1. Two-thirds of Iran is under 35 years old.
They are two-thirds of Iran’s population and over half the electorate.
They put new President Hassan Rouhani into office. Now they’re his biggest headache, as he has to deliver on his promises and their hopes.
2. They love rap music.
Ayatollah Khomeini banned all music as “Westoxication.” But for the young today, rap is the rhythm of dissent.
Hip-hop artists hold back little in warnings to the regime, as Yas, Iran’s leading hip-hop artist, defiantly rapped:
“Listen to my words and see the agonies I suffered
What my generation has seen, made our tears fall
Those without such pains — how they saw ours,
They became even more cruel, what a pity for our land!”
3. They’re in no hurry to get married.
The median age in Iran is 27, but vast numbers can’t afford to marry or move out of their parents’ homes.
One-third of females and half of males between 20 and 34 are now unmarried, according to the Statistical Center of Iran.
4. They’re well educated.
Literacy has almost doubled since the revolution — to over 95%, even among females.
Iran won a United Nations award for reducing the gender gap (thought things are still far from equal). So the young are among the best educated and most skilled in the Middle East.
5. Like their Western counterparts, young adults in Iran struggle with joblessness.
One of the theocracy’s biggest successes — the boom of post-revolution babies — is now a vulnerability, as the economy can’t absorb the influx of young, well-educated workers.
Officially, up to 30% of the young are jobless; unofficially, it may be closer to 50%. Iran’s new president acknowledged in June that 4 million university graduates were jobless.