Nearly half of the world’s twins are born in Africa.

Population and Societies

360, September 2000

  • Twins have a more difficult start in life
  • Africa’s high twinning rate: a public health issue
  • The twin-boom in developed countries: the case of France
  • The impact of sterility treatments


Nearly 1 in every 100 deliveries is a twin birth. Triplet, quadruplet and higher order deliveries occur much more seldom — only once in 10,000 deliveries. Is the incidence of twin births the same everywhere in the world? Do twins grow up like other children? Do they have the same life expectancy? (1) In 1999, out of 2.8 million twins born worldwide, nearly 1.1 million (41%) were born in Africa; 39% were born in Asia, 13% in America, 6% in Europe and 0.5% in Oceania.

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