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I write about this every now and then, because human fertility is falling faster then most demographers expect. Using the CIA Factbook for data, the present total fertility rate for the world is 2.47 births per woman that survives childbearing. Last year it was 2.50, and in 2006 it was 2.90. 2.10 is replacement rate. At the current trend, the world will be at replacement rate in 2022. That's a lot earlier than most expect, and it makes me suggest that global population will top out at 8.5 Billion in 2030, lower and earlier than most expect.
Have a look at the Total Fertility Rate by group:
The largest nations for each cell are listed below the graph. Note Asian nations to the left, and African nations to the right.
Africa is so small, that the high birth rates have little global impact. Also, AIDS consumes their population, as do wars, malnutrition, etc.
The Arab world is also slowing in population growth. When Saudi Arabia is near replacement rate at 2.26, you can tell that the women are gaining the upper hand there, which is notable given the polygamy is permitted.
In the Developed world, who leads in fertility? Israel at 2.67. Next is the US at 2.06, slightly below replacement. We still grow from immigration.
Quoting from my prior piece, why is this happening? There are many reasons why the total fertility rate is declining:
- Educating females makes many of them want to have fewer kids, whether the reason is pain, effort, wanting to work outside the home, etc.
- Contraception is more widely available.
- The marriage rate is declining globally. Willingness to have children is positively correlated with marriage.
- Governments provide an illusion of support, commonly believed, that the government can support people in their old age, so people don’t have kids for old age support.
The rapidly slowing rate of childbearing will have global population peak in the early 2030s at a level in the lower 8 billions, unless there is some further change to attitudes on children that makes people have more or even fewer kids.
Some of those changes may come from:
As I close, I want to list a few nations that are below replacement rate, that would surprise some people:
And those the are close to replacement rate:
One last point, because the demographics profession has been slow to pick up on these shifts, if present trends continue, within 10 years, I believe you will see a scad of articles talking about the likely leveling off of global population and even future shrinkage of global population, and the effects thereof. Always something to worry about...
Post date: 2012-11-29 05:33:56
Post date GMT: 2012-11-29 10:33:56
Post modified date: 2012-11-29 05:34:54
Post modified date GMT: 2012-11-29 10:34:54
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