Declining fertility rates leading to a baby bust
Declining fertility rates around the world in many countries including the UK, health experts have warned.
Globally fertility rates, which represent the average number of children in the lifetime, have declined since 1950 and in 91 nations, rates are now high enough to maintain current population levels.
The large-scale study, published in the Lancet, found that in 2017, 91 countries (including the UK, Singapore, Spain, Norway and South Korea) had lower rates than their current population size.
Meanwhile 104 nations were seeing two people increase their high fertility rates (rates above two).
The highest rate in the Niger, with the highest percentage of children.
The fertility rate in the UK is 1.7, which is similar to most Western European countries.
A mother holds the feet of a new baby, a large-scale study finds that fertility rates are not high enough to maintain current population sizes in 91 countries.
Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, said: "These statistics represent both a baby boom for others.
"But also for women and women"
He also told the BBC: "We've reached this watershed where the population will be in those countries.
"It's a remarkable transition.
"It's a surprise to people like myself, the idea that it's the world in the world will be a huge surprise to people."
The figures from the annual Global Burden of Disease study (GBD), which provides estimates for around 280 causes of death, 359 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors in 195 countries and territories worldwide.
The study is coordinated by the IHME and involves more than 3,500 collaborators from across more than 140 countries and territories.
High blood pressure, smoking, high blood glucose, and high body mass index (BMI).
High blood pressure, followed by smoking (7.1 million deaths), high blood glucose (6.5 million deaths), and high BMI (4.7 million deaths), amounting to 51.5% or 28.8 million out of 55.9 million deaths worldwide in 2017.
Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England and GBD collaborator, said: "With many of the health issues that place the biggest burden on the UK's health care is substantial preventive, this is yet another reminder that prevention must be the centerpiece of any future plans to protect the health of the nation and the NHS.
"It also shows that we are emerging all the time and we, individuals and governments, can not take the health of the public for granted."
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