Development Programs and its Consequences on the Occupational Structure of Rural Iran (1956 to 2006)

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Ph.D. in Sociology of Economics and Development, Faculty Member of National Population Studies and Comprehensive Management Institute

2 Ph.D. in Sociology of Rural Development, Faculty Member of National Population Studies and Comprehensive Management Institute

Abstract

Iran has experienced significant changes in the distribution of employed population of rural
areas in major professional categories in the years 1956 to 2006. Accordingly, it is important to study
the changes in occupational structure, factors influencing these changes, and their implications. The
methodology of this study is documentary and secondary analysis. Moreover, in order to explain why
the changes were made, the development plans before and after the Islamic Revolution were
examined. Findings indicate that the number of workers in agricultural sector during the years 1956,
1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 was 74.3, 61.7, 58.9, 57.7, 49.75, and 43.94 percent, respectively.
According to the statistics, there has been a gradual reduction of the number of workers in the
agricultural sector. Results also show that the average age of workers in the agricultural sector
during the years 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 and 2006 was 34.3, 37.6, 40.4, 40.5, and 40 years,
respectively. The results of documentary studies suggests that oil price upward spiraling followed by
the reduction of government’s dependence on agriculture, implementation of the Land Reform Plan
regardless of the social and cultural structure of the rural population on one hand, and, on the other
hand, the tendency of the governments before and after the Revolution towards mechanized
agriculture without the necessary scientific and practical background have been major factors in the
irrational reduction of workers in the agricultural sector. Among the most important social and
economic consequences of this situation are the aging of workforce employed in agriculture, the
decline of agricultural development, the growth of false occupations, and the development of oil
economy.

Keywords