Iranian couples usually wait 4.5 years to have first child

July 15, 2018

TEHRAN — Iranian couples wait 4.5 years on the average to have their first child, director for the National Institute for Population Studies and Comprehensive Management affiliated to the Ministry of Science has said.

“Currently we are meeting replacement level fertility but if the gap increases we will experience below-replacement fertility,” IRNA quoted Mohammad Jalal Abbasi as saying on Saturday. 

Replacement level fertility is the total fertility rate which is the average number of children born per woman needed to keep the population the same from generation to generation, without migration. This rate is roughly 2.1 children per woman for most countries, although it may modestly vary with mortality rates.

Population policies should be formulated in a way that encourage childbearing or at least keep the current replacement level fertility, Abbasi said, adding that such policies should be designed in accordance with family’s welfare, women’s health, etc.

Raising marriage age, delaying having children, and increasing age gap between children are among the main reasons regulating replacement level fertility, he explained. 

In order to maintain the current replacement level fertility and possible increase of the rate national plans to ease marriage by identifying socio-economic factors contributing to below-replacement fertility should be drawn up, he highlighted.

Abbasi went on to say that in the year 1990 the possibility of having the first child within the first year of the marriage was 95 percent while the number decreased to 93 in 2009. Moreover the possibility of having the second child was 95 percent in 1990s which dropped to 80 percent in 2000, he regretted.

Commenting on family planning Abbasi criticized some skeptic views on the issue by believing that family planning diminishes fertility rate by enabling individuals, to freely determine the number and spacing of their children and to select the means by which this may be achieved.

However, he said, proper family planning would decreases the chances of unwanted pregnancy as many of such cases would end up in abortion which would harm women’s health.

Starting a family and the willingness to have children requires a reasonable condition and in order to increase fertility rate explicit and coherent population policies should be instituted, he suggested.

enhancing quality of life, creating more jobs, improving environmental conditions, and promoting welfare in outskirts of the cities and border areas should all be included in shaping population policies, he added.

“Without such policies couples won’t be willing to have children and even childbearing would become a social vulnerability,” Abbasi concluded.

Dropping fertility rates threatens global economy

According to a report by Business Insider, 46% of the world's population lives in countries that are below the average global replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman.

Because these countries (59 to be exact, including BRIC nations Brazil, Russia, and China) are not repopulating quickly enough to sustain their current populations, we are beginning to see a substantial imbalance in the ratio of elderly dependents to working-age people, which will only intensify over the coming decades.

The United Nations predicts that by 2100 nearly 30% of the population will be made of people 60 years and older. Life expectancy also continues to increase steadily, which means those dependents will be living even longer.

The global increase of elderly dependent populations will have harmful economic consequences. Health care costs for the elderly will strain resources, while the smaller working population will struggle to produce enough income tax revenue to support these rising costs. It's likely this will cause spending power to decrease, consumerism to decline, job production to slow - and accordingly the economy to stagnate.

MQ/MG

Leave a Comment

5 + 0 =