According to the most recent report by Daily Mail UK, the global average fertility rate was 2.3 in 2020, compared to the 4.7 rate in 1970; this difference measures a 51 percent drop. A study titled “The New Economics of Fertility” asserted that as fertility rates reduce in many parts of the world, there is continual growth in Africa. Out of the top 32 countries with the highest fertility rates, there are 31 African countries with Niger as the first (6.9) and Nigeria in the eighth position (5.3).
To address rising population, a study entitled “Fertility and Population Explosion in Nigeria: Does Income Actually Count?” affirmed that an increasing population without adequate and effective policies and programmes to balance socio-economic and political vices could be disastrous for a nation. The researchers of the study, from different Nigerian Universities, added that there have been underutilization of Nigeria’s rising population, considering the massive unemployment rate that has caused several socioeconomic and political crises in the country.
Impending population growth in Nigeria spurs concern.
Recently, it was estimated that the population of Nigeria will rise to 401 million by 2050, ranking the third most populous country in the world. This impending population increase has raised questions concerning the future of Nigeria. Studies have revealed that population increase has positive and significant impacts on the growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country, although some recorded negative results. Because income growth has no significant influence on population growth, the studies concluded that income has no tie with rising population.
A paper recently shared “new fertility facts” that are affecting old theories on the link between child bearing, years of education and income level. The study highlighted low-income countries, like Nigeria and some African countries, as the only places where there is existence of negative relationship between income and fertility rate. The Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs has also projected Nigeria as the fourth most populous country in the next 28 years with a population of 375 million.
The population of Nigeria is currently at 216 million.
In recent times, the growth of Nigeria has not been impressive with its fast growing population until 2021 when its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 3.6 percent. Despite the country’s efforts to regulate growth, experts have expressed worries concerning the possible consequence of overpopulation as the country is estimated to have attained 216 million population. While Nigeria expresses concern about its overpopulation, a study has shown that high-income countries like Germany, Japan, Italy and Spain have emerging ultralow fertility rates.
There was an observation by the study that the richer parents get, the more they invest in the quality of their children, particularly in aspects of education. The costly expenses of this investment has caused many parents to bear fewer children as income increases. However, history has it that fertility and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita have no positive relationship, across countries and over time. The report has also stated that the downward fertility rate in developed countries is as a result of women’s decisions to prioritize their careers and have kids much later in life.
Financial pressure discourages child bearing.
World Bank data says 106 countries have fertility rates below 2.1, with South Korea, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong having below 1.0. An economic professor at the University of Maryland, Dr. Melissa Kearney, stated that the developed world is drifting away from traditional family values as adults are coming into conflict with parenting and are rather committing themselves to building their careers. Others have highlighted expensive costs of child care and other financial pressure as cause of low fertility rate. A report stated that over the last three decades, cost of raising a child has increased by 220 percent.