TEHRAN – Above that [Iranian calendar] Year 1410 (March 2031-March 2032), the elderly population will reach 13.5 million people, accounting for 14 percent of the country’s population, and Iran will officially be an ancient country.
Currently, the elderly population is 9.2 million, accounting for 7.10 percent of the country’s population.
The aging problem in Iran is very special from three points of view, first because of the rapid aging. Second, along with these very rapid quantitative changes, there are also qualitative changes of aging such as feminization.
The third feature of aging in Iran is that advances in health and nutrition have increased life expectancy and also due to the decline in fertility rate, infrastructure for the elderly population in the country is unavailable.
“We failed to seize the opportunity of Iran’s open demographic window, where the productive forces aged 14 to 65 accounted for more than two-thirds and the underrecruited force less than two-thirds, to repair the economic situation and the infrastructure that is necessary to support to address the problem of aging so that economic problems multiply,” said Hesamoddin Allameh, secretary of the National Council of the Elderly.
He made the comments on the occasion of International Day of Older People.
On December 14, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 1st as International Day of Older Persons.
This year’s theme is “Resilience of older people in a changing world”.
In 2032, when about 14 percent of Iran’s population will age, Iran will officially be included in the list of countries for the elderly. Now 16 percent of Gilan province’s population is older and it is the oldest province in Iran.
He complained that the now bankrupt pension funds would come under additional pressure due to the high number of pensioners.
“Due to the increase in divorce, persistent celibacy, increase in infertile couples, increase in childless couples, increase in couples who have decided not to have children or have only one child, we will seriously address the phenomenon of single seniors.
Therefore, there is no one to take care of the elderly, and as a result, we need many nursing homes or are forced to expand domestic models and day-care centers,” he explained.
Due to the fact that there is no national organization for the elderly and due to the lack of infrastructure, the consequences of the crisis of the elderly population seriously threaten the country, he regretted.
“We need a comprehensive Elderly Rights Bill that lists the rights of the elderly and the responsibilities of the institutions,” he concluded.
Iran’s life expectancy index higher than the global average
The average life expectancy is around 72, 74 and 76 years, which is higher than the global average, said Mohammad Raeiszadeh, head of the Medical Council of Iran.
Life expectancy index is important to evaluate the country’s health status which currently ranks well in Iran.
In 1979, life expectancy in the country was 55 years, below the world average. The world norm at that time was 58 and 59 years. In 1990 it reached almost 65 years and is currently above the world average.
According to demographers, industrialized countries are increasing their life expectancy by reducing mortality among older people. But in developing countries like Africa, improvements in life expectancy are achieved through falling infant mortality.
Today, the country’s fertility rate has reached about 1.6 children per woman, but in 1986 it was 6.5 children per woman. The lowest fertility rate in the entire West Asia, North Africa and MENA region is recorded for Iran.
While 1,594,000 births have been registered in the [Iranian calendar] In 1394 (March 2015-March 2016) the downward trend continued annually until the number of births per year reached about one million [Iranian calendar] Year 1399 (March 2020-March 2021).
In other words, the country has lost more than 550,000 births in five years.
The fertility rate has dropped to 1.71 children in the past [Iranian calendar] year (March 2020-March 2021) and is below the replacement level according to the report published by the Statistics Center of Iran.
The reproductive level is the amount of fertility required to keep the population the same from generation to generation. It refers to the total fertility rate resulting in a stable population without increasing or decreasing.
Nicholas Eberstadt, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), wrote in a July 2020 article that Iran’s fertility rate had fallen by 70 percent over the past 30 years, the sharpest decline in the history of the United States Mankind.
Seyed Hamed Barakati, deputy health minister for families and school populations, said in May 2021 that Iran’s population growth rate fell to less than one percent for the first time in four decades.