How Governments Influence Fertility Rates

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Introduction Fertility rates refer to the number of children that a woman can give birth to if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years as per the prevailing age-specific fertility rates. Gray, Qu & Weston (2008) state that Governments wield influential power on fertility rates through their policy formulations aimed at influencing their country’s demographics. For instance, governments in countries with declining fertility rates have been involved in engineering programs such as provision of financial incentives, aimed at enticing couples to bear more children. Such incentives include monetary grants, differential taxation and the provision of free child-rearing services. Governments have engaged themselves in the ordinance of private-sector employers by obtruding an obligation on them to provide paid parental leave to couples that give birth to children. May (2012) argues that fertility rates is an important influencing factor of future demographic trends in most countries. This is as due to the fact that fertility rates influence the age structure, dependency ratios and the size of the labor force of a country. The essay provides an overview of the fertility trends in America, Australia and Sweden. It highlights some of the reasons contributing to the declining fertility rates in the three countries. It identifies the effects that the declining fertility rates have had in the three countries and finally outlines the various ways through which the government influences fertility rates in various countries. An overview of Fertility trends in America, Australia and Sweden According to Glowaki & Richmond (2007), developed countries have continued to register declining fertility rates world-over. Mather (2012) highli... ... middle of paper ... in Developed Countries. Middle States Geographer, vol. 40, pp. 32-38. Gray, M, Qu, L & Weston, R 2008. Fertility and family policy in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies. Mather, M 2012. Fact Sheet: The Decline in U.S. Fertility. World Population Data Sheet 2012. Population Reference Bureau. Viewed June 7, 2014 . May, J 2012. World Population Policies: Their Origin, Evolution, and Impact. Dordrecht New York: Springer. Ruzicka, L & Caldwell, J 1982. Fertility: Country Monograph Series no. 9, Population of Australia, vol. 1. New York: Economic and Social Commission for Australia and the Pacific. Sundström, K 2001. Can Governments Influence Population Growth? Division of International Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and Q Web.

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