Before Tahmasb, a Safavid king, was attracted to Tehran and made a wall around it, the city was a small village with a population of 1000. In the early Qajar period, the population of the city was 15,000, of which 3000 were the military. In 1895, the population of Tehran was estimated to be 147256. In Pahlavi era and in the population increased drastically which its various figures have been presented (See Table 1). The population of the city began to increase in the early Pahlavi era (about 1921). Within 40 years, the population became ten times as much, reaching 2 millions in 1961. In the next forty years, that is, from 1961 to 2001, the population reached 7 millions. At present the population is 7.7 millions. In the last forty years, the speed of population growth has been much slower than it was in the forty years before that, but in this period, five million people was added to the population, This has had economic-social as well as bioenvironmental consequences. Population has increased much more in the cities around Tehran than in Tehran itself; in fact, the growth of population in Tehran has decreased in recent decades and the population of the surrounding cities has increased. Table 2 shows the population of the cities of Tehran Province and their growth rate from 1956 to 2006.

  Population increase in Tehran districts

Based on the existing information, various districts did not show the same population growth from 1976 to 2006. These districts have shown the following trends:

  • The central districts have mostly lost their population while the urban districts have become more populated. This has resulted in a shift of population from the center to the suburbs, so much so that the population growth has been negative in districts 6, 13, 20 and 14 while district 4 has had the largest population and district 22 has experienced the greatest population growth.
  • The districts in the outskirts experienced a population growth by 3 to 7% from 1976 to 1986, but from 1986 to 1996 they experienced a population decrease by 1 to 5%. This was due to land appreciation in these districts after the revolution. In fact, the low value of land in the outskirts has been the main reason for people to rush to these districts. After the revolution, services were offered to the people living in these districts and accordingly the value of the properties appreciated, decreasing the striking differences between the value of land in different districts.
  • The trend of depopulation in districts 9. 10. 11, 12, 16 and 17, which was accelerated in the first period, slowed down in the later periods.
  • The trend of restoration of old buildings in recent years has encouraged the people living in these districts to stay, giving an end to the negative population growth.

Table 2.4 Tehran's population compared with the country's total population (1901-2006)

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Figure 2.2 Rate of population growth in the district of Tehran in different periods

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Figure 2.3 Changes of Tehran’s population compared to the total population of Iran (1996-2001)

Figure 2.1 Population density in one of the routes leading to the market

Table 2.1 Tehran population from the Safavid era up to the present

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Table 2.2 Population of Tehran urban area (1956-2006)

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Table 2.3 Population of the 22 district of Tehran (1976-2006)

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Figure 2.4- Hakim Bridge- Chamran intersection

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