Iran PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Figure 5. Major Ethnic Groups
Iran has a heterogeneous population speaking a variety of Indo-Iranian, Semitic, and Turkic languages. The largest language group consists of the speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, who in 1986 comprised about 70 percent of the population. The speakers of Indo-Iranian languages are not, however, a homogeneous group. They include speakers of Persian, the official language of the country, and its various dialects; speakers of Kirmanji, the term for related dialects spoken by the Kurds who live in the cities, towns, and villages of western Iran and adjacent areas of Iraq and Turkey; speakers of Luri, the language of the Bakhtiaris and Lurs who live in the Zagros; and Baluchi, the language of the seminomadic people who live in southeastern Iran and adjacent areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Approximately 28 percent of the population speaks various dialects of Turkish. Speakers of Semitic languages include Arabs and Assyrians (see fig. 5).
Data as of December 1987
NOTE: The information regarding Iran on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Iran PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Iran PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.