Most Iranian Couples Want Only Two Kids

Most Iranian Couples Want Only Two KidsMost Iranian Couples Want Only Two Kids

A new poll says that 60% of young people in Iran are willing to have only two children at the most. The survey conducted by the Statistical Center of Iran sought to observe the emerging trends in family and the socio-economic reasons which shape young people’s preferences in the number of children they want. The national poll targeted prospective couples on the verge of marriage and married women between 15 and 49 years of age. The scale of the poll and the fact that it was carried out in collaboration with the health ministry and the United Nations Population Fund, makes it credible for population planning in the country.  

 Gender Difference

As for the number of children each person considered ‘ideal’, the average for men was 2.4 and for women it was 2.2, revealing a 0.2% difference between the sexes. Most of the youth who had reached the age of marriage (60.2%) said they would like to have two children with 14% saying that one child would be enough. A small 1% also stated they had no desire to have a child. The numbers were slightly different in urban and rural areas with the average number of children for urban youth being 2.2% and rural youth 2.5%. But only 9.8% of youth in rural areas said they would have one child versus 14.6% in urban settings, reports the Persian Shargh newspaper.

The average waiting period before having the first child was said to be 2.6 years among most of the surveyed youth and there was no disagreement between men and women. Twenty-five percent of the respondents said they would wait for 5 years before having a child, which is noteworthy given that marriage age has also risen in recent years. The average waiting period for having more kids was 3.9 years for men and 4.3 years for women, indicating that women think they should wait longer between childbirth.

The ideal marriage age, most respondents said, was 25.7 years for men and 21.3 for women. Surprisingly, 18% considered the right marriage age to be between 30 and 39. Female respondents wanted marriage at a later age than men and rural respondents tended to support a lower age for marriage than city dwellers.


According to the poll, 31.7% thought that having more than 2 children leaves them vulnerable to the criticism of others and 18% believed that the educational progress of women is more important than child bearing.

Eighty-five percent of the youth reckoned that having children helps them become more serious in marital responsibilities and over 77% thought that life without children would be ‘’cold’’ and ‘’soulless’’ while 71% said families who are blessed with children are happier than childless couples.

On the other hand, young people said ‘’fear of the future’’ prevents them from deciding to have children and 52% mentioned high costs of living as the reason that discourages them from starting a family.