TEHRAN – Iran’s population grew by 569,963 in the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2021-March 2022), and the natural population growth rate was estimated at 0.7%, according to the National Organization of Civil Status.
In the past year, 1,106,072 children were born in the country and 536,109 people died, so the country’s population increased by 569,963.
According to statistics released by the Statistical Center of Iran, the total number of births registered in the [Iranian calendar] the year 1399 (March 2020-March 2021) was 1,114,155, while a year before some 1,196,132 children were born.
The birth rate has accelerated in recent months, which appears to be influenced by incentive policies and benefits given to increase fertility.
In line with the “Family and Youth Support Law”, Iran has introduced several plans, including housing facilitation, low-interest loans and longer maternity leave.
By a decree of President Ebrahim Raisi, the “Law on Family and Youth Support” approved by the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) was notified to the Ministry of Health and the Vice Presidency for Women and Affairs family.
The Guardian Council approved legislation on November 17 last year to implement a 7-year population growth and family support plan to change the downward trend in childbearing.
The plan includes health insurance for infertile couples, provision of services and facilities for working women, provision of health and nutritional support programs for mothers and children, educational opportunities for student mothers, provision of family livelihood support and ongoing medical services to pregnant women.
The finance bill for the current financial year [Iranian calendar] calendar year (started March 21) offered 120 trillion rials (nearly $444 million) to implement reproductive and family support plans in the country.
Today, the country’s fertility rate has reached about 1.6 children per woman, but it was 6.5 children per woman in 1986. The lowest fertility rate in the entire West Asian region, from North Africa and the MENA region is registered for Iran.
While 1,594,000 births were registered in the [Iranian calendar] year 1394 (March 2015-March 2016), the downward trend continued each year to the point that the number of births reached approximately one million in the [Iranian calendar] year 1399 (March 2020-March 2021).
In other words, the country has lost more than 550,000 births in five years.
The fertility rate has fallen to 1.71 children in the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021), reaching below replacement level, according to the report released by the Statistical Center of Iran.
The replacement level is the amount of fertility needed to maintain the same population from one generation to the next. It refers to the synthetic fertility index which will result in a stable population without it increasing or decreasing.
Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Professor of Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), wrote in an article in July 2020 that the fertility rate in Iran had fallen by 70% over the past 30 years, which was the biggest drop in human history.
Seyed Hamed Barakati, deputy health minister for family and school population, said in May 2021 that Iran’s population growth rate had fallen to less than 1% for the first time in the past four decades.