A country with a population of 2 million and with 40,000 births per year has a crude birth rate of 20 per 1000.
40,000/2,000,000 = 20 per 1000
The crude birth rate of a country is strongly influenced by;
- age structure of population
- sex structure of population
- customs & family size expectations
- adopted population policies
National crude birth rates vary widely today (world map):
- CBRs of 45-50 in some west African countries
- CBRs of 9/10 in 20+ European countries
- crude birth rates of 30 or above are considered high
- in 1990, 50% of the countries in the world had crude birth rates of 30+. Today just 20%.
- countries with high birth rates are typically agricultural and rural and a high proportion of the female population is young.
- official records are not always accurate. Data suggests there are 50 million births every year that go unregistered and therefore uncounted.
- crude birth rates of less than 18 per thousand are considered low.
- crude birth rates can change:
- low birth rates in European countries and areas they colonized is usually ascribed to:
- maturing population
- government policies
- China - reduced CBR from 33+ in 1970 to 18 in 1986.
In 1965 Chairman Mao stated an ever larger population was "a good thing," when China's CBR was 37 per 1000 and its population was 540 million.
In 1976 population reached 852 million although the CBR declined to 25.
During the 1970s, when it became evident that population growth was consuming more than half the annual increase in the country's gross domestic product, China introduced a well-publicized campaign advocating the "two child family" and provided services such as abortions supporting the program. CBR dropped to 19.5 by the late 1970s.
"One couple, one child" became the slogan in 1979 backed by both incentives and penalties.
- late marriages were encouraged
Single child families received:
- free contraceptives
- cash awards
- steep fines for second births
- sterilization of husband or wife of families with more than one child
- Infanticide - particularly of female babies - was a reported means both of conforming to a one-child limit and of increasing the chances that the one child would be male.
- CBR of 18 by 1986
- one-child policy was dropped in 1984 to permit two-child limits in rural areas where 70% of Chinese population still resides.
- in 2002 was reinstated as nationwide law following documentation of extensive underreporting of rural babies.
Newly prosperous urbanites have voluntarily reduced their fertility to well below replacement levels. Childless couples are increasingly common.
Population controls have been so successful that by 2001 government officials became concerned with population decrease.
Projections suggest that because of falling fertility rates, China's population numbers will starting falling by 2042.
- declining proportion of working-age people
- inadequate number of people to care for rapidly growing number of senior citizens.
Research suggests that fertility falls because women want smaller families, not because they have unmet needs for contraceptive advice and devices.
- religious and political beliefs can affect birth rates:
- many Roman Catholics and Muslims don't use artificial methods of birth control leading to high birth rates.
- dominantly Catholic Italy, however, has nearly the world's lowest birth rate.
- some European governments, concerned about too low birth rates to sustain current population levels, subsidize births in an attempt to raise those rates.
- regional variations in projected percentage contributions to world population growth