The Seattle Times

Ebrahim Noroozi / The Associated Press

Monday, January 6, 2014

Iran wants to reverse birthrate before it hits zero

An Iranian woman holds her child at the Mofid Children’s Hospital in Tehran last week. Two decades of effort to limit birthrates may have been too successful, experts say, and now authorities are encouraging Iranians to have larger families to make up for a graying of the population. But factors discouraging Iranians from parenthood include an economy weakened by Western sanctions, with high unemployment, a 36 percent inflation rate and a shortage of housing.