Iran reports surprise birth rate boom

Iran says it saw a surprise birth rate boom over the past calendar year that ended on March 21, 2015. 

The State Civil Registration Organization of Iran says a total of 1.543 million new births have been registered between March 2014-2015 nationwide. This shows an increase of 2.4 percent year-on-year, which marks the highest rise for the past 23 years.

There has been an equal distribution of baby girls and baby boys in new births.  The births in urban areas have seen an almost zero growth. However, rural areas saw a rise of 1.22 percent year-on-year which has been described as the highest for the past three decades.

The birthrate boom has been specifically stronger in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan as well as the northeastern province of South Khorasan and the southern province of Hormozgan. The northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran as well as Markazi province saw the least growth in newborns over the period.

Iran’s birth rate currently stands at 1.8 children per couple with a population of over 77 million. There have already been concerns that Iran’s population growth could reach zero in the next 20 years if the current slump in new births is not reversed.

The country has already taken several serious steps to that connection. They vary from banning contraceptives and vasectomies to providing incentives such as longer maternity leaves and even cash rewards for the newborns.

Nevertheless, experts say a series of obstacles are still discouraging couples from raising even more babies or even having any at all. They say the most significant obstacle is the economic hardships involved in having and raising children.

By Press TV