According to various sources, in 2010, there were an estimated four to five million Iranians living abroad, mostly in North America, Europe, Persian Gulf States, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Australia and the broader Middle East. Others estimate a lower number, of around two millions or less. For the most part, they emigrated after the Iranian Revolution in 1979.
According to the Iranian government in 2013, 55,686 Iranian students were studying abroad. Out of this number, 8,883 students were studying in Malaysia, 7,341 in the United States, 5,638 in Canada, 3,504 in Germany, 3,364 in Turkey, 3,228 in Britain, and the rest in other countries. According to an estimate by the Iranian Ministry of Education, between 350 and 500 thousand Iranians were studying outside Iran as of 2014.
Statistics by country
|Country[note 1]||Iranian-born[note 2]||Residents of Iranian ancestry[note 3]||Article|
|283,225 (2000)[note 4]||448,722 (2010 United States Census) to around 1-2 million (2014 - U.S. Government and other sources)||Iranian American|
|27,000||Iranians in Qatar|
|400,000-500,000 (2008) [note 4]||Iranians in the United Arab Emirates|
|95,420 (2006)||200,005 (2015)[note 4]||Iranian Canadian|
|100,000 - 120,000 (2003)||Iranians in Germany|
|80,000 (2003)||Ajam of Kuwait|
|100,000||Iranians in Malaysia|
|53,892 (2000)||92,428 (2011)[note 2]||Swedish Iranians|
|12,000 (2000)||7,000 (2000)||Iranians in Japan|
|50,000 (2002)||Iranians in Russia|
|173,000 (2014)||Persians in Bahrain|
|47,800 (2007)||135,000 (2007)||Iranians in Israel|
|83,000 (2011)||Iranians in the United Kingdom|
|35,561 (2014)||Iranians in the Netherlands|
|34,455 (2011)||36,168 (2011)[note 4]||Iranian Australian|
|18,376 (2000)||Iranians in France|
|16,322 (2017)||20,397 (2017 )||Iranians in Denmark|
|16,203 (1.1.2015)||17,000-20,000 (2013)|
|17,913 (2012)||Norwegian Iranians|
|2,895 (2006)||Iranian New Zealander|
|4,000 (2010) - 5,000 (2015)||Iranians in Lebanon|
|12,344 (2011)||Iranians in Spain|
|Exact number unknown, those with identifiable Iranian ancestry are around 500,000-600,000. However the actual number is expected to be much higher.||Persians in Iraq|
|Iranians in Syria|
|10,000 (2017)||Iranians in Pakistan|
|Iranians in Thailand|
|Iranians in China|
|Iranians in the Philippines|
Hrant Markarian, Chairman of Armenian Revolutionary Federation Sam Dastyari, Senator Seema Kennedy, Member of the House of Commons Haleh Afshar, Member of the House of Lords David Alliance, Member of the House of Lords Amir Khadir, Member of the National Assembly of Quebec Reza Moridi, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario Majid Jowhari, Member of the Parliament of Canada Ali Ehsassi, Member of the Parliament of Canada Pouria Amirshahi, Former Member of the French National Assembly Yasmin Fahimi, general secretary of the Social Democratic Party Sahra Wagenknecht, Member of the Bundestag and deputy chairperson of the Left Party Omid Nouripour, Member of the Bundestag, (Alliance '90/The Greens) Moshe Katsav, President of Israel Dan Halutz, Chief of General Staff Shaul Mofaz, Minister of Defense Golriz Ghahraman, Member of New Zealand Parliament from the 52nd New Zealand Parliament part of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand Farah Karimi, Member of the House of Representatives Mazyar Keshvari, Member of the Storting Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Public Administration Maryam Yazdanfar, Member of the Riksdag Reza Khelili Dylami, Member of the Riksdag Goli Ameri, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Cyrus Amir-Mokri, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Institutions Cyrus Habib, Member of the Washington House of Representatives Azita Raji, United States Ambassador to Sweden Bob Yousefian, Mayor of Glendale Jimmy Delshad, Mayor of Beverly Hills
Their combined net worth is $1.3 trillion (2006 est.) In 2000, the Iran Press Service reported that Iranian expatriates had invested between $200 and $400 billion in the United States, Europe, and China, but almost nothing in Iran. In Dubai, Iranian expatriates have invested an estimated $200 billion (2006). Migrant Iranian workers abroad remitted less than two billion dollars home in 2006.
High net-worth individuals
|National ranking||Name||Citizenship||Net worth (USD)||Source(s) of wealth|
|1||Pierre Omidyar||8.7 billion||eBay|
|2||Ghermezian family||4.0 billion||Triple Five Group|
|3||Farhad Moshiri||2.8 billion||Metalloinvest, Arsenal F.C.|
|4||Nazarian family||2.0 billion||Qualcomm|
|5||Vincent & Robert Tchenguiz||1.4 billion||Real Estate|
|6||Manny Mashouf||1.3 billion||Bebe stores|
|7||Merage family||1.1 billion||Hot Pockets|
|8||Nasser David Khalili||1.0 billion||Real Estate|
|9||Hassan Khosrowshahi||950 million||Future Shop|
|10||Omid Kordestani||900 million|
|11||Anousheh Ansari||750 million||Sonus Networks|
|12||Isaac Larian||723 million||MGA Entertainment|
|13||Arash Ferdowsi||400 million||Dropbox|
The government has proposed setting up a joint investment fund with $5 billion in basic capital and an economic union to serve Iranians living abroad. The stated goal is to attract investment from Iranian expatriates and using their experience in stimulating foreign investments. Later, in 2010, it was announced that Iran will start the process by creating a national fund with a basic capital of eight million euros. This fund will later transform into a bank.
The currency used in the fund is the euro and investors are supported by the Organization for Investment, Economic and Technical Assistance of Iran. Iran will pay a guaranteed 10 percent interest on foreign investment. The value of each share in the fund is 1,000 euros. The minimum and the maximum investment amounts are 100,000 and 500,000 shares [sic], respectively.
Iranians are predominantly Shia Muslims. A number of Iranians have converted to Christianity in the diaspora from the predominant Shia Islam. While this group accounts for rather a small percentage of the total diaspora population, it is now far from marginal, with dozens of Iranian churches existing throughout countries with significant Iranian communities, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Germany. There also notable groups of Baha'i, Jewish, and Zoroastrian Iranians.
A significant number of Iranians abroad are irreligious, Agnostic and Atheist. While reliable statistics are difficult to come by, it is safe to say that the percentage of irreligious Iranians is significantly higher in the diaspora than in Iran, particularly with regard to Iranian-Americans and those living in Europe and Canada.
[note 1] The Iranian citizens abroad (scope of this article) differ from the other Iranian peoples living in other areas of Greater Iran, who are of related ethno-linguistical family, speaking languages belonging to the Iranian languages (a branch of Indo-European languages). There are an estimated 150 to 200 million native speakers of Iranian languages (including 80 million in Iran as of 2016), the five major groups of Persians, Lurs, Pashtuns, Kurds and Baloch accounting for about 90% of this number. Currently, most of these Iranian people live in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, parts of Uzbekistan (especially Samarkand and Bukhara), the Caucasus (Ossetia and Azerbaijan) and the Kurdish areas (referred to as Kurdistan) of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Smaller groups of Iranian people can also be found in western China. Due to recent migrations, there are also large communities of speakers of Iranian languages in Europe, the Americas and Israel.
[note 2] In some countries naturalized citizens, dual citizens, or children with only one Iranian/foreign-born parent are counted (for statistical purposes) as citizens/nationals of the host country only (i.e. citizen of the country of residence). For example all naturalized Swiss citizens have a legal "Swiss origin" even though it is often not the same as their place of birth. Country statistics (by national origin) generally exclude illegal immigration.
[note 3] Same as "Iranian-born" but includes their children born abroad.
[note 5] In the period from 1961 to 2005, the United States has been the main destination of Iranian emigrants. A total of 378,995 Iranians have immigrated to the United States in that period, where the major concentrations of Iranian immigrants are California (158,613 Iran-born in 2000), New York state (17,323), Texas (15,581), Virginia (10,889), and Maryland (9,733) Los Angeles Metropolitan Area was estimated to be host to approximately 114,712 Iranian immigrants, earning the Westwood area of LA the nickname Tehrangeles. In the case of the United States, the US Census Bureau's decennial census form does not offer a designation for individuals of Iranian descent. Consequently, it is estimated that only a fraction of the total number of Iranians are writing in their ancestry. The 2000 Census Bureau estimates that the Iranian-American community (including the US-born children of the Iranian foreign born) numbers around 330,000. However, studies using alternative statistical methods have estimated the actual number of Iranian Americans in the range of 691,000 to 1.2 million.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iranian diaspora.|
- History of Iranian diaspora - Encyclopædia Iranica
- Country Profile - Iran Migration Policy Institute (including modern history of Iranian migration)
- Iranian Diaspora in pre-Islamic times
- High Council of Iranians Abroad- "Strengthening the national identity of Iranians outside Iran and to defend their rights, helping the propagation of Persian calligraphy and language, and easing the participation in national security."
- Iranians Abroad - resources and links parstimes.com
- Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) (non-profit, non-partisan, and non-religious)
- Iranian diaspora - press article (2009)
- Seminar for Iranians Abroad Held in Tehran on August 2010