Where Are Fertility Rates the Highest and Lowest?

Fertility rates are highest in Muslim-majority countries and African countries, but where are the lowest? There’s a surprising lack of data in these areas. Some countries have higher fertility rates than others, so it’s difficult to determine where to draw the line. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best data available. The trend in Africa is also alarming. Here’s a breakdown of fertility rates by country.


Although it might seem that Africa has the highest fertility rates, this is not necessarily the case. The continent has fertility rates that are slightly higher than the global average. Women in African countries typically have 4.7 children on average, and fertility rates in central and western Africa range from 5.5 to 5.6. The continent also has much higher rates of adolescent births than the global average, but that’s not the point of this article.

One reason that the rate of fertility in Africa is higher than it is in other parts of the world is due to the fact that many developing countries engage in controversial reproductive suppression policies. China’s One Child Policy reduced fertility in China at great humanitarian costs. Comparing Africa to these countries is a fair comparison. It is important to recognize that the continent’s fertility rates are highly variable, and this makes comparisons difficult. Therefore, the U.N. and many other organizations often lump the countries of Africa together, calling them all “Africa” or “Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Muslim-majority countries

The world’s fertility trends aren’t uniform across all Muslim-majority countries. Some have far lower fertility than others. In 1990-95, the average life expectancy in Muslim-majority countries was 62 years; by 2015, that figure was 68 years. By 2030-35, that figure is projected to climb to 73 years, exceeding the life expectancy of non-Muslim-majority developing countries. This trend has contributed to the increasing size of the global Muslim population.

The Islamic theocracy of Iran has the fastest decline in fertility rates in modern history. In 1950, Iranian women had seven children; today, they have only 1.68 children, which is one child less than American women. The Iranian leadership realized that a high birth rate was straining the young republic and began issuing fatwas encouraging contraception. The Health Ministry promoted rural health centers and contraceptive distribution.


The highest fertility rates are found in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and Norway, while the lowest fertility rates are found in eastern European countries. While fertility rates can differ considerably across countries, they tend to be similar. Depending on the source of the fertility statistics, these differences can lead to age structure or population decline. Despite these differences, the fertility rates in each of these countries remain relatively high, as in Sweden and Norway. Despite these differences, fertility rates are high in these countries, and the results show that most women are fertile.

Low fertility rates can have socioeconomic consequences in the future. With a growing population, the European Union might struggle to sustain the current level of births. The elderly may struggle to keep pace with the population growth, and immigrants may not adopt the cultures of the countries they are settling in. Over time, these trends could have adverse effects on the economic growth of the region. The trend will also continue in the coming decades, as European populations may become more aged.


The U.S. fertility rate has consistently been among the highest in the developed world. The age-specific rates reflect fertility trends by age group. The highest birth rates occurred in the 20-29 age group in 2007. The oldest age group, women in their 30s and beyond, had the lowest rates. Women aged forty to 44 gave birth to more than a million babies in 2014.

According to the World Population Prospects, in the U.S., the birth rate decreased among Asian American, Hispanic, and Black women. In other developed countries, the birth rate decreased. It is estimated that the rate of births has fallen by 4% from 2007 to 2020. In addition, a rising share of childbearing age women are now unmarried. Despite this, U.S. fertility rates remain among the highest worldwide.