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Israel tops birth rate in OECD

Israel is in first place with a birth rate of 2.9, followed by Mexico and France at 1.8. At the bottom of the list is South Korea at 0.7.

Israeli children on the first day of the school in Jerusalem, Sept. 1, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.
Israeli children on the first day of the school in Jerusalem, Sept. 1, 2021. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90.

Israel has the highest fertility rate among a group of 38 industrialized nations in which births have dropped by more than half over the past 50 years, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The total fertility rate has dropped to 1.5 per woman in 2022 from 3.3 in 1960 on average across the OECD, according to the annual report released last week.

The highest birth rates among OECD countries were in Israel at 2.9, followed by Mexico and France with 1.8 each. The lowest fertility rate was in South Korea, at an estimated 0.7 children per woman. 

Italy and Spain also came in on the low end of births with 1.2 children per woman, the survey found.

“While OECD countries are using a range of policy options to support families, the economic cost and long-term financial uncertainty of having children continue to significantly influence people’s decision to become parents,” said Stefano Scarpetta, director of the OECD’s Employment, Labor and Social Affairs Directorate.

The average age of women giving birth in the group rose from 28.6 in 2000 to 30.9 in 2022, the report found. One out of every two young adults in their 20s lived with their parents.

When comparing women born in 1935 and in 1975, the percentage without at least one child doubled in Estonia, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Spain, according to the data.

The Paris-based international organization which seeks to promote economic growth was founded in 1961.

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