Fertility rates are falling...


Globally, if women on average have 2.1 children in their lifetimes, what demographers describe as the "replacement rate," world population will eventually stabilize. Twenty-five years ago, women globally had an average of 3.3 children. Today, women have 2.5 children on average, but in many parts of Europe and East Asia, fertility rates have actually fallen substantially below the replacement rate. In the least developed regions of the world fertility rates are closer to 4.5 children per woman, and women in many developing countries have more children than they desire.