Will people simply stop having babies?
Analysis of statistics has revealed an interesting trend in South Africa- experts are suggesting that over the next couple of decades, the fertility rate will drop, says Health24.
"Births per woman will drop by 17% between 2010 and 2040, following a 20% slump over the past decade," the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) said.
In a report to be released next week, the institute said the "replacement rate" - the rate at which the population replaces itself - was expected to be 2.1 in 2035.
The African population would fall below the replacement level in the same year, while the coloured population would have reached this point in 2015. The white and Indian populations, which already had fertility rates below 2.1, were expected to experience slight increases in fertility.
This decline was partly due to improved education levels and higher female labour participation, accessibility of contraceptives and urbanisation.
Consequences of the decline in fertility would lead to a population with a greater proportion of older people and fewer younger people. Interestingly, researchers said that this would put more pressure on the country economically, as the older generation would stretch the country’s welfare system.
What do you think about the likely drop in fertility rates?
By: Scott Dunlop