The birth rate is the number of live births per 1,000 in a population in a year or a specific period of time. The birth rate varies drastically by country. The average global birth rate is 18.5 births per 1,000 total populations, lower than in 2007 and 2012. Birth rate and fertility rate, the number of children a woman of childbearing age gives birth to, are used to determine a country's replacement rate.
The decrease in birth rate has caused many countries to worry that their current birth rate is not enough to replace the older generation and fear a population decline. Some governments have financial incentives to encourage citizens to have children. Low birth rates are attributed to the high costs of raising a child, people choosing to further their careers over starting a family, and older average ages for first-time mothers.
On the other end, some countries face overpopulation and the problems associated with it, such as overcrowding and poverty. Overpopulation is usually caused by very high birth rates, which are associated with health problems, low life expectancy, lack of contraception, and low education levels.
The countries with the ten highest birth rates (average annual number of births per 1,000 people per year) are:
- Angola (43.7)
- Niger (43.6)
- Mali (43.2)42.90
- Chad (43.0)
- Uganda (42.4)
- Zambia (41.1)
- Burundi (40.9)
- Malawi (40.7)
- Somalia (39.3)
- Liberia (37.9)
Angola has the highest birth rate of 43.7 average annual births per 1,000 people per year. The birth rate in Angola decreased significantly since 2000, when it was 46.89. Monaco has the lowest birth rate in the world of 6.5 average annual births per 1,000 people per year. The United States sits at the lower end of the spectrum at 12.4.
Below is each country's birth rate based on the latest data.