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1.2a Fertility and Influencing Factors Fertility can be measured in several different ways which can sometimes make the topic confusing. It is therefore important to distinguish between the main types of fertility so that confusion is minimised.
Fertility Rate—this is the number of children born to women of child-bearing age.
Total Fertility Rate (TFR)—this is the number of children a woman in a particular population is expected to have during her lifetime based on current birth rates for that particular population. TFR’s can be calculated at the local, national and global scale. For example, the TFR for the world is a little over three.
The previous list of factors can be more conveniently grouped under headings such as:
Percentage of women of child bearing age and fertility rates Fertility rate % women of child bearing age 3.3 5 50 46 World 2.1 3.9 49 42 High Income countries 3.2 5 49 45 Middle income countries 3.8 6 51 46 Low Income countries 1991 1970 1991 1965
1.2f Sociocultural Examples For some communities abortion is simply not an option. Attitudes and Values Devout Catholicism for example prohibits the use of some forms of contraception (e.g. the condom). Religion Disease, particularly the AIDS virus in Botswana, Africa. Here the TFR of 2.85 is significantly below the world average of 3.1 due to a higher than usual mortality rate of women of child-bearing age. Health Care In LEDC's many children are needed to assist with generating income in labour intensive industries like farming. In MEDC's secondary and tertiary industries dominate and laws prohibit child labour. Nature of Employment As above, but sometimes a lack of education about matters such as child birth and contraceptive measures can lead to higher fertility rates. Low Literacy Rates In some Sub Saharan African nations women have limited access to an education and are expected to tend crops and raise families. In such countries the TFR is high. The Status of Women Example Sociocultural Examples
2.1 is the rate required to achieve a replacement level in the population.
Currently, 61 countries have a TFR of 2.1 or less.
The USA has the highest TFR in the “Western World” of 2.1.
Europe 1.1 197 Czech Republic Europe/Asia 1.2 191 Russia Europe 1.5 170 Sweden Europe 1.7 154 UK Oceania 2 134 New Zealand North America 2.1 129 USA Europe 2.5 116 Turkey Asia 3.5 77 Philippines Africa 5.2 45 Ivory Coast Africa 6.4 14 Malawi Africa 7.3 2 Somalia Africa 7.5 1 Niger Continent Fertility Children/woman World Rank Selected Country