(April 2010) "Distilled Demographics," PRB's video series, highlights key demographic concepts such as fertility, mortality, and migration. Through these short videos, you can learn demography's real-world application and impact. "These videos not only show that demography can be exciting, but also highlight how population trends and issues affects the well-being of us all," says Haub. "Fertility, mortality, and migration—along with other demographic issues—play a major role in determining what kind of opportunities and challenges people face in their communities and countries."

The birth rate is one of the most basic and important measures in demography. But its relevance is not limited to just demographers. Birth rates affect public policy and budgeting for education and health systems, and can have major impacts on the well-being of a country's population. Governments, policymakers, and the news media are concerned about birth rates, because the rates are seen as either being too high or too low. In this video, PRB senior demographer Carl Haub explains how "crude" birth rates, the total fertility rate, and replacement-level fertility rates are measured, and using examples from various countries, why these measures matter for public health and economic development.

We want to hear from you! Send in your thoughts, impressions, and questions. Have a question on world population and demography? Send in your question to Carl at askprb@prb.org.

PRB's Distilled Demographics video series is underwritten through the generosity of Juanita Tamayo Lott and Robert H. Lott in support of PRB's Millennial Generation Outreach Program, and in memory of Jorge del Pinal.