Spatial Analysis of Development Levels of Provinces in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Technology Development Studies (DTDS), Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran, Iran.

2 Faculty of Agricultural Management, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran.

3 Faculty of Agriculture, Yasouj University, Yasouj,, Iran.

Abstract

Introduction

Since the end of World War II, development has been one of the most important issues in academia and planning; as in the last decade of the twentieth century, most countries reconsidered their position in this regard. Iran as one of the developing countries has imbalance in terms of different development indicators. This imbalance and gap between regions is one of the obstacles to balanced growth and development. Hence, recognizing the development levels of different regions of the country can be the first step in the regional development planning process, which results in identifying the bottlenecks and limitations of the regions and can be addressed. Therefore, this study aimed at the spatial analysis of the levels of development in the provinces of Iran and its results can be effective for decision-making officials to help achieve the development of social justice.

Methodology

The method of this research is based on constructing a composite development indicator using various statistical techniques. For this purpose, factor analysis, numerical taxonomy and TOPSIS methods have been employed to construct a composite development indicator. The principal component analysis method and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was applied to weight the individual indicators and the four dimensions of development (economic, social, cultural, and infrastructure), respectively. Furthermore, in order to free the scale of the indicators division by the mean in the factor analysis method, the standardization method in the taxonomy method, and the soft linear method in TOPSIS has been used. Finally, leveling the provinces based on GIS technique and the method of hierarchical cluster analysis have been carried out. According to literature development and statistics available (results of the general population and housing census and the results of statistical yearbooks in 2018), 84 indicators related to regional development analysis in four dimensions: 1) economic (30 indicators), 2) social (24 indicators), 3) cultural (10 indicators) and 4) infrastructure (20 indicators) have been compiled and applied.

Results and discussion

The final results of determining the relative weight of the four dimensions of development revealed that the economic dimension with a relative weight of 0.536 has been the most important. Then there are the infrastructural dimension with a relative weight of 0.219, the social dimension with a relative weight of 0.162 and finally the cultural dimension with a relative weight of 0.083. The findings of TOPSIS showed that in terms of total composite indicator, the provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Bushehr, Khuzestan and Khorasan Razavi with the composite indicator of 0.9524, 0.5428, 0.4941, 0.3449 and 0.2922, respectively, have the best situation and the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan. , Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, South Khorasan, Lorestan and Kurdistan have the lowest ranks with the composite indicator of 0.0113, 0.0861, 0.0886, 0.0914 and 0.0961, respectively.

The leveling of different provinces based on the composite indicator indicated that in the first level with a composite indicator between 0.344-0.95 there are Tehran, Isfahan and Bushehr provinces. In the second level, the average level of development with a composite indicator between 0.15-0.34, most of the central provinces and some northern, southern, western and eastern provinces are located. The low level of development with a composite indicator between 0.11-0.15, include the provinces of South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan, North Khorasan, Golestan, Gilan, Ardabil, West Azerbaijan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Kurdistan, Zanjan, Hamedan, Lorestan, Qom, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer Ahmad and Chaharmahal Bakhtiari. The result of hierarchical cluster analysis to classify the overall level of development of the provinces revealed that there are three clusters of development. In general, the results indicate the development gap between the provinces of Iran.

Conclusion

This study aimed at the spatial analysis of the levels of development in the provinces of Iran. The results of weighting the four dimensions of development showed that the importance of the dimensions is economic dimension, infrastructure, social and cultural dimension, respectively. Therefore, from the experts' point of view, the economic dimension is of the greatest significance. The leveling of different provinces based on the composite indicator revealed that in the first level of development are Tehran, Isfahan and Bushehr provinces and in the second category is the average level of development and most central provinces, and some northern, southern, western and eastern provinces are located. The group with low level of development included some provinces located in the east, southeast, south, northeast, northwest, west and the Central Zagros.

The identified spatial pattern includes developed areas (3 provinces), areas with medium level of development (11 provinces) and underdeveloped areas (17 provinces). In fact, most of the provinces identified underdeveloped province and include the eastern, southeastern and southern provinces (South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan and Hormozgan), northeastern and northwestern provinces (North Khorasan, Golestan, Gilan, Ardabil, West Azerbaijan), western provinces (Kermanshah, Ilam, Kurdistan, Zanjan, Hamedan, Lorestan and Qom) and the Central Zagros (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad and Chaharmahal Bakhtiari). These provinces have a smaller share of GDP. Also, the southeastern and southern provinces (Sistan and Baluchestan and Hormozgan) are significantly lower than other provinces in terms of some indicators of infrastructure, which has led to the intensification of underdevelopment of these provinces. The result of hierarchical cluster analysis indicated that there are three clusters and confirmed the existence of development gap among the provinces of Iran which has been mentioned in many previous studies as well.

The results of this study indicated that the model of the core periphery is established in Iran. In fact, development poles have been formed in Iran, which has a higher level of development, and the farther a region is from these development poles, the lower the level of its development. Therefore, in order to decrease the development gap any budget allocation for the development plan, less developed and underdeveloped provinces should be taken into consideration.

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Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 26 September 2022
  • Receive Date: 13 October 2021
  • Revise Date: 21 September 2022
  • Accept Date: 26 September 2022
  • First Publish Date: 26 September 2022