Building Families in Asia

Why fertility rates are dropping across Asia, why this matters, and how to support those wanting to have children

Our focus:

Over the last few decades, the birth rates of most East and Southeast Asian countries have dropped dramatically. While women often had five children or more just a generation ago, they now have one or two – and many are not having children at all. At first, the decline in fertility was tied to a country’s economic development and progress, but now, the continued drop in fertility may be putting future prosperity at risk. After all: Who will drive the economy, pay taxes and take care of an ageing population when the old outnumber the young?

Like their counterparts in other parts of the world, young people across Asia face a multitude of choices and challenges as they decide whether to have children. Can we afford it? Can we combine work and family life? What about parental leave and affordable childcare? And will we even be able to have children when we want them, or will we need medical assistance?

We want to shed light on these issues and help our local partners to better understand the drivers and impacts of the dynamics they will be facing. We commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to study the demographic trends, childbearing choices, and family-related policy decisions of various countries in East and Southeast Asia.

Dive in to find out why fertility rates are dropping across Asia, why this matters, and how to support those wanting to have children.

Total Fertility (live birth per woman) Total Fertility (live birth per woman)
Birth rates at a historic low

Populations are ageing in Asia as couples marry later and birth rates fall. Most countries in the region are already below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman. learn more

1 https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/, accessed May 2019

Produced by (E) BrandConnect, a commercial division of The Economist Group, which operates separately from the editorial staffs of The Economist and The Economist Intelligence Unit. Neither (E) BrandConnect nor its affiliates accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any party on this content.

Fertile ground: How can Japan raise its fertility rate? Fertile ground: How can Japan raise its fertility rate?
Fertile ground: How can Japan raise its fertility rate?
learn more
Fertile ground: How can Japan raise its fertility rate?

Moving on from one: How can China manage its declining fertility? Moving on from one: How can China manage its declining fertility?
Moving on from one: How can China manage its declining fertility?
learn more
Moving on from one: How can China manage its declining fertility?

The disappearing workforce? Why countries in Southeast Asia need to think about fertility rates before it’s too late The disappearing workforce? Why countries in Southeast Asia need to think about fertility rates before it’s too late
The disappearing workforce? Why countries in Southeast Asia need to think about fertility rates before it’s too late
learn more
The disappearing workforce? Why countries in Southeast Asia need to think about fertility rates before it’s too late

Related programs

Through the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative, we want to help improve women’s health so women can thrive and rise in their communities. We partner with world-class organizations to bring our commitment to life – including in women’s sexual and reproductive health.

Learn more

Couples experiencing infertility often suffer in silence. We want to help foster a society that encourages those wanting to have children, including those who need medical support. Our Yellow Sphere Project, focused on Japan, shows how men and women undergoing fertility treatment can be supported on their journey.

Learn more

Redirect

You have accessed https://www.emdgroup.com, but for users from your part of the world, we originally designed the following web presence https://www.merckgroup.com.

Let's go

Share Disclaimer

By sharing this content, you are consenting to share your data to this social media provider. More information are available in our Privacy Statement