Countries with the highest fertility rates 2017

The statistic shows the 20 countries with the estimated highest fertility rates in 2017. The fertility rate is the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her childbearing years. In 2017, the fertility rate in Niger was estimated to be 6.49 children per woman.

High fertility rates in Africa

With a fertility rate of almost 7 children per woman, Niger is the country with the highest fertility rate in the world followed by Mali. The total population of Niger is growing at a fast pace. The population growth in Niger is amongst the top 10 highest in the world. Lack of good medical conditions which include access to vaccines, antibiotics and a balanced nutrition are most common in thirds world countries. As a result, the infant mortality rates in African countries such as Niger and Mali are also amongst the highest.

Nowadays, a large population growth in a country is either associated with a poor economy, lack of awareness and preventive measures or poor living conditions. Lack of access to birth control and contraception in third world countries also contributes to higher fertility rates. The global population is around 7 billion people and the African continent makes up around 1.1 billion people of the total global population, which is, among other factors, due to most of the inhabitants belonging to the low income group where children are needed to help provide for the family by starting to work at earlier ages. Statistics show that the fertility rate per woman in low income countries is twice as high as the global average. As a result, 9 out of the top 10 countries with the highest fertility rates are in Africa, as can be seen above.

The 20 countries with the highest fertility rates in 2017

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Release date

February 2019



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

According to the source, all figures are based on estimates.

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