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Falling fertility rates pose major challenges for the global economy, report finds

·1 min

Falling fertility rates are predicted to cause a significant demographic shift globally over the next 25 years. By 2050, around three-quarters of countries are expected to have birth rates below the replacement rate of 2.1 babies per female. Low-income regions of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia will account for the majority of new births. By 2100, only six countries, including Chad, Niger, Samoa, Tonga, and Tajikistan, will have population-replacing birth rates. This demographic change will have profound impacts on society, the economy, the environment, and geopolitics. Shrinking workforces in advanced economies will likely require political and fiscal intervention. The report did not provide a specific figure on the economic impact of these demographic shifts but noted a divergence between high-income and low-income countries in terms of birth rates. From 1950 to 2021, the global total fertility rate decreased by more than half due to factors like increasing wealth and women’s workforce participation. The global fertility rate is expected to continue decreasing from 2050 to 2100. Meanwhile, low-income countries will see a significant increase in their share of new births, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. This demographic change could potentially give poorer countries more leverage in negotiating migration policies as they become increasingly affected by the consequences of climate change.