Population Size Estimates of Street Children in Iran: Synthesis of Multiple Methods

  • Meroe Vameghi
  • Payam Roshanfekr
  • Delaram Ali
  • Mehdi Noroozi
  • Saied Madani
  • Willi McFarland
  • Ali MirzazadehEmail author


We used four methods (direct count, indirect count, wisdom of the crowd, and unique object multiplier) to map and estimate the population size of street children in six major cities in Iran in 2017. In aggregate for the six cities, the number of street children was estimated at 5296 (interquartile range [IQR] 4122-7071) using the median of the four methods. This corresponds to a rate of 16.3 (IQR 12.5–24.5) per 10,000 children age 5–18 years old, or 3.2 (IQR 2.4–5.3) per 10,000 total population. The total number for street children in the country is estimated at 26,000 (IQR 20,239–34,719) children. Results can help policy-makers advocate for resources, plan programs, and evaluate the reach of programs for street children. The maps created through the course of the population size estimation exercise can also guide outreach efforts to provide street children with health and social welfare services.


Street children Population size estimation Iran Mapping 



We wish to thank the non-governmental organizations and provincial supervisors in six study sites for their help in data collection and monitoring. The study was funded by the Center for Prevention Development and Addiction Treatment of the State Welfare Organization of Iran and the University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences. We wish to acknowledge support we received for analysis and writing this paper from the University of California, San Francisco’s International Traineeships in AIDS Prevention Studies (ITAPS), U.S. NIMH, R25MH064712.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Welfare Management Research CenterUniversity of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation SciencesTehranIran
  2. 2.Social Determinants of Health Research CenterUniversity of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute for Global Health SciencesUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.HIV/STI Surveillance Research Center, and WHO Collaborating Center for HIV SurveillanceKerman University of Medical SciencesKermanIran

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