Total Fertility Rate 2020

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Fertility rate and birth rate are both used to determine replacement rate of a country and are both factors in determining the development of countries. Fertility rate is the average number of children born women of the childbearing age (15-44 years). Birth rate is the number of lives births per 1,000 of the population each year.

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. Niger also has the highest birth rate in the world of 44.2 births per 1,000 people. 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.” Birth rate is the number of births per 1,000 of a population in a specific area.

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.

Here are the 10 countries with the highest fertility rates:

  1. Niger (7.153)
  2. Somalia (6.123)
  3. Dr Congo (5.963)
  4. Mali (5.922)
  5. Chad (5.797)
  6. Angola (5.589)
  7. Burundi (5.577)
  8. Uganda (5.456)
  9. Nigeria (5.417)
  10. Timor Leste (5.337)

Total Fertility Rate 2020

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Total Fertility Rate 2020

Rank Country Fertility Rate
1Niger7.153
2Somalia6.123
3Dr Congo5.963
4Mali5.922
5Chad5.797
6Angola5.589
7Burundi5.577
8Uganda5.456
9Nigeria5.417
10Timor Leste5.337
11Gambia5.318
12Burkina Faso5.231
13Mozambique5.143
14Tanzania4.924
15Zambia4.901
16Benin4.867
17Ivory Coast4.811
18Central African Republic4.754
19Guinea4.738
20South Sudan4.736
21Senegal4.647
22Cameroon4.603
23Mauritania4.576
24Republic Of The Congo4.561
25Equatorial Guinea4.554
26Guinea Bissau4.513
27Malawi4.492
28Liberia4.481
29Sudan4.434
30Afghanistan4.412
31Sao Tome And Principe4.361
32Togo4.35
33Sierra Leone4.319
34Iraq4.266
35Comoros4.237
36Madagascar4.109
37Eritrea4.027
38Ethiopia4.025
39Palestine3.91
40Samoa3.903
41Ghana3.893
42Yemen3.837
43Rwanda3.781
44Kenya3.774
45Solomon Islands3.77
46Mayotte3.729
47Gabon3.68
48Zimbabwe3.626
49Papua New Guinea3.588
50Kiribati3.584
51Tonga3.576
52Pakistan3.377
53Namibia3.311
54Tajikistan3.28
55French Guiana3.264
56Jordan3.264
57Vanuatu3.222
58Egypt3.155
59Micronesia3.076
60Swaziland3.014
61Lesotho3.013
62Israel2.92
63Kyrgyzstan2.909
64Guatemala2.899
65Philippines2.882
66Haiti2.848
67Syria2.84
68Bolivia2.825
69Turkmenistan2.785
70Djibouti2.758
71Mongolia2.663
72Botswana2.651
73Algeria2.65
74Laos2.623
75Kazakhstan2.571
76Oman2.537
77Cambodia2.524
78Fiji2.482
79Saudi Arabia2.481
80Guyana2.473
81Panama2.469
82Belize2.459
83Paraguay2.446
84Ecuador2.444
85Morocco2.42
86Western Sahara2.415
87Honduras2.415
88South Africa2.414
89Dominican Republic2.378
90Peru2.354
91Suriname2.336
92Indonesia2.32
93Guam2.319
94India2.303
95Cape Verde2.289
96Venezuela2.283
97Reunion2.27
98Argentina2.268
99Seychelles2.257
100Uzbekistan2.244
101Libya2.208
102United States Virgin Islands2.187
103Myanmar2.183
104Nicaragua2.161
105Tunisia2.147
106New Caledonia2.142
107Mexico2.136
108Nepal2.083
109Grenada2.073
110Bangladesh2.067
111El Salvador2.053
112Azerbaijan2.036
113Antigua And Barbuda2.034
114Sri Lanka2.029
115Maldives2.025
116Turkey2.024
117Curacao2.018
118Bhutan2.015
119Malaysia2.01
120Bahrain1.998
121Jamaica1.991
122French Polynesia1.99
123Ireland1.98
124Uruguay1.979
125New Zealand1.974
126France1.973
127Georgia1.971
128Kuwait1.967
129Vietnam1.946
130Iceland1.921
131Guadeloupe1.92
132Sweden1.909
133Saint Vincent And The Grenadines1.902
134North Korea1.893
135United States1.886
136Martinique1.881
137Qatar1.881
138United Kingdom1.871
139Brunei1.848
140Australia1.832
141Norway1.827
142Colombia1.827
143Barbados1.799
144Belgium1.799
145Aruba1.796
146Finland1.782
147Chile1.765
148Costa Rica1.764
149Denmark1.762
150Bahamas1.755
151Russia1.751
152Netherlands1.75
153Trinidad And Tobago1.73
154United Arab Emirates1.725
155Cuba1.716
156Belarus1.706
157Albania1.705
158Brazil1.705
159Lebanon1.704
160Lithuania1.661
161Estonia1.659
162Montenegro1.657
163Slovenia1.638
164China1.635
165Iran1.621
166Serbia1.62
167Armenia1.601
168Luxembourg1.594
169Bulgaria1.584
170Latvia1.57
171Czech Republic1.566
172Canada1.563
173Ukraine1.557
174Switzerland1.549
175Macedonia1.546
176Romania1.54
177Austria1.511
178Italy1.491
179Japan1.478
180Malta1.475
181Germany1.47
182Slovakia1.462
183Thailand1.458
184Croatia1.446
185Saint Lucia1.444
186Mauritius1.433
187Hungary1.397
188Spain1.391
189Bosnia And Herzegovina1.386
190Macau1.347
191Cyprus1.337
192Hong Kong1.326
193South Korea1.323
194Greece1.302
195Poland1.29
196Singapore1.26
197Portugal1.241
198Moldova1.23
199Taiwan1.218