This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Friday, May 19, 2017

Demographics of Iran's Election

As I write this, voters are at the polls in Iran for the presidential election there. The Economist's description of the supporters of the two candidates sounds not unlike what we saw in this country in terms of the Clinton and Trump contrasts:
Two clerics, both insiders since the first years of the 1979 Islamic revolution, are vying for the 56m votes being cast in today’s presidential race. Their campaigns have been as opposed as their black and white turbans. Appealing to the middle classes, Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent, has promised to open Iran to the West after years of sanctions. He also says he will improve civil liberties, particularly for women and Iran’s many ethnic and religious minorities. His rival, Ebrahim Raisi, is a former judge who has passed hundreds of death sentences, and who is tapping a large rural and working-class base with promises to boost subsidies and defend revolutionary values against a decadent West.
Keep in mind that almost three-fourths of Iran's population lives in urban places (which is where the middle classes tend to congregate), so the urban-rural demographic divide definitely works in Rouhani's favor. But, you would have thought the same with Hillary Clinton, in a country where more than 80 percent of the population lives in urban places. Of course, big city urban can be very different from small town urban, so voter turnout is expected to have an impact on Iran's election, as it did in the U.S. election. 

UPDATE: Rouhani did, indeed, win the election.

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