World faces ‘baby bust’ as fertility falls
Almost half of all countries are facing a ‘‘baby bust’’, with insufficient numbers of children being born to maintain their population size.
The figures, published in
have revealed a ‘‘remarkable’’ global decline in fertility rates, researchers say.
The total fertility rate a population needs to replace itself from generation to generation, assuming no migration, is about 2.05.
Today, 91 out of 195 countries have fertility rates below this.
The trend is thought to be driven by factors including better maternal education, better access to contraception and people choosing not to have children.
The study looked at fertility trends in every country between 1950 and 2017. Overall, women in 1950 had an average of 4.7 children in their lifetime, falling to 2.4 last year.
The report says countries facing population decline have options including policies to encourage women to have more children, which have limited impact; liberalising their approach to immigration; or increasing the retirement age.
Central American migrants discuss their journey north to the US yesterday, using a map posted inside a sports complex in Mexico City where thousands of migrants have been camped out for several days.