World Population Growth Good News: Asia-Pacific Fertility Rates Starting to Decline

shanghai crowd photo

China is one of the places where fertility rates are starting to drop below the rate of replacement: Jeremy Vandel via flickr.

Undeniably human population growth is at the root of pretty much every single environmental problem we currently face. At the most basic level we're talking about a question of scale. And Mongabay is reporting some relatively good news on this front. Population growth rates in parts of Asia are beginning to slow:According to new data from the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the region as a whole has seen population growth rates drop to 1.1%. That means that from 2000-2005 the average number of children per woman dropped to 2.4. Once that drops to 2.1 the region's population will start shrinking.

Countries in the region already below the rate of replacement include China, Thailand, Singapore and Sri Lanka. That's the good news.

South Asia Population Growth Not Falling Though...
The less good news is that some places still are reproducing at well above the rate of replacement. Countries with fertility rates above 3.0 include India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines.

More: UN ESCAP - Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2008
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