Ali Akbar Mahzoon

Iran’s Census Organization says couples must be encouraged to marry at a younger age in order to firm up the country’s population base.

Ali Akbar Mahzoon, the head of population and immigrant statistics at the Census Organization, told ISNA today, November 26, that marrying at a younger age and earlier child-bearing can repair the population structure and contribute to its growth and development.

“The higher the age of marriage, there is less chance of children, and couples usually end up making do with only one child or even give up on the idea of having a child,” Mahzoon told ISNA.

He stressed, however, that the economic infrastructure must be in place to accompany any incentives to increase child bearing.

“There must be solutions to allow women who marry and continue their education to also have the facilities to raise children,” the Census official said.

In recent months, the Islamic Republic authorities have scrapped all population-control programs that had been in place for decades in Iran, and even the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei apologized to the people for having instructed them in the past to bear fewer children.