Mortality, Fertility, and Economic Development: An Analysis of 201 Countries during 1960-2010

Qingfeng Li, Johns Hopkins University
Li Liu, Johns Hopkins University
Saifuddin Ahmed, Johns Hopkins University

Rapid reductions in fertility and mortality during the last half-century caused a major favorable shift of population age structure in many countries, which has proven to be conducive to economic development. Given the well-established relationship between favorable population age structure and spurred economic development, our aim is to estimate the contribution to the change in the dependency ratio from the decline of each component of demographic transition, fertility and mortality, during 1960-2010. We applied the cohort component method (CCM) to the data from 201 countries in the World Population Prospects: 2012 version (WPP) released by the United Nations (UN). The child dependency ratio would be 122% and 104% higher than the observed level in 2012 in Asian and Latin America and the Caribbean, respectively, had the fertility not declined. It would only be 13% higher if there was no fertility decline in SSA.

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Presented in Session 28: Fertility in the Demographic Transition