Iran's 14 point plan for population growth

Shannon Roberts
23 May 2014
Reproduced with Permission
Demography is Destiny

It is a new reality around the world that fertility is a government issue and children must now be encouraged in case we end up with none at all in generations to come (or not come).

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has recently released a 14 point policy to speed up the country's population growth and reverse its declining birth rate. He called for the different institutions of the country to implement the plans with "precision, speed and strength." In recent years the country has experienced one of the most steeply falling birth rates in the world (we recently wrote about Iran leading Muslim countries in fertility decline here ).

It is a sign of the times that countries such as Iran need to write a comprehensive plan to encourage people to have families - something that it was taken for granted their parents and grandparents would do. These are the 14 measures decided on:

The majority of these seem positive to me. However, it is hard to know how much the low birth rate culture is already engrained in Iran - as we have often discussed a culture of one or no children is a real problem in Japan and many other countries. It will be especially hard to turn such a culture around in Iran if jobs remain hard to find for young people there.

Will more countries need to start to come up with comprehensive plans such as that above? Without sounding communist, or completely undermining the law of property, it has sometimes struck me as slightly topsy turvy that the 'baby boomer' generation - at least in Western society - on the whole lives in large houses with empty nests, while many of their children are putting off having children because they simply do not have enough bedrooms and property prices are too high to afford large houses.

Is our financially independent family culture becoming unfriendly to families? Have cultures like Italy or China got it right where all members of the family are accommodated financially throughout life (with elderly parents also expecting care from family). Not to say that young people should feel no financial burden nor feel the responsibility to work hard. Another problem is the amount of time in one's 20's now spent studying meaning financial independence comes much later - and closer to the tail end of a woman's fertile years.

It will be interesting to see if these reforms make a difference to Iran.