Life expectancy among Iranians increased in recent years

October 3, 2021 - 17:51

TEHRAN – The life expectancy rate in Iran increased from 64 years in 1990 to 72 years in 2019, which is still on a growing trend, Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said on Sunday.

According to Raisi, the life expectancy in Iran in 1976 was equal to 57 years, and now, after 44 years, the life expectancy has reached 76 years.

Life expectancy at birth in the world has risen from 64.2 in 1990 to 72.6 in 2019 and is expected to surpass 77.1 in 2050. In 2019, one in 11 people in the world is 65 and older (9%), while this figure is projected to reach one in six (16%) by 2050.

This number is very significant and should be planned for all the elderly population, he stated. 

Raising the life expectancy in the year 2050 to 77 years shows the health system's attention to science and technology, but it should be noted that people are getting older and we need to provide the infrastructure to care for them.

Mohammad Sasanipour, a demographer, said that In Iran, the steady decline in deaths in recent decades has led to an increase in life expectancy. But the most important issue is the decrease in the death rate of children and infants.

According to demographers, developed countries increase their life expectancy by reducing mortality among the elderly. But in developing countries like Africa, improvements in life expectancy are achieved by falling child mortality.

So, there is still room for development in this area, he emphasized.

Demographic research suggests that at the beginning of the 19th century no country in the world had a life expectancy longer than 40 years. Over the next 150 years, some parts of the world achieved substantial health improvements.

Today most people in the world can expect to live as long as those in the very richest countries in 1950. The United Nations estimates a global average life expectancy of 72.6 years for 2019 – the global average today is higher than in any country back in 1950. According to the UN estimates the country with the best health in 1950 was Norway with a life expectancy of 72.3 years.

Globally the life expectancy increased from less than 30 years to over 72 years; after two centuries of progress.

Iran's demographic issue

Iran is also one of the countries with the highest pace of aging in the world.

Over the last 5 decades, the elderly’s population has increased from about 5 to 10 percent, and it is predicted that this rate will triple in the next 50 years so that it is vital to take the aging phenomenon seriously.

The fertility rate in Iran has been declining over the past eight years, the lowest of which was related to the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2019- March 2020) with a birth rate of 1.2, according to the data published by the Statistics Center.

Population decline comes up with consequences, including the reduction of the working population (aged 15 to 64) and the aging population in the coming decades.

In demography, the population under the age of 15 is called “young”. In 1977, 46 percent of the people were young, while now 23 percent of the population are below 15 years of age.

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.

Awareness of population age changes and political-economic planning based on it can be very important in the success of programs and policies. Comprehensive policy-making and planning should be tailored to the overall characteristics of this age group.