Which of the following is the LEAST likely to REDUCE fertility?
a. a decrease in maternal mortality risk.
b. more generous public pension schemes.
c. an increase in the availability of labor-saving technology for farms and family businesses.
d. an increase in women's wages.
The fertility rate is calculated by dividing the number of babies born by the number of women of childbearing age. For a society to replace itself and not decrease in population the fertility rate needs to be 2 since each woman would have to replace herself and a male partner. As women become wealthier and more educated, the fertility rates decline as women see other options for their lives rather than raising children.
Answer and Explanation:
The answer is A. If women are less likely to die during childbirth, they are more likely to try to become pregnant. Historically, the risk of death has been an impediment to women's willingness to have children.
Answers B, C, and D will all decrease the fertility rate. If the pension scheme of a country is more generous, women did not have children as often to take care of them when they are of advance age. Historically, one reason to have many children was to be taken care of when they are elderly. Labor-saving technology in agriculture reduces the need to have as many children in rural areas. Historically, children were needed on the farm to help with the work. If capital goods replace workers, women will have fewer children. Finally, as women earn more, they tend to have fewer children. They have fewer children because they take more time advancing their careers and through education. They may still have children but the fertility rate likely falls as women become more educated and wealthy.
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fromChapter 3 / Lesson 2
One of the important uses of statistics is measuring rates of fertility, and demographers have some great ways of doing this. Explore three major tools for measuring fertility rates, and test your understanding with a brief quiz in this lesson.