Total Global Fertility Rate More Than Halved During 1950 to 2021

Total fertility rate remained above replacement-level fertility in 46.1 percent of countries and territories in 2021
Total Global Fertility Rate More Than Halved During 1950 to 2021
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THURSDAY, March 21, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Fertility is declining globally, with more than half of all countries and territories below the replacement level in 2021, according to a study published online March 20 in The Lancet.

Natalia V. Bhattacharjee, Ph.D., from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, and colleagues examined key fertility indicators at global, regional, and national levels from 1950 to 2021 and forecasted fertility metrics to 2100.

The researchers found that the global total fertility rate (TFR) more than halved during 1950 to 2021, from 4.84 to 2.23. Global annual livebirths peaked at 142 million in 2016, then decreased to 129 million in 2021. In all countries and territories, fertility rates declined since 1950, with TFR remaining above 2.1 (considered replacement-level fertility) in 46.1 percent of countries and territories in 2021, including 44 of 46 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, future fertility rates are projected to continue to decline, reaching a global TRF of 1.83 and 1.59 in 2050 and 2100, respectively, under the reference scenario. In 2050 and 2100, the number of countries and territories with fertility rates remaining above replacement was forecast to be 49 and six (24.0 and 2.9 percent, respectively); three of these six countries were included in the 2012 World Bank-defined low-income group.

"While human civilization is converging on a sustained low-fertility reality, comparatively high fertility rates in some low-income countries and territories will result in a clear demographic divide between a subset of low-income countries and the rest of the world," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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