More than half of the global population lives where fertility is below replacement level

Population and Societies

405, October 2004

One of the demographic paradoxes in the world today is that the population is still growing rapidly, while fertility–the number of children women have on average–has sharply decreased. Even the experts find it difficult to realize that it is now below 2.1 children per woman in many developing countries, which have in this caught up with the developed ones. How did this situation come about, and what consequences will it have?

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