It added that the figure exceeds the estimates envisioned by the Third Five-Year Development Plan (March 2000-2005).
Repatriation of Afghan refugees and migration of Iranian have contributed to the reduction of the population growth rate, the MPO stated.
The total population of the country was put at 66,680 million in the last Iranian year (ended March 19), "which is 400,000 lower than the estimates of the third development plan."
The population's mean and median age has also gradually dropped, the report added.
Along with lower age of the population, youth unemployment remains one of the biggest challenges for national planners.
A report commissioned by the MPO and Iran Youth Organization (IYO) released here in November predicted that if the annual unemployment rate of 13.2 percent holds up then the jobless rate among 15-29 age group will reach 52 percent within two years.
It added currently over 31 percent of the 15 to 29 years old are unemployed. The current unemployment rate in the age brackets 15-19 and 20-24 years is 34 percent and for 25-29 years the figure stands at 16 percent.
In 1996-1997 the jobless rate stood at 14.8 percent among the 15 to 29 year group increasing to 27.5 percent in the Iranian year ending March 20, 2001.
"On the average the unemployment rate was 13.2 percent during the period," the report added.
The report further cautions on adverse implications for the country given the importance of youth employment in shaping trends in the domestic economy and the expected wave of new entries in the below 30-year age group in the job market in the next few years.
In August, Iran and the United Nations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to resolve the problem of youth unemployment in the country, said the head of IYO.
... Payvand News - 1/17/05 ... --