Fertility at below-replacement level

October 29, 2021 - 19:2

TEHRAN – The fertility rate declined to 1.71 children in the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021), reaching below the replacement level, according to the report released by the Statistical Centre of Iran.

Replacement level is the amount of fertility needed to keep the population the same from generation to generation. It refers to the total fertility rate that will result in a stable population without it increasing or decreasing.

The fertility rate from 2.07 children in the Iranian calendar year 1396 (March 2017-March 2018), which can be considered fertility at the replacement level.

Iran's fertility rate has reached about 1.6 children per woman today, however, it was 6.5 children per woman, in 1986. Tehran, Semnan, Alborz, Mazandaran, and Gilan, were the five provinces with “very low” fertility rates, and Sistan and Baluchestan, South Khorasan, Khuzestan, and Yazd were the four provinces with above-replacement fertility.

Some 58 percent of the provinces reported below-replacement fertility last year, between 1.5 and 2.1 children.

Today, the country's fertility rate has reached about 1.6 children per woman, however, it was 6.5 children per woman, in 1986. The lowest fertility rate in the whole region of West Asia, North Africa, and the MENA region is recorded for Iran.

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 five years.

Nicholas Eberstadt, the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) wrote in an article in July 2020 that the fertility rate in Iran has dropped by 70 percent over the past 30 years, which has been the highest decline in human history.

Seyed Hamed Barakati, deputy health minister for family and school population, said in May that Iran’s population growth rate has decreased to less than one percent for the first time over the past four decades.


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