What Factors Affect Fertility Rates?

The primary factors that affect a country’s total fertility rate include the significance of children as a member of the labor force and the cost of educating and rearing children, according to class notes from the Department of Geography at Hunter College. Other factors include urbanization, work opportunities for women and infant mortality rate.

Developing countries usually have higher fertility rates, particularly in rural places where children work at a young age by helping plant crops, says Hunter College. Developed countries often have lower fertility rates, because bringing up a child is considerably more expensive. Moreover, children in developed nations do not enter the workforce until they become teenagers or reach their early 20s. Urbanization is another factor that affects fertility rates, as people who live in urban regions can typically get family planning services more easily. In rural areas, people have bigger families because they need children to carry out essential tasks.

Total fertility rates are generally low in countries where women can get educational and paid employment opportunities, notes Hunter College. Women lacking educational attainment in developing nations often bear two more children than those who have a secondary school education. Places with low infant mortality rates commonly have low fertility rates, because the number of children who die young is fewer. Also, women who marry at the age of 25 or older mostly have fewer children.