Fertility is the natural capability of producing life. The biological fertility rate is influenced by family planning, in particular contraception techniques and methods. As a measure, the total fertility rate is the number of children that are expected to be born to a woman of child-bearing age. A rate of about 2.1 will produce a stable population, anything less leads to a decline in population.
As indicated in “Women and Men in OECD Countries”, only two member countries have fertility rates above 2.1 – Mexico and Turkey. The average fertility rate in OECD countries as of 2004 is 1.6. This rate is below the replacement threshold.
In all OECD countries, fertility rates are declining among younger women and rising among older women (30-45 years). There are many theories as to why this is, but the most popular belief is that people are postponing the age at which they start their families. This is due to the fact that more women have longer educations, and subsequently are entering and remaining in the workforce.
Fertility rate data