World: Lowest Fertility Rates, by country
CountryNumber of children per woman
South KoreaSouth Korea1.11
Hong KongHong Kong1.23
Puerto RicoPuerto Rico1.25
British Virgin IslandsBritish Virgin Islands1.37
Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina1.37
  • Region: Worldwide
  • Time period: 2023
  • Published: Apr 2024

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 11, 2024 | Published by: Statistico | About Us / Data / Analysis

Asia dominates the list with low fertility rates

Asian territories and countries, including Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau, hold the top five positions for the lowest fertility rates worldwide, all with fewer than 1.3 children per woman. This highlights a significant trend in Asia towards smaller families, influenced by socio-economic factors and perhaps changes in societal norms.

Europe and its lower fertility rates

European countries and territories such as Italy, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, and Serbia also feature prominently on the list, each with fertility rates ranging between 1.24 and 1.46 children per woman. This suggests a continent-wide trend towards smaller families, possibly due to economic considerations and lifestyle choices.

Lowest fertility rate recorded in Taiwan

Taiwan exhibits the lowest fertility rate globally at only 1.09 children per woman, indicating a significant demographic challenge as the population may shrink without enough births to maintain its size. This could have profound implications for Taiwan's future labor market and economic structure.

Variations within small territories and islands

Smaller territories and islands such as Montserrat, Mauritius, and the British Virgin Islands have fertility rates that still fall below the global average but are higher than those of major countries, with rates ranging from 1.32 to 1.37 children per woman. These figures suggest that even within smaller populations, the trend towards lower fertility persists, albeit at a slightly less pronounced level.

China's positioning amidst global trends

China, with a fertility rate of 1.45 children per woman, is significant due to its large population base. As the world's most populous country, its position towards the lower end of the fertility rate spectrum underscores the global shift towards smaller families and highlights the potential challenges of aging populations and workforce sustainability.

Fertility rates and economic implications

Countries with fertility rates below 1.5 children per woman, which include economic powerhouses like Japan and China, face potential long-term economic challenges due to aging populations and shrinking workforces. This demographic trend necessitates policy adjustments to sustain economic growth and support an increasingly elderly population.

A closer look at European dynamics

The presence of Andorra alongside larger European countries with a fertility rate of 1.46 illustrates the widespread nature of low fertility across Europe, affecting both small and large states. This commonality points to broader social and economic factors at play across the continent influencing family size decisions.

Insight into Puerto Rico's demographic trends

Puerto Rico, with a fertility rate of 1.25, stands out as the only territory from the Americas on the list, highlighting unique demographic challenges within the region. This lower fertility rate may reflect broader socio-economic trends affecting family planning decisions in the territory.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which region dominates the list of lowest fertility rates globally?

Asian countries and territories, such as Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Macau, dominate the list with lowest fertility rates globally, all with fewer than 1.3 children per woman.

What trend is seen in European countries in terms of fertility rates?

European countries such as Italy, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, and Serbia also have low fertility rates, ranging between 1.24 and 1.46 children per woman, showing a continent-wide trend towards smaller families.

Which country has the lowest fertility rate in the world?

Taiwan has the lowest fertility rate globally, with just 1.09 children per woman.

Terms and Definitions

Fertility rate is a demographic measure that indicates the number of children a woman would have throughout her childbearing years (usually between the ages of 15-49). This measure is commonly calculated and expressed as the number of live births per 1,000 women in a population during a specific time period.

Demographics are statistics relating to a population and particular groups within it. This could include data on age, gender, income, race, and education, among others. These statistics are used to understand the characteristics of a population, its behavior, needs, and how it changes over time.

Population growth rate is a measure of the increase or decrease of a given population over a specified period. It is often expressed as a percentage and includes all births, deaths, and net migrations.

An aging population is a demographic phenomenon characterized by an increase in the proportion of elderly individuals within a population. This occurs when the median age of a population increases due to declining fertility rates and/or rising life expectancy.

Life expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a person is expected to live, given current age and sex-specific death rates. It frequently serves as a measure of a nation's health.

Total fertility rate (TFR) is a more specific measure of fertility, referring to the total number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years and bear children in accordance with current age-specific fertility rates.

Demographic transition refers to the shift from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates in a population over time. This transition is often associated with economic and social development.

Birth rate is a measure used to quantify the number of live births occurring in a population over a given time period, typically a year. It is usually expressed as births per 1,000 people per year.
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