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Internal Migration in Iran

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Abstract

With a population over 80 million, Iran is located in western South Asia. Internal migration data have been collected since 1956, primarily by means of decennial censuses, with questions focusing on lifetime, last residence, and recent (five-year) migration since 2011, duration of residence, reasons for moving and mover characteristics. The 2016 Census data show that Iranians are moderately mobile with an ACMI around 12%. Iran displays a late migration profile, with peaks at 25 for females and 23 for males. Early peaks for males, caused by military service, are followed by another employment-related peak at 32. With nearly 75% of its population residing in cities, Iran is now one of the most urbanised countries in Asia. At an advanced early stage in the urban transition, Iran has been dominated by urban-to-urban migration since the mid-2000s. Low levels of migration effectiveness coupled with low intensities underpin limited population redistribution. Spatial patterns reflect socioeconomic inequalities with net population gains in central provinces around Tehran that turn negative in the east and west peripheries of the country. While limited, population movement has triggered policy concerns about housing costs, traffic congestion in destination areas, and questions around the ageing and feminisation of rural populations.

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