Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE -

PARIS: Soar­ing birth rates in de­vel­op­ing na­tions are fu­elling a global baby boom while women in dozens of richer coun­tries aren’t pro­duc­ing enough chil­dren to main­tain pop­u­la­tion lev­els there, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased on Fri­day.

A global over­view of birth, death and dis­ease rates eval­u­at­ing thou­sands of data-sets on a coun­try-by-coun­try ba­sis also found that heart dis­ease was now the sin­gle lead­ing cause of death world­wide.

The In­sti­tute for Health Met­rics and Eval­u­a­tion (IHME) used more than 8,000 data sources to com­pile a de­tailed look at global pub­lic health. It found that while the world’s pop­u­la­tion sky­rock­eted from 2.6 bil­lion in 1950 to 7.6 bil­lion last year, that growth was deeply un­even ac­cord­ing to re­gion and in­come. A to­tal of 91 na­tions, mainly in Eu­rope and North and South Amer­ica, weren’t pro­duc­ing enough chil­dren to sus­tain their pop­u­la­tions.

But in Africa and Asia fer­til­ity rates con­tin­ued to grow, with the aver­age woman in Niger giv­ing birth to seven chil­dren dur­ing her life­time.

Ali Mok­dad, pro­fes­sor of Health Met­rics Sciences at IHME, told AFP that the sin­gle most im­por­tant fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing pop­u­la­tion growth was ed­u­ca­tion. He said, “The more a woman is ed­u­cated, she is spend­ing more years in school, she is de­lay­ing her preg­nan­cies and so will have fewer ba­bies.”

The IHME found that Cyprus was the least fer­tile na­tion, while women in Mali, Chad and Afghanistan have on aver­age more than six ba­bies.


Bhutanese con­joined twins, 15­month­old girls, be­fore surgery at the Royal Chil­dren's Hos­pi­tal Mel­bourne. Sur­geons suc­cess­fully sep­a­rated them on Fri­day.

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