In 1952, the average family across the globe had five children and as recently as June 2022, statistics show that number has reduced to less than three. That is more than a 50 percent drop in the past 70 years. With one of the most significant decreases in history, there are many contributing factors to the minimized number of babies being born.

So, what is going on? Why are fewer babies being born? According to Dr. Max Roser, the founder of Our World Data, most of his research boils down to three factors: 1) Equality for women, which gives them more options in education and the workforce; 2) Lower child mortality; and 3) the increased expenses of child-rearing.

Although not added in the report, another reason for lower birth rates is women’s access to preventing and terminating pregnancies. Contraceptives and the morning-after pill can be accessed at Planned Parenthood clinics or even online.

Education seems to be the biggest indicator in lowering the fertility rate. In countries with fewer years of education, the birthrate is higher. For example, in 2010, Nigerian women averaged 1.3 years of education and on average had 7 children, which was more than double the global average. In contrast, in 2010 Iranian women averaged 9 years of education and the average fertility rate dropped to 1.8.

With lower fertility rates and increased life expectancy, there is a huge growth in the aging population. The global median age has increased from 25 years to 33 years just since 1950. This means that there will be more retirement-age adults with fewer younger workers to support social security. The imbalance will certainly cause a shift in the economic structure that populations have relied on for decades. Countries will need to adjust for the economic impact of having a higher older population while creating a smaller workforce or the entire population will be affected by the economic crisis that could be created.

More Articles

Shopping Cart