The drop in fertility rates worldwide

A 4-day-old newborn baby

Steve Chiotakis: Just 2 weeks from today -- on October 31 -- the United Nations says the world's population on that day will top seven billion. The majority of growth has come from countries in Africa, along with places such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.

But some countries aren't growing like they used to, and that's the subject of our quiz this morning from Stephan Richter at TheGlobalist.com. Good morning Stephan.

Stephan Richter: Good morning, Steve. Ready for today's quiz?

Chiotakis: I am ready.

Richter: In 1950, the global fertility rate was five children per woman. At that time, not a single country in the world had a birth rate below two children per woman, which is what's called the replenishment rate.

At this time, how many countries have a fertility rate of less than two children per woman -- meaning that they don't keep their own population at a stable level? A) Just one, Japan; B) a dozen or so in Europe; C) 25, and all of them would be in developed countries; or D) is it over 60 countries these days?

Chiotakis: I would say of less than two children per woman, I would say D) over 60.

Ding, ding

Richter: You are becoming a great quiz answer master, and I have to study up and come up with different ones here. Absolutely on target.

Chiotakis: I will tell you, Stephan, I will you how I know that, though: Because I remember, certainly European countries are not procreating as much as they used to, and here in the United States as well.

Richter: But you know what the good news is? This trend is going to continue into the future as we hear all about moving toward seven billion of the global population level. Forecasts of the U.N. population division are that by 2030 -- so just in another 20 or so years -- 86 countries will be below replacement level. And importantly, it will be such countries as China, Brazil, Indonesia and Russia.

A few large countries are still blowing up the global population, namely: India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines. You know, we are making some progress in terms of history to move down to a more stable population level. So there's some good news in that and less stress on global resources and all the like.

Chiotakis: And on our way to seven billion people very soon.

Richter: You and me and all the rest.

Chiotakis: And all the rest. All right, Stephan Richter from The Globalist. Stefan, thanks.

Richter: Thank you.

About the author

Stephan Richter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Globalist, a daily online magazine on the global economy, politics and culture.

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