Rising Fertility, October 2016


Rising Fertility, October 2016

Chad’s fertility rate is rising to dangerous levels and Centuries-old traditions have trapped the population in a cycle of high birth and death rates and poverty. Chad is one of the world’s poorest countries with the fourth highest fertility rate. With an average of nearly seven children per mother — and rising — the country defies the typical global pattern of so-called “demographic transition”. Normally, improved health and development reduces early deaths and a fall in birth rates follows, resulting in a balanced population for each age group.

The population of Chad, however, is around 13m and growing at 3.5 per cent a year, with two-thirds of its people aged under 25. Without greater efforts to limit this expansion, experts warn that Chad risks missing out on the “demographic dividend” — a surge of people entering the workforce to boost economic growth.

Kate travelled to Chad with the Financial Times to document this growing problem.