Free Essay: Replacement Level Fertility
Replacement Level Fertility is defined as the level of fertility in women in every subsequent generation. It is based on the assumption that women will only bear children that are enough to replace themselves and their partner. For instance, a mother will have a daughter who will also procreate to bear a daughter of her own. On general terms, fertility rate will only remain consistent when the physical environment remains constant not to cause mutations.
Replacement level fertility is the average number of children who are born in every woman, at which a population undergoes an exact replacement of itself from one generation to another, without cases of migration. In most countries, it is estimated that this rate is about 2.1 children in every woman, however, it should be noted that this projection may vary modestly with mortality rates. In fact, according to World Resources Institute, this fertility trend is expected in almost every country across the world with the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa. The expected reductions in the rates of fertility are a reflection of expectations of increasing urbanization, income, expected declines in child mortality among other factors.
The most effective approaches to acquiring replacement level fertility are not coercive and can go a long way in advancing gender equality. Besides, they can also save millions of lives as well as offer people more control over their lives, thus contributing to growth of economies. The main focus of these approaches are enhancing educational opportunities for girls through the increase of access to reproductive health services like family planning and cutting down the rates of child mortality. In order to achieve this, most countries across the globe today are playing active roles in controlling, funding and setting policies for health services and education systems. It is the responsibility of the government to pursue avenues that will assist in the achievement of replacement level fertility.
Apart from just national governments, bilateral and multilateral development organizations too, have a role to play by offering support to programs aimed at advancing gender equity in sectors like reproductive health services, education, as well as nutrition and preventive healthcare for children aged five years and below. Civil societies can also be of great help towards the achievement of replacement level fertility by raising awareness, service delivery, monitoring performance and generating resources needed for the drive.
The reason why it is important to reduce child mortality rates for the attainment of replacement level fertility is because it is only expected to be successful when offspring are able to survive to the age of 15 years old. Based on the 2.1 children per woman estimation of the replacement level fertility, population growth through reproduction will be pegged at zero. However, this can be affected by the ratio of males to females and mortality rates.
The achievement of replacement level fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world by 2050 could be a great step towards overcoming humanitarian, environmental and economic challenges, thus a sustainable future for all.
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