At the turn of the twenty-first century, the Islamic Republic of Iran reached below-replacement level fertility and recent statistics have shown that many provinces, even in rural areas, are experiencing fertility at or below replacement. The rapid fall and attainment of such low levels of fertility in an Islamic context call for attention. This paper presents the phenomenal change of fertility which took place during the last two decades and discusses the pathways by which below-replacement fertility in the Islamic Republic of Iran has been achieved. The rise in age at marriage and reduction in desired family size have led to the concentration of childbearing into a much narrower range of ages. While the progression to the first birth has remained universal owing to social and familial values, declines in the progressions to the second and third order births contributed to low fertility in this country. Early cessation of childbearing raises policy issues in relation to the delivery of family planning and the role of women. The new generation of Iranian women is much more highly educated than previous generations. This is likely to create a demand for paid employment both before those women give birth for the first time and after the birth of their last child.
|Journal||Asia-Pacific Population Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|