Growing old before they grow rich, the culture that is Iran

Mass-produced condoms reached Iranians, as a month’s supply of birth control cost the equivalent of 10 cents in 1992. The birth rate dropped precipitously, now reportedly standing at 1.8 children per couple with a population of some 77 million people. Experts now say that drive might have been too successful, estimating that Iran’s population growth could reach zero in the next 20 years if the trend is not reversed.

The story is here.  Government clinics are no longer supplying vasectomy operations, but it remains to be seen if this trend can be stopped or reversed.  Unemployment, job insecurity, inflation, and the cost of housing are all cited as factors behind the low fertility rate, but it is unclear that even economic improvement will put such trends in reverse.  You will recall from Singapore that economic improvement can drive or keep down birth rates for its own reasons.


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