Iran fertility rate declining

Tehran, June 21, IRNA – Iran has a total fertility rate (TFR) of 1.8, which is below the replacement level of 2.1, said a member of Health and Treatment Commission of Women’s Cultural and Social Council.
Khalil Ali-Mohammadzadeh said the current fertility rate determines the future population of the country, and if the rate prevails, it will have a negative impact on the lives of people.

Replacement fertility level is the total fertility rate at which women give birth to enough babies to sustain population levels.

Ali-Mohammadzadeh said Iran ranked 23rd among 26 regional countries and 146th among 209 countries in terms of population growth.

Based on family planning policies, launched in 1981, the country’s TFR was expected to drop from 6.4 to 4 in 2006, but in practice the figure reached 3.6 in 1992 which was 14 years earlier than projected, Iran Daily wrote in its Sunday issue.

The official said various socioeconomic factors have caused the problem, adding that other countries also faced a decline in population growth during the period.

TFR of Turkey dropped from 3.6 to 2, Saudi Arabia’s from 5.5 to 2.9, and Pakistan’s from 6.1 to 3.6 respectively in the past three decades.

Ali-Mohammadzadeh noted that high prevalence of singlehood among youth and the rising trend of having one-child families are among the main factors leading to a decline in the world’s TFR by 33 percent in the past 30 years.

“Having proper management is the main prerequisite for the correct implementation of any plan,” he said.

He believes that although the population control policies, ratified by Majlis, was implemented by Health Ministry in the best possible manner, it should had been stopped in 2,000, after achieving the targets.

The global population growth rate dropped from 1.6 percent to 1.2 percent in the past 25 years, while the figure for Iran declined from 3.2 in 1986 to 1.3 in 2013.

“Children 15 years and younger constituted some 40 percent of Iran’s total population in 1986 while the figure dropped to 23 percent last year,” he said.

He put the infertility rate of Iranian couples at 20 to 25 percent while the average figure for the world is 15 percent.

The official referred to legal and illegal abortions as the other factor leading to a reduction in TFR, pointing out that some 7,000 persons referred to Iranian Legal Medicine Organization to get permission for abortion in the year to March 2012.

He said 684 illegal abortions occur in Iran per day while the figure for Canada is 270.

Abortion is authorized in Iran only when the pregnancy is believed to endanger the health of the mother or when the fetus is malformed and would be born with a severe disability.