Poor nations host surges in population
The story of the 21st century has been one of falling birth rates, rising standards of living and a revolution in food production. But the global picture is uneven: As populations decline in wealthier nations, in other countries — particularly in Africa, says a new report — “they are rising at rates that may mire their people in poverty.”
The 10 countries with the highest fertility rates are in Africa, led by Niger, where women give birth to an average of 7.6 children. Burkina Faso, with a rate of 6, is the slowest-growing of the 10, all of which are among the poorest countries.
Research by the Population Reference Bureau in Washington projects that Africa's population will more than double by 2050, from 1.1 billion people to 2.4 billion. Nigeria, the most populous nation on the continent with 174 million, is projected to rank third in the world by 2050, with 440 million, after China and India.
In the slowest group, the leader is Bosnia-Herzegovina, with 1.2 children per woman. The others in the top 10 least-fertile countries average 1.3 children: Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Hungary.
The fertility rate in the United States is 1.9 children, which implies a declining population. But America is expected to grow because of immigration.
The average global fertility rate is 2.5 children per woman, down from nearly 5 in 1960.
Several nations are worried about a decline in population, which leaves fewer workers to provide for systems that will burgeon with retirees.
Even China, 35 years after instituting its draconian “one child” policy, is worried. China's population, now at 1.35 billion, is expected to drop by 2050.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Chinese woman crushed to death in escalator
- Saudis’ deadly airstrikes resume in Yemen
- Obama knocks Huckabee, Trump for slide in Republican rhetoric
- Defense secretary touts success of Kurdish fighters in war on ISIS
- Boehner vows to do ‘everything possible’ to scuttle Iran nuclear deal
- Nigerian leader: U.S. law based on alleged human rights violations ‘aids’ Boko Haram
- Turkey to stick with air offensive in ISIS battle
- Israelis remember how summer conflict affected beach ritual
- Obama receives warm greeting from Kenyans
- Saudi-led airstrikes kill 120 in Yemen
- Humanitarian cease-fire halts airstrikes in Yemen