BIRTH RATES IN HALF OF

WORLD’S COUN­TRIES PLUNGE

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - HAVE YOU HEARD? -

The world is reach­ing a “water­shed” where nearly half of its coun­tries are in the midst of a “baby bust” with birth rates be­low lev­els needed to main­tain pop­u­la­tion size, a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional re­port has found.

The an­nual Global Bur­den of Dis­ease

Study shows that 91 of 195 coun­tries now have fer­til­ity rates be­low re­place­ment level — cur­rently 2.05 births on av­er­age for ev­ery woman.

The re­port also shows that in 2017 global life ex­pectancy in­creases stalled, mean­ing mi­gra­tion will be­come ever more im­por­tant to main­tain pop­u­la­tion and eco­nomic growth.

In the UK, where life ex­pectancy lat-lined last year for the irst time on record, ex­perts sug­gest this could fur­ther stoke the anti-im­mi­gra­tion ten­sions that led to the 2016 vote to leave the EU. “These statis­tics rep­re­sent both a ‘baby boom’ for some na­tions and a ‘baby bust’ for oth­ers,” said Dr Christo­pher Mur­ray, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute for Health Met­rics and Eval­u­a­tion (IHME) at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton, which led the in­ter­na­tional study.

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