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Fertility Rates

clipped from
Fertility rates
Making babies

May 22nd 2007


A RELATIONSHIP between your latitude and your fertility may not be obvious, but one seems to exist. Plot a country's general rate of fertility against the distance of that country's capital from the equator and it appears that the further you live from the tropics (to the north or to the south) the fewer children you will produce. The reason? It may be simply that fertility rates are a pretty useful proxy for wealth rates: richer people produce fewer children. And in general—a few exceptions like Singapore aside—countries in and near the tropics are poorer than those nearer the poles.

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