Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fertility and Freedom

The fertility replacement rate is about 2.1 children per woman. The 2012 Revision estimates that 48 percent of the world's population lives in countries with below replacement rate fertility, the largest of which are China, the United States, Brazil, Russia, Japan, and Vietnam. According to the Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World 2012 report, China's index number increased from 3.74 in 1980 to 6.16 in 2010; Brazil from 3.83 to 6.42; Russia from 4.43 in 1995 to 6.35; Japan from 6.88 to 7.61, and Vietnam has just begun to be measured, but the trend is toward more economic freedom; and the United States fell from 7.92 to 7.70.

Another 43 percent live in intermediate fertility countries with total fertility rates between 5 and 2.1 children. The largest of these countries are India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, and the Philippines. Indonesia's economic freedom index number rose from 5.09 to 7.04; Pakistan from 4.3 to 5.94; Bangladesh from 3.38 to 6.43; Mexico from 5.13 to 6.65; and the Philippines from 5.33 to 7.06. Nine percent live in countries where the average woman bears more than five children, of which 29 are in Africa, and two are in Asia. All with very low economic freedom index scores.

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