NEWS FROM EARTH POLICY INSTITUTE
From : Alexei Drozdov 2:5030/463.5 02 Jan 02 19:51:45
Hе знаю, как у Вас с английским, но вот интересная заметка на тему
демографии. Это не учебник, но кое-что там понять можно о сложных связях,
которые определяют возможности и невозможности проведения разумной
Всего хорошего, ASK
NEWS FROM EARTH POLICY INSTITUTE.
Eco-Economy Successes & Setbacks
Copyright 2001 Earth Policy Institute
For Immediate Release
December 28, 2001
IRAN'S BIRTH RATE PLUMMETING AT RECORD PACE:
Success Provides a Model for Other Developing Countries
Iran's population growth rate dropped from an all-time high of 3.2 percent
in 1986 to just 1.2 percent in 2001, one of the fastest drops ever
recorded. In reducing its population growth to 1.2 percent, a rate only
slightly higher than that of the United States, Iran has emerged as a
model for other countries that want to accelerate the shift to smaller
Historically, family planning in Iran has had its ups and downs. The
nation's first family planning policy, introduced in 1967 under Shah Reza
Pahlavi, aimed to accelerate economic growth and improve the status of
women by reforming divorce laws, encouraging female employment, and
acknowledging family planning as a human right.
Unfortunate ly, this promising initiative was reversed in 1979 at the
beginning of the decade-long Islamic Revolution led by Shiite Muslim
spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomeini. During this period, family planning
programs were seen as undue western influences and were dismantled. Health
officials were ordered not to advocate contraception. During Iran's war
with Iraq between 1980 and 1988, a large population was viewed as a
comparative advantage, and Khomeini pushed procreation to bolster the
ranks of "soldiers for Islam," aiming for "an army of 20 million."
This strong pronatalist stance led to an annual population growth rate of
well over 3 percent. United Nations data show Iran's population doubling
from 27 million in 1968 to 55 million in 1988. (See figure
During postwar reconstruction in the late 1980s, the economy faltered.
Severe job shor tages plagued overcrowded and polluted cities. Iran's
rapid population growth was finally seen as an obstacle to development.
Receptive to the nation's problems, Ayatollah Khomeini reopened dialogue
on the subject of birth control. By December 1989, Iran had revived its
national family planning program. Its principal goals were to encourage
women to wait three to four years between pregnancies, to discourage
childbearing for women younger than 18 or older than 35, and to limit
family size to three children.
In May of 1993, the Iranian government passed a national family planning
law that encouraged couples to have fewer children by restricting
maternity leave benefits after three children. It also called for the
Ministries of Education, of Culture and Higher Education, and of Health
and Medical Education to incorporate information on population, family
planning, and mother and child health care in curriculum materials. The
Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance was told to allow the media to
raise awareness of population issues and family planning programs, and
the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting was entrusted with broadcasting
such information. Money saved on reduced maternity leave funds these
>From 1986 to 2001, Iran's total fertility-the average number of children
born to a woman in her lifetime-plummeted from seven to less than three.
The United Nations projects that by 2010 total fertility will drop to two,
which is replacement-level fertility.
Strong government support has facilitated Iran's demographic transition.
Under the current president, Mohammad Khatami, the government covers 80
percent of family planning costs. A comprehensive health network made up
of mobile clinics and 15,000 "health houses" provides family planning and
health services to four fifths of Iran's rural population. Almost all of
these health care centers were established after 1990. Because family
planning is integrated with primar y health care, there is little stigma
attached to modern contraceptives.
Religious leaders have become involved with the crusade for smaller
families, citing them as a social responsibility in their weekly sermons.
They also have issued fatwas, religious edicts with the strength of court
orders, that permit and encourage the use of all types of contraception,
including permanent male and female sterilization-a first among Muslim
countries. Birth control, including the provision of condoms, pills, and
sterilization, is free.
One of the strengths of Iran's promotion of family planning is the
involvement of men. Iran is the only country in the world that requires
both men and women to take a class on modern contraception before
receiving a marriage license. And it is the only country in the region
with a government-sanctioned condom factory. In the past four years, some
220,000 Iranian men have had a vasectomy. While vasectomies still account
for only 3 percent of contraceptio n, compared with female sterilization
at 28 percent, men nonetheless are assuming more responsibility for family
Rising literacy and a national communications infrastructure are
facilitating progress in family planning. The literacy rate for adult
males increased from 48 percent in 1970 to 84 percent in 2000, nearly
doubling in 30 years. Female literacy climbed even faster, rising from
less than 25 percent in 1970 to more than 70 percent. Meanwhile, school
enrollment grew from 60 to 90 percent. And by 1996, 70 percent of rural
and 93 percent of urban households had televisions, allowing family
planning information to be spread widely through the media.
As one of 17 countries already facing absolute water scarcity, Iran's
decision to curb its rapid population growth has helped alleviate
unfolding water shortages exacerbated by the severe drought of the past
three years. An estimated 37 million people, more than half the
population, do not have enough water.
The lack of water for irrigation has helped push Iran's wheat imports to
6.5 million tons in 2001, well above the 5.8 million tons of Japan,
traditionally the world's leading importer. Total grain production dropped
steeply between 1998 and 2000, from 17 million to 10 million tons, largely
because of the drought. The grain area harvested has decreased steadily
since 1993, rapidly shrinking grain production per person.
Dwindling per capita arable land and water supplies reinforce the need for
population stabilization through forward-thinking family planning
programs. Had the Iranian population maintained its 1986 growth rate of
3.2 percent, it would have doubled by 2008, topping 100 million instead of
the projected 78 million.
Because almost 40 percent of Iran's population is under the age of 15,
population momentum is strong and growth in the immediate future is
inevitable. To keep growth rates low, Iran needs to continue emphasizing
the social value of smaller families.
Among the keys to Iran's fertility transition are universal access to
health care and family planning, a dramatic rise in female literacy,
mandatory premarital contraceptive counseling for couples, men's
participation in family planning programs, and strong support from
religious leaders. While Iran's population policies and health care
infrastructure are unique, its land and water scarcity are not. Other
developing countries with fast-growing populations can profit by following
Iran's lead in promoting population stability.
# # #
Additional data and information sources at http://www.earth-policy.org or
contact firstname.lastname@example.org For reprint permissions contact
For more information on stabilizing population by reducing fertility, see
chapter 10 of Eco-Economy: Building an Economy for the Earth.