News: Iranian society

Iran's population tops 70 million

Written by Staff Writer on .

TEHRAN (AFP) - Iran's population stands at 70 million although its growth has slowed over the past decade, according to the results of a 2006 nationwide census published on Tuesday.

The head of Iran Statistics Centre, Mohammad Madad, said the population of Iran is 70.47 million, with 103 women for every 104 men.

Iran's population growth rate in the past 10 years was put at 1.61 percent, showing a 0.35 percent drop from the decade before. Around 60.5 percent of Iranians are under 30 years old.

After the Islamic revolution of 1979, Iran's leaders actively encouraged families to help create a booming Iranian population, spurred on by the human losses of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

However under the presidency of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani from 1989-1997, families were encouraged to limit themselves to two children as Iran found there were not enough jobs in the economy for its growing population.

However Iran still faces problems with youth unemployment, especially in urban areas. The census put the number of unemployed at about three million and said 68.5 percent of the population lived in urban areas.

Madad said the overall literacy rate stood at 84 percent and 80 percent for women.