Iran’s population up, marriage rate down, divorce rising at an "alarming" rate

According to Iran’s National Organisation for Civil Registration, the country’s marriage rate dropped considerably in the past year, confirming a trend that started in the late 2000s. The average marriage age rose from 18 in the 1980s to 23 in 2018. The population grew by 4.7 per cent over 2016, reaching 83.75 million.


Tehran (AsiaNews) – Iran’s National Organisation for Civil Registration (NOCR) has just released its latest vital statistics showing some alarming trends. Whilst the population continues to grow, the marriage rate is down, a situation compounded by a rising divorce rate.

Last year’s figures confirmed a trend that began in the late 2000s. Alireza Sajedi, head of NOCR's Vital Statistics Analysis Group, is quoted as saying that his agency “registered 550,565 marriages in (Iranian calendar year) 1397 (March 2018-March 2019) across Iran, which shows a nearly 9 per cent drop, compared with 1396.”

Last year, reports the Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), the authorities issued a "red alert" in relation to the country’s marriage and divorce situation.

In ten years (2008-2017), the divorce rate went from one in eight marriages to one in three. Two divorces were registered for every thousand people in 2017, three for every thousand in Tehran.

Sajedi also noted that the average age of marriage in 2018 was 23, against 18 in the early 1980s.

In 1396 (March 2017-March 2018), the highest divorce rate was among women aged 15-19 (29.84 per cent) and men aged 20-24 (23.5 per cent). Overall for women, the highest rate of divorce (40 per cent) was among those in their 20s; for men, for those in their 30s.

More generally, the population (as of September 2019) grew by 4.7 per cent since the previous census three years ago. This puts Iran’s population at 83.75 million with a stable growth a million per year, a report by the Statistical Centre of Iran (SCI) indicates.

The SCI survey found that population growth is essentially urban, especially in the largest cities. Rural areas reported no increase over the same period. At present, Iran’s rural population is around 21 million people or a quarter of the total, the same as three years ago. in 1979 when the Islamic Revolution occurred, half of the population lived in the countryside.

The median household spending by rural families in Iran in the year ending in March 2019 was nearly US,900 per family whilst average income stood at US,000. By contrast, urban households spent around ,500 on average over the same period, with a median income at more than ,800.

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