According to the 1867 census, three fourth of the population of Tehran were migrants, of which 8480 (5.4% of the total population) were military men. Only 26.6% of the population was native to Tehran. This high number of migrants (especially temporary military migrants) in those days was due to the conditions of Tehran as the new capital. According to the 1922 census, about 51.7% of the population was men and 48.2% was women. With the inclusion of the military migrants, the sex ratio; i.e. 107, indicates that Tehran was a migrant-receptive city. As a consequence of the breakdown of the economy of villages in the wake of the Second World War, many villagers rushed to cities especially Tehran and during the years 1939 and 1956 Tehran experienced a population boom. According to the 1966 census, more than 54% of the population of Tehran (53% of the men and 56.5 of the women) were not born in Tehran. According to the 1976 census, about 55% of the population (53.3% of men and 57% of women) was not native to Tehran. In 1973, the Greater Tehran was formed, which included the villages surrounding the city of Tajrish (Evin, Darakeh, Niyavaran, Rostan Abad, Gholhak, Zargandeh, Elahiyeh, Davoudiyeh, Zarrabkhaneh) and the cities of Vanak and Rey to which “Kooye Siman” had been annexed during the years 1956 to 1966. The new territory made better opportunities available for prospective migrants. According to the 1976 census, the population of this new territory was 4,530,223, of which only 2,495,052 people were native to Tehran. The rest were born in Tehran province (9.6%), other provinces (33.7%) and abroad (1.6%). In 1986, only 64.9% of the people living in Tehran (64.2% of the men and 65.4% of the women) had been born in Tehran. Thus, in this year, about two thirds of the population of Tehran was native to the city and one third was born elsewhere. During the years 1976 to 1986, about 496000 people and during the years 1986 to 1996, about 568000 people migrated to Tehran, increasing the population of the Tehran by 14%. The people who migrated during the years 1986 to 1996 consisted of 320000 men and 247000 women, with the sex ratio being 130. This ratio indicates that the migrants were mostly men, who came to Tehran to seek jobs or to continue their education. In 2006, Tehran province, with the migration balance of 617000, obtained first rank among migration-receptive provinces. Thirty one percent of the migrants were attracted to Tehran. Tehran is also number one with respect to inner-province migration. Migration distribution based on the previous residence during the years 1996 to 2006 shows that the sum of 1,000,193 people entered Tehran. In the decade before that, the number was 567,522. The migration-receptive provinces with the greatest number of migrants include: Central province, 21.9%; Tehran province, 7.15%; Isfahan province, 5.7%; Eastern Azarbaijan province, 5.4%. The most important causes of migration to Tehran were following the head of the household parents (42%), and employment and education (9.9%). The previous residence of the migrants was other provinces (69.8%), other cities of Tehran province (7.16%) and the city where the census was taken (17.37%).

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The most important facts about migration to Tehran are the following:

  • Increasingly, the people migrating to Tehran come not from villages but from other cities
  • 59.45% of the migrants come from the urban areas of other provinces
  • The people migrating to Tehran live in the villages of Tehran since the costs of living in Tehran are high. As a result, the rural areas of Tehran have increasingly become urbanized.

Table 2.8 Population based on last place of residence (2006)

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Male migrant population (2006)

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Female migrant population (2006)

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Total migrant population (2006)

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Total migrant population (1996)

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Those born in Tehran (2006)

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Those born in other cities (2006)

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Those working or studying in
Tehran (2006)

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Those working or studying in
other cities (2006)

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Tehran population living in the city (2006)

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Tehran population not living in the city (2006)

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