Many villages in Iran have become depopulated due to the destructive policies of the Iranian government, and the migration of villagers from rural to urban areas has increased in recent years.
According to the latest statistics from the Statistics Center of Iran, the number of empty villages in Iran is 45,000 villages, and only 25 percent of the country’s population lives in rural areas.
There are many reasons for the migration of the villagers to the outskirts of cities, which has created a huge problem for metropolises.
Lack of proper management, wasteful consumption of groundwater, and drying up of water resources in many villages on which agricultural and livestock jobs are directly dependent can be considered as among the main reasons for rural migration to cities.
According to the Statistics Center of Iran, the population of the country will reach 89 million in 2027, of which nearly 69 million, or about 77 percent of the population will live in cities and 20 million, or about 23 percent in rural areas.
According to these statistics, in 2027, the growth rate of the rural population of 21 provinces in Iran will be negative, and a large part of the rural population will leave their place of residence in the hope of finding a better life in the cities.
This will lead to the death of villages over time. And the distribution of the human settlements in all parts of the country, which most important factor that depicts the geographical and demographic shape of Iran, is fading.
For a long time in history, villages, or ethnic and nomadic populations have been formed or settled in different parts of the country and have played an important role in the development of agriculture, animal husbandry and they also supplied many necessities of the cities.
The number of uninhabited villages has reached 45,000 units. Dehydration, inflation, and the high cost of basic agricultural products, such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, have severely affected the economic life of many villages.
The lack of medical, educational, and other basic services, such as drinking water, electricity, and gas, has destroyed the country’s villages.
In the early 2000s, the country’s rural population was 68 percent. But now this population has reached less than 25 percent. This statistic does not mean that the villages of the country have become cities. Rather, it indicates that many villages have been destroyed and their populations have become the residents of the city’s outskirts.
One of the important reasons for the destruction of villages is the change of use of agricultural lands. This change of use is the product of the acquisition of agricultural lands by the regime’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), which has intensified in recent years.
In most cases, the judicial process has been carried out to reclaim the lands in favor of government institutions, and officials.
“Only half of the remaining villagers are engaged in agriculture,” said Mustafa Aghaei, deputy director of agricultural education and extension.
He added: “70 percent of these people are elderly and illiterate. Employment is no longer possible for the young forces of the villages. Because they cannot make agriculture, horticulture, or animal husbandry their occupation is at risk.”
Improper import of food is another effective factor in the destruction of the country’s villages. Government policies are based on importing more food products instead of supporting producers.
Iran was once an exporter of wheat and rice but is now one of the main importers of these products. Iran’s sugarcane products supplied sugar to the entire Middle East, but Iran is now a serious importer of sugar.
The same is true for other agricultural and livestock products. For this reason, it can be said that the intensification of the destruction of the country’s villages is a clear sign of the destruction of the entire economy.