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  •  Some decades ago, it was assumed that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Denise Oliver Velez, Ahianne

    countries would not go through the so-called demographic transition from 7 or even 8 births per fertile woman to about 2.3, which is roughly replacement, until they became prosperous. This supposed that poor people treat children as an investment in the family work force, and in particular as a resource for support in old age.

    It turns out quite otherwise. The birth rate falls roughly in proportion as girls are educated and birth control becomes available. Many quite poor countries are half-way through their transitions, down to 4 births per fertile woman or better. A number of countries are below replacement fertility.

    You can see lists and maps at the links given above showing the status of each country. I can also recommend the graphs at GapMinder, where you can plot birth rates against any other economic and social measure in their database. They have a free documentary about population that you can view on their site, with lots more information than I can give here.

    Another measure is Crude Birth Rate, so-called because it does not take any account of the comparison with death rates. The CBR has come down from an estimated 37.2 in 1950 to 19.4 today, and is projected to reach 13.4 by 2050, which is close to global replacement.

    It seems likely that the birth rate will go below replacement after that, unless societies decide to provide incentives for slightly larger families. There is no consensus on a desirable global population level.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 11:13:18 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

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