Total Fertility Rate 2019

The vast majority of the countries in the world with the highest fertility rates are in Africa, with Niger topping the list at 7.153 children per woman, followed by Somalia at 6.123 children per woman. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Chad follow at 5.963, 5.922 and 5.797 children per woman, respectively. The North African country of Tunisia has the lowest fertility rate on the continent at 2.147 children per woman – a figure that puts it roughly in the middle of the two hundred countries listed.

The Southeast Asian island nation of Timor-Leste also makes it into the top ten, with a fertility rate of 5.337 children per woman, while other island nations, such as Sao Tome and Principe (4.361 children per woman) and the Solomon Islands (3.77 children per woman) are also within the top fifty countries with the highest fertility rates. In Europe, Ireland and France have the highest fertility rates (at 1.98 and 1.852 children per woman), while the United States averages 1.886 children per woman.

Two of the most densely populated countries in the world – China and India – have fertility rates on the lower end of the scale. At 2.303 children per woman, India ranks at number 94 on the list, while China is much lower at 1.635 children per woman. However, both of these figures are likely to be affected by government policies and cultural expectations around reproduction in these countries. Taiwan has the lowest fertility rate in the world at 1.218 children per woman, closely followed by Moldova and Portugal, where there are, on average, 1.23 and 1.241 children per woman.

The fertility rate of a country is a figure that reflects the number of children a woman would give birth to under two conditions: the woman were to experience age-specific fertility rates and if the woman were to survive through her reproductive child-bearing years. Statistically, this means ages 15 to 44, or in some cases, ages 15 to 49.

The fertility rate isn’t a measure of how many children each woman in a specific area has. Instead, it’s based on the average number that a woman could potentially have. This is also known as “total fertility rate.”

The highest fertility rates are found in countries located in Africa. Based on World Bank data from 2017, the highest fertility rate can be found in Niger, where the rate is 7.2. Somalia has the next highest fertility rate of 6.2. The Democratic Republic of Congo comes in third place with a fertility rate of 6.0.

Other nations with high fertility rates include:

All fertility rates on the list above are at or above 5.0.

Looking at the data from another angle, the countries and dependencies with the lowest fertility rates are the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, and Puerto Rico, each of which have a fertility rate of 1.1. Singapore and Moldova also have low rates at just 1.2.

Other nations with low fertility rates are:

These nations are just a few that fall below the worldwide fertility rate of 2.4.

Nigeria ranks number 8 in the world, with a fertility rate of 5.4 children per woman. The relatively high fertility rate in Nigeria, according to a paper published by the UN, can be attributed to a low use of contraception, early and universal marriage, the high child mortality rate, early child bearing and child bearing within much of the reproductive life span, and high social values placed on child bearing. Nigeria’s fertility rate has decreased from 6.35 in 1960 to 5.4 in 2019.

The fertility rate in Europe is relatively low, with no country above 2.0 and has declined in recent years. There are several factors that could drive this trend, including socioeconomic incentives to delay child bearing, a decline in the desired number of children, lack of child care and changing gender roles. The highest fertility rate is in Ireland at 1.98, and the lowest in Europe is Moldova at 1.23 The European population replacement rate is 2.1 births per woman, a fertility rate that no European country currently has.

The fertility rate in France is 1.852, and has been steadily declining the past several years. France was once known for, and proud of, having the highest fertility rates in Europe, and the decreasing fertility rate has caused concern for France. They have since prioritized incentives for having children, such as subsidized daycare, special discounts, and cash support payments to families.

Afghanistan’s fertility rate used to be one of the highest in the world at 8.0 in the 1990s. The country’s current fertility rate is 4.55; just over half of what it was in the 1990s. This is like because of more Afghan women receiving and education and getting jobs. After the Taliban was ousted from Afghanistan, NATO countries provided aid that helped fund schools, family planning services and birth control. Additionally, infant mortality rates have also plummeted.

The highest fertility rate in Europe is Ireland’s at 1.98. This rate, however, is still below the population replacement level of 2.1 births per woman. One reason for a decreasing fertility rate in Ireland is the average age of first-time mothers, which is 30.3 years old. Two possible factors that could contribute to the decreased fertility rate in Ireland are the lack of flexible work options and the high childcare costs. These factors are causing women to sacrifice making a family for their careers.

In Italy, the declining fertility rate is causing concern, as it currently sits at 1.33. The average age for first-time mothers in Italy is 31 years old, the highest in Europe. A large reason that women in Italy are not having children is because they are not financially ready to raise a child, and the government doesn’t help with the cost of childcare. The low fertility rate combined with a longer life expectancy has left Italy with a significantly older population (a median age of 45.9 years compared to Europe’s median of 42.8 years).

Although Pakistan’s fertility rate is not among the highest, at 3.55, it is still causing alarm as the country’s population has been growing at a rapid rate and depleting the country’s resources. The rate at which the population is growing has already caused the overcrowding of schools, clinics, and poor communities across Pakistan and is like attributed to a lack of family planning and birth control, among other religious and political influence.

Norway is another European country experiencing falling fertility rates, at 1.68 children per woman. An important factor in Norway for the decrease in childbirths is the increasing age for first-time mothers, which sits at an average of 29.5 years. Additionally, there are fewer larger families. This will harm Norway in the long term, as there will be fewer people of working age to pay the taxes that fund Norway’s welfare systems. Norway is exploring options to encourage childbirth, such as paying a mother in pension savings for each child born.

The worldwide fertility rate is around 2.4 children per woman. This rate is approximately half of what it was in 1950 (4.7) and more economically developed countries have lower rates, such as Australia, most of Europe and South Korea. There are three main factors that have been credited for a decrease in the global fertility rate: fewer deaths in childhood, greater access and use of contraception, and more women are getting an education and joining the workforce. The lower fertility rate can be seen as a good thing for many countries, especially those experiencing overpopulation.

The population replacement rate, the fertility rate needed to maintain a society’s population size, is 2.1 children per woman. Countries with fertilities rates below this number may experience an overall older demographic and a decrease in population size over time.

Rank Country Fertility Rate
1Niger7.153
2Somalia6.123
3Mali5.922
4Chad5.797
5Angola5.589
6Burundi5.577
7Uganda5.456
8Nigeria5.417
9Gambia5.318
10Burkina Faso5.231
11Mozambique5.143
12Tanzania4.924
13Zambia4.901
14Benin4.867
15Ivory Coast4.811
16Central African Republic4.754
17Guinea4.738
18South Sudan4.736
19Senegal4.647
20Cameroon4.603
21Mauritania4.576
22Republic Of The Congo4.561
23Equatorial Guinea4.554
24Malawi4.492
25Liberia4.481
26Sudan4.434
27Afghanistan4.412
28Togo4.35
29Sierra Leone4.319
30Iraq4.266
31Comoros4.237
32Madagascar4.109
33Eritrea4.027
34Ethiopia4.025
35Palestine3.91
36Samoa3.903
37Ghana3.893
38Yemen3.837
39Rwanda3.781
40Kenya3.774
41Solomon Islands3.77
42Mayotte3.729
43Gabon3.68
44Zimbabwe3.626
45Papua New Guinea3.588
46Kiribati3.584
47Tonga3.576
48Pakistan3.377
49Namibia3.311
50Tajikistan3.28
51Jordan3.264
52Vanuatu3.222
53Egypt3.155
54Micronesia3.076
55Swaziland3.014
56Lesotho3.013
57Israel2.92
58Kyrgyzstan2.909
59Guatemala2.899
60Philippines2.882
61Haiti2.848
62Syria2.84
63Bolivia2.825
64Turkmenistan2.785
65Djibouti2.758
66Mongolia2.663
67Botswana2.651
68Algeria2.65
69Laos2.623
70Kazakhstan2.571
71Oman2.537
72Cambodia2.524
73Fiji2.482
74Saudi Arabia2.481
75Guyana2.473
76Panama2.469
77Belize2.459
78Paraguay2.446
79Ecuador2.444
80Morocco2.42
82Western Sahara2.415
81Honduras2.415
83South Africa2.414
84Dominican Republic2.378
85Peru2.354
86Suriname2.336
87Indonesia2.32
88Guam2.319
89India2.303
90Cape Verde2.289
91Venezuela2.283
92Reunion2.27
93Argentina2.268
94Seychelles2.257
95Uzbekistan2.244
96Libya2.208
97Myanmar2.183
98Nicaragua2.161
99Tunisia2.147
100New Caledonia2.142
101Mexico2.136
102Nepal2.083
103Grenada2.073
104Bangladesh2.067
105El Salvador2.053
106Azerbaijan2.036
107Antigua And Barbuda2.034
108Sri Lanka2.029
109Maldives2.025
110Turkey2.024
111Bhutan2.015
112Malaysia2.01
113Bahrain1.998
114Jamaica1.991
115French Polynesia1.99
116Ireland1.98
117Uruguay1.979
118New Zealand1.974
119France1.973
120Georgia1.971
121Kuwait1.967
122Vietnam1.946
123Iceland1.921
124Guadeloupe1.92
125Sweden1.909
126North Korea1.893
127United States1.886
129Qatar1.881
128Martinique1.881
130United Kingdom1.871
131Brunei1.848
132Australia1.832
134Norway1.827
133Colombia1.827
136Belgium1.799
135Barbados1.799
137Aruba1.796
138Finland1.782
139Chile1.765
140Costa Rica1.764
141Denmark1.762
142Bahamas1.755
143Russia1.751
144Netherlands1.75
145Trinidad And Tobago1.73
146United Arab Emirates1.725
147Cuba1.716
148Belarus1.706
150Albania1.705
149Brazil1.705
151Lebanon1.704
152Lithuania1.661
153Estonia1.659
154Montenegro1.657
155Slovenia1.638
156China1.635
157Iran1.621
158Serbia1.62
159Armenia1.601
160Luxembourg1.594
161Bulgaria1.584
162Latvia1.57
163Czech Republic1.566
164Canada1.563
165Ukraine1.557
166Switzerland1.549
167Macedonia1.546
168Romania1.54
169Austria1.511
170Italy1.491
171Japan1.478
172Malta1.475
173Germany1.47
174Slovakia1.462
175Thailand1.458
176Croatia1.446
177Mauritius1.433
178Hungary1.397
179Spain1.391
180Bosnia And Herzegovina1.386
181Macau1.347
182Cyprus1.337
183Hong Kong1.326
184South Korea1.323
185Greece1.302
186Poland1.29
187Singapore1.26
188Portugal1.241
189Moldova1.23
190Taiwan1.218