Countries with the highest fertility rates – ranked

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A global index of countries with the highest fertility rates, measured by total births per woman, using the latest data from the UN.

Map of countries with the highest fertility rates by total births per woman
Countries with the highest fertility rates by total births per woman (World Bank/CC BY-4.0)

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) denotes the total number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her reproductive life.

A lower or declining fertility rate should be welcomed as it reflects the empowerment of women in society and in relationships, improvements in education, strengthened women’s rights and increased well-being and status of children.

Having fewer children is also unquestionably better for the environment with recent analysis confirming that having one fewer child reduces a parent’s carbon footprint by 58.6 tonnes of CO2 a year.

10 lowest & highest fertility rates

Lowest fertility rates


  1. South Korea
  2. Singapore
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Malta
  5. Macao
  6. Ukraine
  7. Spain
  8. San Marino
  9. Moldova
  10. Italy

Highest fertility rates

  1. Niger
  2. Somalia
  3. DR Congo
  4. Mali
  5. Chad
  6. Angola
  7. Burundi
  8. Nigeria
  9. Burkina Faso
  10. The Gambia

Key findings

  • The global average fertility rate is 2.4 children per woman.
  • Niger has the highest fertility rate with an average of 6.9 children per woman.
  • South Korea has the lowest fertility rate of just 1.0.
  • Africa has the highest fertility rate of 4.4.
  • Europe has the lowest fertility rate of 1.6, followed by North America (1.9), Latin America and the Caribbean (2.0), Asia (2.1) and Oceania (2.3).
  • A declining fertility rate does not mean a shrinking population as life expectancy continues to increase.
  • 77 countries have a fertility rate below 2.0.
  • The 20 highest fertility rates are all in Africa.
  • More economically developed countries – including most of Europe, Singapore, Japan South Korea, the USA, New Zealand and Australia – have lower fertility rates.

Countries with the highest fertility rates – complete ranking

The table below ranks the world’s countries by fertility rate using Total Fertility Rate (TFR), which measures the average number of children per woman.

Some countries may be missing due to inadequate data.

RankCountryFertility Rate
1Niger6.9
2Somalia6.1
3DR Congo5.9
4Mali5.9
5Chad5.7
6Angola5.5
7Burundi5.4
8Nigeria5.4
9Burkina Faso5.2
10The Gambia5.2
11Uganda5.0
12Mozambique4.9
13Tanzania4.9
14Benin4.8
15Central African Rep.4.7
16Guinea4.7
17South Sudan4.7
18Cameroon4.6
19Cote d’Ivoire4.6
20Mauritania4.6
21Senegal4.6
22Zambia4.6
23Afghanistan4.5
24Equatorial Guinea4.5
25Guinea-Bissau4.5
26Congo4.4
27Solomon Islands4.4
28Sudan4.4
29Liberia4.3
30Sao Tome & Principe4.3
31Sierra Leone4.3
32Togo4.3
33Comoros4.2
34Ethiopia4.2
35Malawi4.2
36Eritrea4.1
37Madagascar4.1
38Gabon4.0
39Marshall Islands4.0
40Rwanda4.0
41Timor-Leste4.0
42Ghana3.9
43Samoa3.9
44Vanuatu3.8
45Yemen3.8
46Iraq3.7
47Kiribati3.6
48Papua New Guinea3.6
49Tajikistan3.6
50Tonga3.6
51West Bank & Gaza3.6
52Zimbabwe3.6
53Kenya3.5
54Pakistan3.5
55Namibia3.4
56Egyp3.3
57Kyrgyzstan3.3
58Israel3.1
59Lesotho3.1
60Micronesia3.1
61Algeria3.0
62Eswatini3.0
63Botswana2.9
64Guatemala2.9
65Haiti2.9
66Mongolia2.9
67Oman2.9
68Fiji2.8
69Jordan2.8
70Kazakhstan2.8
71Syria2.8
72Turkmenistan2.8
73Bolivia2.7
74Djibouti2.7
75Lao PDR2.7
76Philippines2.6
77Cambodia2.5
78Guyana2.5
79Honduras2.5
80Panama2.5
81Ecuador2.4
82Morocco2.4
83Nicaragua2.4
84Paraguay2.4
85Seychelles2.4
86South Africa2.4
87Suriname2.4
88Uzbekistan2.4
89Argentina2.3
90Belize2.3
91Cabo Verde2.3
92Dominican Rep.2.3
93Guam2.3
94Indonesia2.3
95Peru2.3
96Saudi Arabia2.3
97Venezuela2.3
98India2.2
99Libya2.2
100Myanmar2.2
101Palau2.2
102Sri Lanka2.2
103Tunisia2.2
104Georgia2.1
105Grenada2.1
106Iran2.1
107Kuwait2.1
108Lebanon2.1
109Mexico2.1
110St. Kitts & Nevis2.1
111Turkey2.1
112Antigua & Barbuda2.0
113Bahrain2.0
114Bangladesh2.0
115Bhutan2.0
116El Salvador2.0
117Greenland2.0
118Jamaica2.0
119Kosovo2.0
120Malaysia2.0
121Uruguay2.0
122Vietnam2.0
123Aruba1.9
124Dominica1.9
125France1.9
126North Korea1.9
127Maldives1.9
128Nepal1.9
129Qatar1.9
130St. Vincent & the Gren.1.9
131Armenia1.8
132The Bahamas1.8
133Brunei Darussalam1.8
134Colombia1.8
135Costa Rica1.8
136Ireland1.8
137Romania1.8
138Sweden1.8
139Australia1.7
140Azerbaijan1.7
141Brazil1.7
142China1.7
143Curacao1.7
144Czech Rep.1.7
145Denmark1.7
146Estonia1.7
147Iceland1.7
148Montenegro1.7
149New Zealand1.7
150Trinidad & Tobago1.7
151UK1.7
152USA1.7
153Albania1.6
154Barbados1.6
155Belgium1.6
156Bermuda1.6
157Bulgaria1.6
158Chile1.6
159Cuba1.6
160Germany1.6
161Hungary1.6
162Latvia1.6
163Liechtenstein1.6
164Lithuania1.6
165Netherlands1.6
166Norway1.6
167Russia1.6
168Slovenia1.6
169Austria1.5
170Canada1.5
171Croatia1.5
172North Macedonia1.5
173Poland1.5
174Serbia1.5
175Slovakia1.5
176Switzerland1.5
177Thailand1.5
178Belarus1.4
179Finland1.4
180Greece1.4
181Japan1.4
182Luxembourg1.4
183Mauritius1.4
184Portugal1.4
185St. Lucia1.4
186UAE1.4
187Andorra1.3
188Bosnia & Herz.1.3
189Cyprus1.3
190Italy1.3
191Moldova1.3
192San Marino1.3
193Spain1.3
194Ukraine1.3
195Macao1.2
196Malta1.2
197Hong Kong1.1
198Singapore1.1
199South Korea1.0

Source: World Bank, World Development Indicators