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Paige Fusco

Graphic Truth: From baby boom to baby gloom

Women are having fewer children in the US and Canada, where birth rates have been falling since the 1960s. In 2020, Canada’s fertility rate hit an all-time low of 1.4 children per woman. In the US, the national birth rate has fallen by 20% since 2007.

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A heatmap detailing maternal mortality around the globe.

The Graphic Truth: Have global maternal mortality rates improved?

Maternal mortality – deaths that occur during pregnancy or childbirth – remains one of the most startling health indicators separating women in wealthy states from those in the developing world. While the global maternal mortality rate dropped by 34% in the two decades leading up to 2020, pregnancy and childbirth are still often deadly experiences for women, particularly in Africa, where they often lack access to pre and postpartum care. Throughout much of the West, meanwhile, rates of maternal mortality increased from 2016-2020. We take a look at the change in maternal mortality rates since 2000.

Luisa Vieira

Will Japan grow its population before it's too late?

What if a hypothetical government, overtaxed by an aging, shrinking population, decided to ask its seniors to make the ultimate national sacrifice to voluntarily die?

That’s the premise of "Plan 75," a 2022 indie film that predicts a grim dystopian and not-too-distant future for a fictional Japan, where the elderly are offered compensation to submit to euthanasia and avoid being a burden to society when they turn 75.

Sure, it’s just a movie, but nowhere is more at risk of a demographic implosion than Japan. With a median age of 49, it’s the world's oldest country, and 28% of people are 65+. The nation of 125 million — whose annual births dropped below 800,000 for the first time in 2022, eight years earlier than forecasted — is expected to lose almost one-third of its population by 2060.

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Hard Numbers: Chinese birth rates dip, Hong Kong culls hamsters, Barbados’ snap vote, Colombian leaders targeted

7.52: Birth rates in China dropped to a record low 7.52 per 1,000 people in 2021, down from 10.41 in 2019. This comes as the Chinese Communist Party is trying very hard to boost birth rates to revive a slowing economy.

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