Which Countries Have the Highest Fertility Rates?

Click here to learn about which countries have the highest and lower total fertility rates (TFR) and the factors that can affect birth rates.

A recent Central Intelligence Agency report compared the total fertility rates (TFR) of each country, a measurement which compares the average number of children born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age.

The study concluded that the top three most fertile countries are Niger, with an average of 6.9 children born per woman, Angola, with 5.9 children born per woman, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with 5.7 children per woman. The United Kingdom and the United States are lower on the list at 137 and 140 in the rankings, both with 1.8 children per woman. Taiwan is at the bottom of the list with 1.07 children per woman.

The study points to an important correlation between a country’s development and fertility, a correlation that exists for a couple of reasons. First, human population growth mostly affects lower-income countries, with only 14% of the world living in high-income countries like Europe or the US. Higher-income countries also have more access to reproductive health services and education.

The CIA report lays out a comprehensive list of birth rates according to country. It’s important to understand why certain countries place lower or higher – it is not just that the women are fertile. Rather, it is also a combination of other factors like income and education.