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Fertility Rate by Country

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Fertility Rates around the World

As one aspect of a nation's demographic health, understanding fertility rates is crucial. More than just numbers, fertility rates often reflect the interdependent trends of economic stability, gender equality, quality-of-life, and healthcare access. In an attempt to make sense of this complex picture and analyze fertility rate variation across different elements of a population, experts often turn to the Total Fertility Rate (TFR). This is a synthetic measure that represents the average number of children a woman would potentially have over her lifetime.

Key findings from the data include: 

  • With a fertility rate of 1.7, the United States ranks in the lower third of the countries analyzed. This rate is significantly below the replacement rate of 2.1, the rate at which a generation can replace itself.
  • Nations with high fertility rates are primarily in Africa, with Niger at the top with a rate of 6.9. Factors contributing to the high fertility rates in these countries include cultural customs, lack of contraceptive use, and high desired family size.
  • Countries with the lowest fertility rates, including South Korea with an average of 1.0, share characteristics such as higher education levels, greater urbanization, and increased female workforce participation.
  • In comparison to the other developed countries, the United States' fertility rate is similar, falling closely in line with the rate in Germany and the United Kingdom which records the rate of 1.6 and 1.7 respectively. 
  • The disparity between countries with high and low fertility rates is striking, showing the impacts of different societal, economic, and cultural factors on fertility behavior globally.

Countries with Highest Fertility Rate

The country with the highest total fertility rate is Niger with a remarkably high number of 6.9 children per woman. Following closely behind is both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali, with a fertility rate of 5.9 children per woman in each. The fourth-highest country is Chad with a fertility rate of 5.7 children per woman. Another country with a comparably high fertility rate is Angola with an average of 5.5 children per woman. Nigeria and Burundi both have fertility rates of 5.4 children per woman, ranking them sixth-highest on the list. Following suit are Burkina Faso and Gambia with fertility rates at 5.2 children per woman. Lastly, Uganda holds a fertility rate of 5.0 children per woman. This list represents the countries with the most children per woman, indicating strong population growth. 

10 Countries with the Highest Total Fertility Rates:

  1. Niger - 6.9 
  2. DR Congo - 5.9 
  3. Mali - 5.9 
  4. Chad - 5.7 
  5. Angola - 5.5 
  6. Nigeria - 5.4 
  7. Burundi - 5.4 
  8. Burkina Faso - 5.2
  9. Gambia - 5.2 
  10. Uganda - 5.0

Countries with Lowest Fertility Rate

The countries with the lowest Fertility Rates are predominantly from Asia and Europe. Leading the list is South Korea, with the lowest fertility rate of 1.0. This implies that, on average, a woman in South Korea is expected to bear one child in her lifetime. Following closely is Singapore and Hong Kong, both reporting a fertility rate of 1.1.

Further down the list we see countries like Malta and Macao, each with a fertility rate of 1.2. Andorra, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, and Ukraine are countries with fertility rates of 1.3, exhibiting a similar trend in bearing fewer children. 

The ten countries with the lowest fertility rate, are:

  1. South Korea - 1.0
  2. Singapore - 1.1
  3. Hong Kong - 1.1
  4. Malta - 1.2
  5. Macau - 1.2
  6. Andorra - 1.3
  7. Cyprus - 1.3
  8. Bosnia and Herzegovina - 1.3
  9. Moldova - 1.3
  10. Ukraine - 1.3

By Country

Full Data Set

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