Achieving Sustainable Population: Fertility decline in many developing countries follows modern contraception

| January 25, 2023 | Leave a Comment


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Publication Info:

Date of Publication: December 28

Year of Publication: 2022

Publication City: Hoboken, NJ

Publisher: Wiley

Author(s): Frank Götmark, Malte Andersson

Journal: Sustainable Development

Pages: 1-12


The human population is projected to increase by 2.4 billion by 2100, endangering, for example, food security and biodiversity. Population growth depends strongly on the fertility level, the lowering of which is often assumed to depend on economic growth. Here we test this hypothesis using data from 136 developing countries, from 1970–2014. We formed four country groups at different initial economies, and used graphical analyses, with estimates of variation.

Falling fertility rates from 1970–2000 showed little or no association with the economy (GDP or household consumption). Fertility decreased regardless of whether the economy grew, was stagnant, or declined. But falling fertility was closely associated with the increasing use of modern contraception, which was largely independent of changes in the economy. Fertility decline hence was not caused by economic development but followed contraceptive use. Family planning programs, with advice on family size and modern contraception, offer promising routes to sustainably low fertility where it has not yet been achieved.

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