Brazil birth rate:
My faithful friend has sent me another bit of information.  This was announced by the Centre for Economic Policy Research of London a couple of years ago.  I had read the announcement, but I had not saved the reference, so I am most grateful to get to see it again.  What they pointed out was that Brazil’s birth rate had, over a span of some 48 years fallen from 6.3 per woman to 1.86.  In less than half a century it fell to a quarter of what it had been. 

The authors blame the fall on women spending so much time watching television that they don’t have time for sex … or something like that.  Anyway I’m having none of it.  They are watching television because they don’t have children to watch. 

If the trend were going to continue at that rate in a linear fashion, it would hit zero in 12 years.  That is far sooner than anything I have ever seen elsewhere.  Even if, perish the thought, the last German woman who will ever have children is now 10 years old, the birth rate should not fall to zero for 30 years.  It would take far more sophisticated statistics than are available to me to tease out the truth of the matter.  At a minimum one ought to look at cohorts of the same age and compare their fertility at earlier ages with the age matched results from other cohorts. 

So I don’t know what is going on.  And whatever I don’t know I am skeptical of.  But if you were looking for a chance to go into hysterics, this one’s pretty good.

No, wait.  That data was two years old.  Here’s something more recent from the CIA. 
Birth rate: 18.43 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)

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Birth rate


Percent Change

Date of Information





2003 est.




-4.75 %

2004 est.




0.00 %

2005 est.




-1.60 %

2006 est.




-1.57 %

2007 est.




14.85 %

2008 est.




-1.55 %

2009 est.




0.00 %

2009 est.

Definition: This entry gives the average annual number of births during a year per 1,000 persons in the population at midyear; also known as crude birth rate. The birth rate is usually the dominant factor in determining the rate of population growth. It depends on both the level of fertility and the age structure of the population.
Source: CIA World Factbook - Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of February 19, 2010
Downloaded July 31, 2010.

There is a graph on the web site.  I have no idea why the CIA does not want you to copy it, but there is the information graphed. 

As you see the numbers go up and down.  If you like you can say that there was a linear decline to 2007 followed by a sawtooth upward tic and then a renewed decline.  It depends on how upset you want to be.  The whole thing scares the willies out of me.  At all events, it looks like it will be more than twelve years before Brazil really runs out of babies. 

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