A Demographic Riddle

There is a great chart in the September 2011 issue of National Geographic Magazine. The chart illustrates the relationship between a country’s fertility rate and per capita income, and this demographic riddle:

Do women bear fewer children because a country is prosperous, or does a country’s economy grow when women have fewer children?

The fertility rate chart illustrates that indeed, there is a link between family size and per capita incomes.  Compare the fertility rate on this chart to the world map – and population living on $2 a day, on my earlier post.

I could not find the chart on-line or on the National Geographic website —- so a scanned version is on this post (created by John Tomanio and Lawson Parker, National Geographic Magazine staff members).

Here is the key:

The full chart below is the world map, with countries in gray, behind the fertility rate babies.  Area details follow below.

Below is the section showing North, Central and South America.  I added the black larger text of some countries (e.g., CANADA 1.7) to give perspective of the map’s regions, as parts of the scanned chart are not clear.

Here is the Europe / Africa region:

Below is the Asia / Australia – Oceania region.  And note, the national fertility rate for the Philippines is 3.2.

The chart is part of an article about Brazil, and National Geographic Magazine‘s year-long series on global population.

Here is a link to Cynthia Gorney’s article, Brazil’s Girl Power – How a mix of female empowerment and steamy soap operas helped bring down Brazil’s fertility rate and stoke its vibrant economy.

2 thoughts on “A Demographic Riddle

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