Determining the Levels of Urbanization in Iran Using Hierar-chical Clustering

  • Mostafa ENAYATRAD Department of Epidemiology, School of Medicine, Dezful University of Medical Sciences, Dezful, Iran
  • Parvin YAVARI 1. Cancer Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran 2.Department of Health and Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Koorosh ETEMAD Department of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Hazards Control Research Center, School of Public Health, Sha-hid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Sohila KHODAKARIM Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Sepideh MAHDAVI Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran
Keywords: Urbanization; Province; Cluster analysis; Iran


Background: In this study, we used a variety of factors that affect urbanization in Iran to evaluate different provinces in Iran in terms of the level of urbanization. Methods: Using information from census 2011, we collected data on 33 indicators related to urbanization in 31 provinces in Iran. To rank the provinces we used density-based hierarchical clustering scheme. To determine similarities or differences between the provinces, the square of the Euclidean distance dissimilarity coefficient; Ward’s algorithm was used to merge the provinces to minimize intra-cluster variance. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the variance between the variables used to rank the provinces in terms of different levels of urbanization. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS. Results: The provinces in Iran were combined with each other in 30 stages and classified into four levels. Taking into account the variables used to rank the level of urbanization, Tehran, and Alborz provinces were at the highest level of urbanization. On the other hand, the provinces of Sistan and Baluchistan, Kerman, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Hormozgan, and Bushehr were at the lowest level of urbanization. Conclusion: Identification of provinces at the same level of urbanization can help us to discover the strengths and weaknesses in the infrastructures of each of them. Given the differences between various levels of urbanization, the identification of factors that are effective in the process of urbanization can help to access more information required for designing plans for the years to come.  


1. Godfrey R, Julien M (2005). Urbanisation and health. Clin Med (Lond), 5 (2):137-41.
2. Chen BK, Yang CY (2014). Differences in age-standardized mortality rates for avoidable deaths based on urbanization levels in taiwan, 1971-2008. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 11 (2):1776-93.
3. Moore M, Gould P, Keary BS (2003). Global urbanization and impact on health. Int J Hyg Environ Health, 206 (4-5):269-78.
4. World Health Organization. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010. 2011.
5. Bocquier P (2015). World urbanization prospects: An alternative to the un model of projection compatible with the mobility transition theory. Demogr Res, 12 (9):197-236.
6. Esazade S, Mehranfar J (2012). The relationship between energy consumption and the level of urbanization in iran (application of the model and the error correction factor analysis). Quarterly Economic Strategy, 1 (2):47-70.
7. Loretta L (2002). Rematerializing geography: The ‘new’ urban geography. Prog Hum Geogr, 26 (1):101-12.
8. Park RE (2016). The city: Suggestions for the investigation of human behavior in the city environment. Am J Soc, 20 (5):577-612.
9. Satterthwaite D (2008). “Cities”, contribution to global warming: Notes on the allocation of greenhouse gas emissions. Environ Urban, 20 (2):539-49.
10. Denis E, Marius-Gnanou K (2011). Toward a better appraisal of urbanization in india: A fresh look at the landscape of morphological agglomerates. Europ J Geogr, 569: 186.
11. Glaeser E (2011). Cities, productivity, and quality of life. Science, 333 (6042):592-4.
12. Sturm R, Cohen DA (2004). Suburban sprawl and physical and mental health. Public Health, 118 (7):488-96.
13. Dahly DL, Adair LS (2007). Quantifying the urban environment: A scale measure of urbanicity outperforms the urban-rural dichotomy. Soc Sci Med, 64 (7):1407-19.
14. McDade TW, Adair LS (2001). Defining the "urban" in urbanization and health: A factor analysis approach. Soc Sci Med, 53 (1):55-70.
15. Cohen B (2006). Urbanization in developing countries: Current trends, future projections, and key challenges for sustainability. Technol Soc, 28 (1-2):63–80.
16. Cohen B, Stren R, Montgomery MR, Reed HE (2005). Cities transformed:: Demographic change and its implications in the developing world. Popul Stud, 59 (2):259-61.
17. Statistical Center of Iran (2012).Presidential deputy strategic planning and monitoring,iranian statistical center. Statistical yearbook of the country.Iranian Statistical Center, Office of the Head, Public Relations and International Cooperation,
18. Akbari ME (2016). Human development index (hdi) in Iran. Int J Cancer Manag, 9 (5):e9408.
19. Fanni Z, Razavi M (2013). Level city of khorasan razavi province, based on the information society by clustering method. J Humanist Teach, 18 (1):53-75.
20. Kaufman A, Knoll J, Way B, Leonard C, Widroff J (2011). Survey of forensic mental health experts on pro se competence after indiana v. Edwards. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law, 39 (4):565-70.
How to Cite
ENAYATRAD M, YAVARI P, ETEMAD K, KHODAKARIM S, MAHDAVI S. Determining the Levels of Urbanization in Iran Using Hierar-chical Clustering. Iran J Public Health. 48(6):1082-1090.
Original Article(s)