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Iran is among the few countries in Central Asia and the Middle East which has completed its demographic transition. As a result of declining fertility, the working-age population (ages 15 to 64) grew, to 71 percent in 2015—offering the country a time-limited “demographic window of opportunity” and positioning it to harness its 1st and 2nd Demographic Dividend (DD). The working age population is expected to remain the major age group until around 2050 when the one-time demographic window of opportunity starts closing, and country will face rapid population ageing.

The demographic window of opportunity will not automatically turn into the demographic dividend, without special attention, adequate understanding about the impact of changing age structure on socio-economic development as well as appropriate and timely evidence-based policies and programmes. In this context, the transition in the age structure of Iran’s population, the dominance of the age group 15-64, as well as the existing demand for economic growth calls for increasing knowledge on the capacities of unique demographic prolife of the country, with special attention to the health and Reproductive Health (RH), education and skills as well as economic participation and employment of working age population, in particular youth and women.

The PD outputs of the CP on the demographic dividend aims at advocacy for developing sound evidence on the importance of existing demographic structure, and its impact on socio-economic growth by utilizing the first demographic dividend, and pave the way to the second demographic dividend when a significant proportion of the population will be over sixty years old and above.

Considering the current demographic profile and trends of the country, as well as national priorities, UNFPA CO in collaboration with relevant national partners will also support Government’s efforts for: (a) generation of disaggregated data and analysis, as well as dissemination and utilization; (b) development of sound and relevant policy papers; (c) strengthening civil registration and vital statistics systems; (d) establishment of inter-sectoral mechanisms to maximize demographic dividend toward equitable economic growth resulting in, among others, greater opportunities for all; and (e) formulation of evidence-based population related programmes and action plans.