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2012 World Population Data Sheet: Poor Countries Grow as Rich Countries Age

• Worldwide, the total fertility rate (TFR, or average number of children per woman) is 2.4., and 4.4 in the poorest countries. TFRs range from a low of 1.1 in countries such as Latvia and Taiwan, to a high of 7.1 in Niger.

• With a current population of 4.3 billion, Asia will likely experience a much smaller proportional increase than Africa, but will still add about 1 billion people by 2050—determined in large part by what happens in China and India.

• Latin America and the Caribbean is the developing region with the smallest proportional growth expected by 2050, from 599 million today to 740 million, largely due to fertility declines in several of its largest countries such as Brazil and Mexico.

• The U.S. population is growing more slowly and beginning to age rapidly. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of people under age 18 declined by 190,000, while the number of people ages 65 and older increased by 917,000. Women in the U.S. now average 1.9 children, down from 2.1 several years ago.