Category: niger

Visualizing the World’s Plummeting Fertility Rate

This post is by Pallavi Rao from Visual Capitalist

A line chart tracing the world's falling fertility rates to 2.3 in 2020 along with a heatmap of countries with higher (darker) or lower (lighter) fertility rates

Visualizing the World’s Plummeting Fertility Rate

At the dawn of the 19th century, the world population hit a big milestone: 1 billion people.

Over the next 220 years, the number grew to eight times that, or the 8 billion people who live on the planet today, with half of the growth occurring since 1975.

This continuous climb in global population has been possible thanks to advancements in healthcare and nutrition. However, the UN forecasts that rapid growth will slow down—and may even stop entirely by 2100—because of falling fertility rates.

What does that mean for modern nation states conditioned to expect a constant influx of new citizens and labor to power their economies? And how can those changing economies adapt to a shrinking population?

To understand that, we need to first untangle fertility rates, and why they’re falling.

Explained: Fertility and Replacement Rates

The total fertility rate is the average number of births per woman over a lifetime. This measurement makes two key assumptions, however:

  • The woman will live to the end of her childbearing years
  • The woman will bear children according to the age-specific fertility rates currently observed

Both assumptions add some uncertainty to future fertility rate projections. However, decades of past data collected by the World Bank help show some overall trends around the world, and in many countries.

ℹ The age-specific fertility rate (ASFR) “measures the annual number of births to women of a specified age or age group per 1,000 women in that age group,” according (Read more...)

Charted: The Global Decline of Fertility Rates

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

Chart showing the change in global fertility rates since 1951

Charted: The Global Decline of Fertility Rates

Over the last 50 years, fertility rates have dropped drastically around the world. In 1952, the average global family had five children—now, they have less than three.

This graphic by Pablo Alvarez uses tracked fertility rates from Our World in Data to show how rates have evolved (and largely fallen) over the past decades.

What’s The Difference Between Fertility Rates and Birth Rates?

Though both measures relate to population growth, a country’s birth rate and fertility rate are noticeably different:

  • Birth Rate: The total number of births in a year per 1,000 individuals.
  • Fertility Rate: The total number of births in a year per 1,000 women of reproductive age in a population.

As such, the fertility rate is a more specific measure, which as Britannica highlights, “allows for more efficient and beneficial planning and resource allocation.” Not including immigration, a given area needs an overall total fertility rate of 2.1 to keep a stable population.

Global Fertility Rates since 1952

For the last half-century, fertility rates have steadily decreased worldwide. Here’s a look at the average number of children per woman since 1952:

YearAverage # of children per family% change (y-o-y)
19665.0 (Read more...)