Marriage Takes a Backseat

Marriage Takes a BackseatMarriage Takes a Backseat

The marriage rate for men above 35 years of age has increased to 10.4% from 9.4% two years earlier. In women above 30, the rate saw a 2% increase in the same period, reaching 14.5%.

At present, 152,000 individuals (62,000 men and 90,000 women) above 50 years are single; and 1.3 million (320,000 men and 980,000 women) above the conventional marriage age have never been married, says an article in Javan newspaper by Mohammad Reza Hadilou.

Despite the 750,000 registered marriages in the past 11 months, the National Organization for Civil Registration (NOCR) reports a significant decline in the past two years, parallel with an increase in divorce rates. First timers comprised 14,054 of the total registered marriages.

Negative marriage rates correlate with the shift in average age of marriage. Ali Akbar Mahzoun, head of Population and Immigration Information and Statistics at the NOCR quoted by IRNA, noted that “11.24 million adults in the standard marriage age group are single, of which 5.67 million are women.”

According to experts, the standard marriage age lies between 20-34 for men, and 15-29 for women respectively.


Economics, poverty, and social issues seem to influence divorce rates. The World Bank reports that Iran’s poverty index dropped to 11% in 2005. The bank said in 2012, 30% of urban and 40% of rural population struggled below the poverty line.  

“Nevertheless, recent lifestyle changes and individual choices among the younger generation are reaching a peak, neglecting family values, and the importance of dialogue between couples” said Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei, head of the State Welfare Organization (SWO).

Presently, the SWO is undertaking a “lifestyle and social harms” census, seeking to determine the latest poverty threshold, and prevalence of social harms.

Divorce rates have seen a dramatic rise with minor fluctuations in the past four years, starting in 2011-12 with 1.4% rise, followed by 2.5% in 2012-13, and jumping to a high of 4.3% in 2013-14; it is now 2.8% (2014-15).

Lower fertility rate in Iran corresponds with the declining marriage rates. Fertility rate has dropped by 36.1% since 1990, placing Iran below the global average.