Crude birth rate of the world and continents 1950-2020

From 1950 to 1955, the worldwide crude birth rate was just under 37 births per thousand people, which means that 3.7 percent of the population, who were alive during this time had been born in this five year period. Between this five year period, and the time between 2015 and 2020, the crude birth rate has dropped to 18.5 births per thousand people, which is fifty percent of what the birth rate was seventy years ago. This change has come as a result of increased access and reliability of contraception, a huge reduction in infant and child mortality rate, and increased educational and vocational opportunities for women. The continents that have felt the greatest change over this seventy year period are Asia and Latin America, which fell below the global average in the 1990s and early 2000s, and are estimated to have fallen below the crude birth rate of Oceania in the current five-year period. Europe has consistently had the lowest crude birth rate of all continents during the past seventy years, particularly in the 1990s and 2000s, when it fell to just over ten births per thousand, as the end of communism in Europe caused sweeping demographic change across Europe. The only continent that still remains above the global average is Africa, whose crude birth rate is fifteen births per thousand more than the world average, although the rate of decrease is higher than it was in previous decades.

Crude birth rate in each continent and worldwide, from 1950 until 2020*

WorldAfricaAsiaEuropeLatin America and CaribbeanNorth AmericaOceania
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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

*The numbers given are averages of the crude birth rates over five year periods

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