Does Less Education Mean More Kids?

Global birth rates have been falling since the 1980s. So why, in some African countries, did they creep up 20 years later? Perhaps because of 1980s austerity, say researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

By the 2000s, girls who grew up in amid education cuts were having more children than their better-educated predecessors. Had schooling kept pace, fertility might have declined faster in some countries, the study found.

But the research doesn’t rule out other factors, notes Amy Tsui of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and would be “more convincing” if it also showed a stall in boys’ education rates. 

Science

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