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Why Are Global Fertility Rates Decreasing?

Aging is advancing dramatically in high- and middle-income countries across the world. By 2030, the demographics of 34 countries are expected to see more than one in five of the population aged 65 or over. Leading the pack will be Germany, Japan, and Italy.


Total Fertility Rate (TFR) — the average number of children borne by a woman — is the key indicator of the rate of aging. Worryingly, there are countries with even lower TFRs than Germany (TFR=1.59) and Japan (TFR=1.44). Singapore’s fertility rate stands at 1.20 while South Korea is even lower at 1.17. Populations are plunging at alarming rates in these East Asian countries.

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