Changing population demographics represents one of the many reasons to focus on diversity. Birth rates, the median age of the population, and immigration policies are all meaningful factors.
They can influence the number of retired persons, the available labor pool, and the ability of working individuals to contribute to social security-type systems.
Recently, Stef Kight, writing for Axios, examined these very patterns. Drawing from data from the World Bank, he examined population growth and fertility rates in countries from around the world.
He used 2.1 live births per woman as the standard, as this is the replacement level fertility value worldwide.
Niger has the highest birthdate, with about 7 children per woman. Not surprisingly, this country also has one of the highest growth rates. Pakistan, Nigeria, and Guatemala are other countries in this category.
On the other hand, there are some countries, like Syria, where birthrates are high, but the population is shrinking. This is due to the horrible war that has enveloped the country since 2011.
Some countries, like the US, have experienced population growth even though fertility rates are below the 2.1 mark. This expansion is due to immigration into the country. China is also in this category, though demographers expect the country to begin population decline within the next 20 years.
Finally, there are countries like Italy or Croatia, to name just two, that have low birth rates and a shrinking population. Kight warns that labor shortages and strained social safety nets are likely to ensue unless meaningful changes occur.
In all, the data show how populations vary around the world. The changes have a meaningful influence on labor, social welfare systems, and their sustainability.