Growing Up in Iran: Tough times for the Revolution's Children

Iranians born in the early years of the Islamic revolution are reaching their late 20s, but many in this generation will have to wait several more years before they can fully participate in the social and economic life of the country. Better educated than their predecessors, the revolutionís children must wait years to get their first job and they lack the means to form a family. For young men aged twenty to twenty-nine, fewer than three in four have jobs, only two in five are married, and nearly three-quarters still live with their parents. Young women are in an even worse situation: nearly half are unemployed, three in five are married, and close to half live with their parents. These conditions have led to the social exclusion of youth, robbing them of hope in their future and that of their country.
Two reasons are usually offered for why youth transitions to adulthood are particularly difficult for this generation of Iranians. The first reason is the youth bulge. The population of youth, defined here as the age group between 15 and 29 years old, is the largest in Iranís history at 25 million people, and it has been growing at more than 5 percent per year, twice the growth rate of the total population. Individuals belonging to this group generally do not fare as well in the labor market as adults. They find it harder to find work and their earnings tend to be lower. The difficulties that this

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