Iranian migration

Iran changed significantly after the Islamic Revolution of 1978/79 but the borders have not been closed. Iran has flows of emigration and immigration every year, some more than others depending on political events. Iran has a reputation as a refugee haven for Afghanis and Iraqis for centuries. But for Iranians who leave the country, the emigration patterns and reasoning is different than refugees who come to the country.


The first major wave of diaspora of Iranians was from 1950-1979 for socio economic reasons, motivating middle and upper class to send their children to study abroad. During the revolution another wave of Iranian students emigrated to study abroad. After the revolution many never returned, and also had relatives join them.


In addition to those choosing not to return, one of the last large groups to flee was religious minorities, anticipating persecution, Baha'is, and religious-ethnic groups, such as the Jews, Armenians, and Assyrians left. This was followed by a post-revolution spike that many call one the largest-brain drains with a mass migration of professionals, entrepreneurs and academics. The United States, Germany, Canada, Sweden and the UK have the largest population of Iranian Immigrants.

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