Ethnicities in Iran

Polyethnic country's demography

The majority of the population of Iran (approximately 67–80%) consists of Iranic peoples. The largest groups in this category include Persians (who form the majority of the Iranian population) and Kurds, with smaller communities including Gilakis, Mazandaranis, Lurs, Tats, Talysh, and Baloch.

Turkic peoples constitute a substantial minority of about 15–24%, the largest group being the Azerbaijani, due to their historical, genetic and cultural commonalities with the Iranic peoples, Iranian Azerbaijanis are also often associated with the Iranic peoples. They are the second largest ethnicity in Iran as well as the largest minority group. Other Turkic groups include the Turkmen and Qashqai peoples.

Arabs account for about 2–3% of the Iranian population. The remainder, amounting to about 1% of Iranian population, consists of a variety of minor groups, mainly comprising Assyrians, Armenians, Georgians, Circassians, and Mandaeans.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Iran had a total population of just below 10 million, with an approximate ethnic composition of: 6 million Persians (60%), 2.5 million Azeris (25%), 0.2 million Mazandaranis and Gilakis each (2% each).


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