Demographic indicators at ‘alarming’ levels

October 25, 2021 - 17:40

TEHRAN – Iran's demographic indicators demonstrate alarming records, as the population growth rate is about 0.6 percent, and it is predicted to reach zero in the next 10-15 years, and then record a negative growth rate, Saleh Ghasemi, a demographic researcher, has said.

The population is a strategic issue that affects all structures of the country, including economy, society, and politics, he stated, adding, the country’s social and economic indicators are always affected by population.

Today, the country's fertility rate has reached about 1.6 children per woman, however, the fertility rate was 6.5 children per woman, in 1986, he lamented.

He went on to say that the lowest fertility rate in the whole region of West Asia, North Africa, and the region known as MENA is recorded for Iran, ISNA reported on Monday.

The number of births in Iran shrank by 550,000 in 5 years.“While 1,594,000 births were registered in the [Iranian calendar] year 1394 (March 2015-March 2016), the downward trend continued annually to the point that the number of births reached about one million in the [Iranian calendar] year 1399 (March 2020-March 2021); In other words, we lost more than 550,000 births in a five-year period.

It is predicted that the declining trend of births will continue due to the economic condition and of course changing attitudes and lifestyle of Iranian families,” he further said.

Iran has achieved a demographic window of opportunity which in all other countries led to economic prosperity so that Iran must seize the opportunity now before its working-age population starts to shrink and get older in the 2050s.

New record of aging population 

All countries around the world are moving towards population aging, but Iran will enter the aging phase without gaining economic growth and development, and this will increase the consequences of aging country; In the next three decades, Iran will set a new record in the rate of population aging.

While most of the countries that are in the aging stage today have gone through the path of youth to old age and the stage of aging in a period of 130 to 140 years, but Iran will go through the path of youth to old age in a period of 30 years.

Referring to the elderly population constituting 10.5 percent of the country's population, he stated that by 2050, this figure will increase to more than 32 percent. So, in a period of 30 years, we will be a super-aged country or in the stage of aging explosion.

Currently, all these demographic indicators of Iran are on alert, he further regretted.

“Aging will have very serious consequences for the country, the most important of which will be in the field of economy. When the elderly population rises, the labor force decreases, so that the country will need foreign labor; as the labor force shrinks, so does the GDP, and the dependence on imports increases. With the influx of foreign labor, the outflow of currency from the country will accelerate.

With the growth of the aging population, the cost of care, health, and treatment of the elderly increases significantly, so that studies show that an elderly person has four times more medical and health care costs than a young person,” he further explained.
On the other hand, as old age increases, pension funds such as social security organizations are exposed to bankruptcy, he lamented.

Population growth, family support

The Majlis (Iranian Parliament) approved on March 16 to implement a population growth and family support plan for 7 years to change the declining trend of childbearing.

The plan stipulates health insurance for infertile couples, providing services and facilities to working women, providing health and nutrition support packages to mothers and children, educational opportunities for student mothers, providing livelihood support to families, and ongoing medical services to pregnant women.

As the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has emphasized that the seventh Five-Year National Development Plan (2021-2026) should focus on population growth, and on the other hand, the Expediency Council seeks a one-year extension of the Sixth Five-Year National Development Plan, it was decided to implement the plan for 7 years.



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