U.S. Fertility Drops to Historic Low in 2019

PRB’s 2019 World Population Data Sheet Shows Worldwide Total Fertility Rate Continues to Decline; India to Overtake China as World’s Most Populous Country by 2050

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Fertility in the United States dropped to the lowest level in recorded history, with women having an average of 1.7 births in their lifetime. This is according to the 2019 World Population Data Sheet, released today by Population Reference Bureau (PRB), the nonprofit that uses data to inform policy decisionmakers around the world.

Produced by PRB annually since 1962, the Data Sheet provides a unique snapshot of the demographic trends reshaping our world today and in the future by charting the most critical population, life, and health indicators for more than 200 countries and territories. With more than 50 countries, including the United States, scheduled to conduct a census in the coming year, this year’s Data Sheet also provides a look at the history of census-taking going back thousands of years.

“Today, more than ever, objective data and analysis are vital to helping decisionmakers and global leaders develop policies and programs to meet the needs of people around the world,” said PRB President and CEO Jeff Jordan. “For more than 50 years, PRB’s World Population Data Sheet has been doing just that by identifying trends with important implications for economic growth, resource allocation, and health policies globally.”

Among the key findings for 2019:

  • The global total fertility rate continues to decline but at 2.4 remains high enough to ensure continued population growth.
  • Aging trends in many parts of the world are holding steady, with countries in Asia and Europe having some of the world’s oldest populations, and countries in Africa having some of the youngest.
  • By 2050, India will surpass China as the world’s most populous country with an estimated 1.67 billion people, while more people will be living in Nigeria than in the United States.

Other key findings of the 2019 World Population Data Sheet include:


  • Countries with the highest total fertility rates are Niger (7.0 average births for each woman), Chad (6.0), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (6.0). The lowest total fertility rates are in South Korea (1.0), Singapore (1.1), and Taiwan (1.1).

Population Change

  • The U.S. population will rise from 329.2 million to 387.6 million by 2050, but will be overtaken in size by Nigeria’s population which is expected to double—from 201.0 million to 401.3 million people.


  • Southern Africa (Botswana, eSwatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa) has the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS among those ages 15 to 24—3.7 percent of males and 11 percent of females. At 15.8 percent, eSwatini has the world’s highest prevalence rate of HIV among women ages 15 to 24.


  • Life expectancy rates at birth in the United States held steady at 76 years for males and 81 years for females. The U.S. population continues to age, with 16 percent of the population ages 65 and older rising to 22 percent by 2050.
  • Men and women’s life expectancy at birth is highest in Hong Kong (82 years for males, 88 years for females) and lowest in Central African Republic (50 years for males, 54 years for females).
  • Countries in Africa are home to some of the world’s youngest populations, those ages 15 or below, including Niger (50 percent); Angola, Chad, and Mali (48 percent); and Uganda and Somalia (47 percent). In contrast, 27 percent of India’s population is age 15 or below. China’s young population is at 18 percent, and in the United States, 19 percent.
  • Asia and Europe are home to some of the world’s oldest populations, those ages 65 and above. They include Japan (28 percent), Monaco (26 percent), and Italy (23 percent). Twelve percent of China’s population is age 65 or above.

About Population Reference Bureau (PRB)
PRB informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations.

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Copies of the 2019 World Population Data Sheet are available for purchase at For those interested in purchasing a downloadable version or bulk copies, please contact