahan, Isfahan, or Isphahan, is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It is located in the center of the country in Iran's Region 2. Its secretariat is located in the city of Isfahan.Kerman Province
Kerman Province (Persian: استان کرمان, Ostān-e Kermān) is the largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran. Kerman is in the southeast of Iran with its administrative center in the city of Kerman. In 2014 it was placed in Region 5. Mentioned in ancient times as the Achamenid satrapy of Carmania, it is the first-largest province of Iran with an area of 183,285 km2 (70,767 sq mi), that encompasses nearly 11 percent of the land area of Iran. The population of the province is about 3 million (9th in the country).Kermanshah Province
Kermanshah Province (Persian: استان كرمانشاه, Ostān-e Kermanšah) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The province was known from 1969 to 1986 as Kermanshahan and from 1986 to 1995 as Bakhtaran. According to a 2014 segmentation by the Ministry of Interior it is center of Region 4, with the region's central secretariat located at the province's capital city, Kermanshah. A majority of people in Kermanshah Province are Shia, and there are Sunni and Yarsanist minority groups.Khorasan Province
Khorasan (Persian: استان خراسان listen ) (also transcribed as Khurasan and Khorassan, also called Traxiane during Hellenistic and Parthian times) was a province in north eastern Iran, but historically referred to a much larger area comprising the east and north-east of the Persian Empire. The name Khorāsān is Persian and means "where the sun arrives from." The name was first given to the eastern province of Persia during the Sasanian Empire and was used from the late middle ages in distinction to neighbouring Transoxiana. The province roughly encompassed the western half of the historical Greater Khorasan. The modern boundaries of the Iranian province of Khorasan were formally defined in the late nineteenth century and the province was divided into three separate administrative divisions in 2004.Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province
Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province (Persian: استان کهگیلویه و بویراحمد, Ostān-e Kohgīlūye va Būyer-Ahmad ) (Luri:
استان کهگیلویه و بِیرَمَد, Ostān-e Kohgīrūye-o Beyramad ) is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It is in the south-west of the country, in Iran's Region 2, and its capital is Yasuj. The province covers an area of 15,563 square kilometers, and in 2006 had a population of 634,000. According to National Population and Housing Census population of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad in 2011 was 658,629. The people mainly speak Lurish language. The counties of Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province are Bahmai County, Landeh County, Boyer-Ahmad County, Charam County, Dana County, Basht County & Gachsaran County.Kurdistan Province
Kurdistan Province (Kurdish:پارێزگای کوردستان , Persian: استان کردستان, Ostān-e Kordestān) or Kordestan is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The province of Kurdistan is 28,817 km² in area. It is located in the west of Iran, in Region 3, and bound by Iraq on the west, the province of West Azerbaijan to its north, Zanjan to the northeast, Hamedan to the east and Kermanshah to the south. The capital of Kurdistan Province is the city of Sanandaj (Kurdish: Sinne). Other counties with their major cities are Marivan, Baneh, Saqqez, Qorveh, Piranshahr, Bijar, Kamyaran, Dehgolan, Diwandarreh and Sarvabad.Markazi Province
Markazi Province (Persian: استان مرکزی, Ostān-e Markazi) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. The word markazi means central in Persian. In 2014 it was placed in Region 4.Markazi lies in western Iran. Its capital is Arak. Its population is estimated at 1.41 million. The present borders of the province date to the 1977, when the province was split into the current Markazi and the Tehran Province, with portions being annexed by Esfahan, Semnan Province, and Zanjan.
The major cities of the province are: Saveh, Arak, Mahallat, Zarandiyeh, Khomein, Delijan, Tafresh, Ashtian, Shazand (previously known as Sarband) and FarahanQazvin Province
The Qazvin Province (Persian: استان قزوین, Ostān-e Qazvīn) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the north-west of the country, and its center is the city of Qazvin. The province was created in 1993 out of part of Tehran Province. The counties of Qazvin Province are Qazvin County, Takestan County, Abyek County, Buin Zahra County, Mobarakeh County, Alborz County & Avaj County. The largest cities are Qazvin, Takestan, Abyek, Alvand, Iran, Bidestan, Mobarakeh, Mohammadiyeh & Eqbaliyeh.
The province was put as part of Region 1 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014.The province had a population of 1.2 million people by the 2011 census, of which 68.05% lived in cities and 31.95% in villages. The ratio of men to women is 50.7 to 49.3%. 99.61% of the province population were Muslims and 0.39% of the rest came from other religions. The literacy rate is over 82%, ranking 7th in Iran.Qom Province
Qom Province (Persian: استان قم, Ostān-e Qom), pre-Islamic Komishan/Qomishan, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran with 11,237 km², covering 0.89% of the total area in Iran. It is in the northern portion of the country, and its provincial capital is the city of Qom. It was formed from part of Tehran Province in 1995. In 2011, this province had a population of 1,151,672 out of which 95.2% resided in urban areas and 4.8% in rural vicinities. The province contains the cities of Qom, Jafariyeh, Dastjerd, Kahak, Qanavat & Salafchegan. Qom County is the sole county of the province.
The province was put as part of Region 1 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014.Semnan Province
Semnan Province (Persian: استان سمنان, Ostān-e Semnān ) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the north of the country, and its center is Semnan. The province of Semnan covers an area of 96,816 square kilometers and stretches along the Alborz mountain range and borders to Dasht-e Kavir desert in its southern parts.
The province was put as part of Region 1 upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014.Counties of the province include Semnan County, Aradan County, Damghan County, Shahrud County, Mehdishahr County, Meyami County, Sorkheh County& Garmsar County. In 1996, the province had a population of about 501,000 (631,218 in 2011 ), and in 2005 Semnan city (the capital of the province) had a population of 119,778, and the city of Shahrud, which accounts for being the largest city of this province, had a population of 231,831. Sistan and Baluchestan Province
Sistan and Baluchestan Province (Balochi: Sistàn o Balòčestàn; Persian: استان سيستان و بلوچستان, Ostān-e Sīstān-o Balūchestān), after Kerman Province, is the second largest province of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southeast of the country, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan and its capital is Zahedan.
The province is the second largest province in Iran with an area of 180,726 km² and a population of 2.5 million. The counties of the province are Chabahar County, Qasr-e Qand County, Dalgan County, Hirmand County, Iranshahr County, Khash County, Konarak County, Nik Shahr County, Saravan County, Sarbaz County, Sib and Suran County, Zabol County, Mehrestan County, Zahedan County, Zehak County, Hamun County, Nimruz County, Bampur County, Mirjaveh County & Fanuj County.
The population comprises the Baloch who form a majority in the province, followed by the relatively large minority, the Sistani Persians. Smaller communities of Kurds (in the eastern highlands and near Iranshahr), the expatriate Brahui (on the borders between Iran and Pakistan), and other resident and itinerant ethnic groups such as the Gypsies are also found in the province.Tehran Province
Tehran Province (Persian: استان تهران Ostān-e Tehrān) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It covers an area of 18,909 square kilometres (7,301 sq mi) and is located to the north of the central plateau of Iran.
The province was put as part of First Region with its secretariat located in its capital city, Tehran, upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014.Tehran Province borders Mazandaran Province in the north, Qom Province in the south, Semnan Province in the east, and Alborz Province in the west. The metropolis of Tehran is the capital city of the province and of Iran. As of June 2005, this province includes 13 townships, 43 municipalities, and 1358 villages.
Tehran Province is the richest province of Iran as it contributes approximately 29% of the country's GDP. Furthermore, it houses approximately 18% of the country's population. Tehran Province is the most industrialized province in Iran; 86.5% of its population resides in urban areas and 13.5% of its population resides in rural areas.
The province gained importance when Tehran was claimed the capital by the Qajar dynasty in 1778. Today, Tehran, with a population of 8 million, is ranked amongst the 40 most populous metropolitan cities of the world.Yazd Province
Yazd Province (Persian: استان یزد, Ostān-e Yazd ) is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the centre of the country, and its administrative center is the city of Yazd. In 2014, it was placed in Region 5.
The province has an area of 131,575 km², and according to the most recent divisions of the country, is divided into ten counties: Abarkuh County, Ardakan County, Bafq County, Behabad County, Khatam County, Mehriz County, Meybod County, Ashkezar County, Taft County, and Yazd County. According to the 1996 census, Yazd province had a population of about 750,769, of which 75.1% were urban residents while 24.9% resided in rural areas. At the 2011 census, its population (including Tabas County, which was transferred to South Khorasan Province) was 1,074,428, in 258,691 families; excluding Tabas County, its population (as of 2006) was 895,276, in 241,846 families.The city of Yazd is the economic and administrative capital of the province and therefore the most heavily populated.
Provinces of Iran
Provinces of the Sasanian Empire
* indicates short living provinces
Articles on first-level administrative divisions of Asian countries
Designations for types of administrative territorial entities
1 Used by ten or more countries or having derived terms. Historical derivations in italics.