A senior official in Iran’s Health Ministry says 70% of the country’s population is formed by members of the age group ranging from 16 to 64 years old.
The director of the ministry’s Office for the Health of the Population, Family and Schools noted that this opportunity, indicating population productivity, must be employed for sustainable development and childbearing programs.
“Based on standards, to maintain the population growth above minus levels, the fertility rate has to be kept at 2.1%. A drop of that figure below the 2.1 level, according to population theorists, is a health threat to any community’s population,” Dr. Mohammad Esmaeel Motalq stated. The figure in Iran stood at 6.8 in 1983, plummeting to 1.8 in 2011.
Motlaq added that the latest statistics show only a 0.1% growth. The same rate applies to the city of Rafsanajn, marking a level below the population replacement threshold.
The Iranian official blamed the drop on such phenomena as a growing marriage age average, decreasing number of actual marriages, time gap between marriages and the first, second and third child deliveries, divorce rate hikes, emotional divorces, tendency to one-child families, abortion, a growing infertility and such social harms as addiction.
Motlaq noted that a curve demonstrating average marriage age levels in the time span 1966-2011 underlines a growth of up to 4 to 6 years. The upward trend in such cities as Tehran has been unfavorably dramatic, reaching 10, as the same curve shows also a higher acceleration when it comes to women.
The ideal marriage age, according to Motalq, starts from 18 and ends at 35, while the same range is perfect for childbearing, as well. This, however, does not make it problematic for levels beyond 35. “It only demands greater care,” he added.
There are currently 3 million infertile couples in Iran. The figure for deprived and vulnerable regions stands at 440,000, for whom the Health Ministry is “currently launching treatment programs, with many of their medicines being covered by insurance companies.”
Meanwhile, Motalq raised the alarm on the threat facing 13 million Iranians categorized as young, “who will suffer from declining reproduction potentials if they fail to get married at their current age.” Iran must launch long-term plans for the upcoming three to four decades to prevent the emergence of an ageing population, the Health Ministry official warned.