Many people living in cities are opting to have no children — to be “child-free” as urban parlance has it — and globally the average number of newborns is dropping.

The trend is especially apparent in developed countries. The Lancet in March published an article headed “Dramatic declines in global fertility rates set to transform global population patterns by 2100”. The global total fertility rate “has more than halved over the past 70 years, from around five children for each female in 1950 to 2.2 children in 2021 — with over half of all countries and territories (110 of 204) below the population replacement level of 2.1 births per female as of 2021”, it says...

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