Social indicators show declining poverty and income inequality, supporting a relatively high level of human development.

Population Pyramid

  • Population expansion rate in Iran is 1.29
  • The average lifespan is 72.1 years for men, and 74.6 years for women


Population in Millions

  • 64% of Irans population are under 35, meaning that a large segment of the population are of childbearing age

Figure 1-11: Population pyramid

Gini Index:

Iran is rated 68th in the world according to the GINI Index. As shown below, it has a better distribution of wealth compared to the United States, Russia, Turkey, China, and Brazil.

Figure 1-12: Gini Index 2012

Gini Index

Source: World Bank (Note: Data for 2013 and 2014 has not been issued yet)

Figure 1-13: Urbanization Rate Avg(2010-2015)

Urbanization Rate Source: world urbanization prospects (2014 revision) united nations

Figure 1-14: Literacy Rate


Source: literacy movement organization (Note: Data for 2013 and 2014 has not been issued yet)

Figure 1-15: Urban population 2014


Source: world urbanization prospects (2014 revision) united nations

HDI index:

Irans HDI value  for the year 2012  is 0.742. This puts the country in the high human development category. (UNDP uses four HDR categories: very high, high, medium and low.) Irans current position is 76 out of 187 countries. More than this, Iran has made considerable progress in human development when measured over the past 32 years.According to UNDP calculations, between the years 1980 and 2012, Irans HDI value increased by 67 percent  or at an average annual increase of about 1.6 percent. During the same period, for other countries in the High Human Development group (the group containing Iran), the average annual gain was only about half of what Iran managed  0.73 percent. For all countries on the planet, the average gain was even less  only 0.69 percent.This means that Irans annual growth in its HDI was over double the global average. Simultaneously, this would imply that  from a human development standpoint  during the period 1980-2012, Irans policy interventions were both significant and appropriate to produce improvements in human development.The report also says that Iran achieved the second highest reduction in HDI shortfall  among developing countries  during the 22 year period between 1990 and 2012. Only one country (the Republic of Korea) was able to do better.

The first component of the HDI is a long and health life.UNDP measures this in terms of life expectancy at birth. During the period from 1980, Iran increased this measure from 51 years to 73 years.

The second component is access to knowledge. The yardstick is expected years of schooling starting in 1980. Iran recorded an increase from 8.7 to 14.4 years an impressive achievement.

The third component is a decent standard of living. Here again the increase has been considerable. Having attained the status of a Middle Income Country, Iran is now playing its own part in the Rise of the South.

There are nonetheless persistent development challenges. Unemployment combined with inflation is persistent challenges. The 2013 HDR also points to areas to be addressed in terms of gender equity. Nonetheless, for the period, 1980-2012, Irans policy interventions and actions  have produced significant improvements in its human development index.

Figure 1-16: HDI Value (Iran)

HDI Value (Iran)

Source: human development report 2014, United Nations

Table 1-3: HDI Rank 2013

Table 1-3: HDI Rank 2013