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Are Reproductive Rates Sustaining National Populations?

Reproductive rates are not sustaining national populations in 83 countries, according to United Nations demographics studies. This is because the average woman in those countries has fewer than about 2.0 children, which means that a group of 100 women in those countries is likely to give birth to fewer than 100 girls, resulting in a population decline from one generation to the next. If fertility rates remain the same, then the populations of Japan, Germany, Russia, Italy and Spain will all completely decline by the end of the next millennium. The population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is projected to be the first to reach zero, around the year 2600, followed by Macau and Malta.

More facts about populations:

  • The country with the highest fertility rate is Niger, which has an average of a little more than seven children per woman. In fact, the top 26 countries in terms of fertility rate are all in Africa.

  • Rich Asian nations are among the lowest in terms of fertility. Increasing numbers of Asian women are marrying later and having children later, if they have them at all.

  • China had a population of more than 1.3 billion people as of 2011, but its population was projected to decline to zero by the year 3500, if its current fertility rate does not change.

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