As of the early 1980s, approximately one third of the population was occupied in agriculture, one third in the service sector, and another third in manufacturing, mining, construction, and utilities.
Unemployment grew throughout the 1980s, however, reaching an estimated 28.5 percent in 1986 due to the nation's faltering economy in the face of the ongoing border war with neighboring Iraq and the drop in worldwide oil prices.
The remaining Muslims are members of the Sunni sect of Islam.
There are minority Christian (about 300,000), and Jewish (about 25,000 in 1984) populations, as well as Zoroastrians (about 30,000) and Baha'i (about 350,000).
The Islamic Republic of Iran occupies 635,932 square miles (1,648,000 square kilometers) on the Asian continent.
The country is bounded on the north by the Transcaucasian and Turkistan territories of the former Soviet Union (along with the Caspian Sea), on the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the west by Iraq and Turkey, and on the south by the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
The majority of Iran's population converted to the Islamic religion in the seventh century after invasion by Arab tribes, and the Shi'i sect of Islam has predominated since the sixteenth century.
In 1987, there were 270,000 Bahais in Iran and 7,000 in the United States, of which 1,000 were identified as Iranian immigrants.
In discussing possible reasons for the paucity of material available on the Iranian immigrant community in the United States, Diane M.
Most of Iran is a geographic plateau located about 4,000 feet above sea level; the plateau is spotted with mountains where the annual snowfall provides much of the water needed for irrigation during the hot spring and summer months.
Although most of the country is arid and desert-like, the majority of the population is located in the area around the Caspian Sea, which has a hot and humid climate.
Iran is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, approaching 50 million people in the late 1980s.
Nearly half the Iranian population is ethnically non-Arab, being considered direct descendants of Aryan invaders of the second century Other significant ethnic groups descend from ancient Arabic and Turkish conquerors; there are also smaller populations of nomadic tribes, including Kurds, Lurs, Bakhtiari, Qashqa'i, Mamasani, Khamseh, Shahsevans, Baluchi, and Turkomans.