Population growth policies: one year on
Population growth policies: one year on
By a decree issued by President Ebrahim Raisi, the "Law on Family and Youth Support" approved by the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) a year ago, was instructed to the Judiciary for a 7-year implementation, to reach favorable results.

TEHRAN (Iran News) –By a decree issued by President Ebrahim Raisi, the “Law on Family and Youth Support” approved by the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) a year ago, was instructed to the Judiciary for a 7-year implementation, to reach favorable results.

It was also instructed to other ministries including the Health Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Education Ministry, as well as the Vice Presidency for Women and Family Affairs.

The plan stipulates health insurance for infertile couples, providing services and facilities to working women, providing health and nutrition support packages to mothers and children, educational opportunities for student mothers, providing livelihood support to families, and ongoing medical services to pregnant women.

The national budget bill for the current [Iranian calendar] calendar year, which began on March 21, has proposed 120 trillion rials (nearly $480 million) to implement childbearing and family support plans in the country.

Now the Ministry of Health has made 90 percent progress in implementing 18 articles of the Family and Youth Support Law, IRNA reported on Friday.

The country’s fertility rate has reached 1.6 children per woman, while it was 6.5 children per woman in 1986.Some 43 articles of the Law, accounting for 60 percent, are directly and indirectly related to the Ministry of Health, in which 47 percent progress has been achieved in the implementation of 20 articles and 90 percent success in 18 articles.

Also, as per the Law, children and family allowance of all different groups of employees in the relevant institutions, the Armed Forces, the Ministry of Intelligence, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and also faculty members of universities and research institutions, judges and retirees will increase by 50 to 100 percent.

In order to restore the rights of government employees and retirees, the government presented a bill to the Majlis, which was reviewed by the budget and program committees, and finally, the members of this commission came to the conclusion that this bill restores the rights of government employees and retirees.

The Law also describes the conditions for maternity leave. The duration of maternity leave was increased to 9 months with the payment of all salaries and related bonuses, and if the mother requests, up to two months of this leave can be used in the final months of pregnancy, which is 12 months for the birth of twins and multiples.

In this regard, a bill also was sent to the Majlis to provide insurance for housewives with three or more children in villages and cities with a population of fewer than 20,000 people.

In line with the Law, domestic car manufacturing companies were obliged to deliver an Iranian car at the factory price to mothers after the birth of their second child.

After the implementation of the Law, so far, the issue has been taken into account by the domestic car manufacturing companies, at each time of registration (people register to purchase cars at a lower price than what is sold in the market, and some of them will win randomly), 50 percent of the cars in each registration period were earmarked to the mothers who recently gave birth to their second child.

A bill was also approved to add an article to the Law, according to which banks and credit institutions were obliged to grant facilities to help with marriage and childbearing, Mohsen Dehnavi, a member of the Majlis said.

Last year, the marriage loan increased to 15 billion rials (around $4,000), however, 250,000 eligible couples failed to obtain this loan, and this year, more than 30 percent of the couples have not received the loan yet, he added.

Most banks pay multi-billion loans to whom they want without guarantors, but they refuse to pay marriage loans or ask the couples for many guarantors, he lamented.

In line with the legal implementation of this law, other measures have also been taken, one of which is the donation of a free piece of land to families with three or more children, which has been implemented in various cities so far, Mahmoud Mahmoudzadeh, the deputy housing and urban development minister, said.

Free residential land is given to families with newly born quadruplets, he also noted.

Couples who have their third child benefit from government incentives such as land, so that in cities with a population of fewer than 500,000 people and more, half of the land is allocated to the mother and another half to the father.

In cities with more than 500,000 populations, the land will be given to families with 3 or more children in new cities or nearby cities, he added.

Judiciary Chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, in this regard, said that in line with the Law, some agencies have serious tasks and missions. Accordingly, it is necessary for the inspection organization, as a regulatory body, to evaluate and supervise the implementation in a codified and regulated manner.

What caused the Law to be implemented?

Today, the country’s fertility rate has reached about 1.6 children per woman, while it was 6.5 children per woman, in 1986. The lowest fertility rate in the whole region of West Asia, North Africa, and the MENA region is recorded for Iran.

While 1,594,000 births were registered in the [Iranian calendar] year 1394 (March 2015-March 2016), the downward trend continued annually to the point that the number of births reached about one million in the [Iranian calendar] year 1399 (March 2020-March 2021).

In other words, the country lost more than 550,000 births in five years.

The fertility rate declined to 1.71 children in the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021), reaching below the replacement level, according to the report released by the Statistical Center of Iran.

Replacement level is the amount of fertility needed to keep the population the same from generation to generation. It refers to the total fertility rate that will result in a stable population without it increasing or decreasing.

Nicholas Eberstadt, the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), wrote in an article in July 2020 that the fertility rate in Iran has dropped by 70 percent over the past 30 years, which has been the highest decline in human history.

Seyed Hamed Barakati, deputy health minister for family and school population, said in May 2021 that Iran’s population growth rate has decreased to less than one percent for the first time over the past four decades.

Another population crisis that Iran is facing is aging.

Over the [Iranian calendar] year 1410 (March 2031-March 2032), the elderly population will reach 13.5 million people, which is 14 percent of the country’s population, and Iran will officially be an old country.

Currently, the elderly population is 9.2 million, which constitutes 7.10 percent of the country’s population.

The aging issue in Iran is very special from three perspectives, firstly, the fast pace of aging. Second, along with these very rapid quantitative changes, qualitative changes in aging such as feminization are happening.

The third feature of aging in Iran is that the progress in the field of health and nutrition has increased life expectancy, and besides, due to the decrease in the fertility rate, the infrastructure for the elderly population is not available in the country.


  • source : Tehrantimes