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the renewal of a population as a result of new births; in statistics, the frequency of births within a certain group of a population. Along with infant mortality, mortality, and longevity, birthrate is an important index of the natural movement of population. The birthrate is measured by the birthrate coefficient—the ratio between live births and individuals per thousand population—and by the total fertility coefficient—the ratio between the number of births and the number of women of childbearing age (15–49 years). The birthrate is influenced by social, economic, legal, historical, ethnographic, geographic, and biological factors. Examples of such factors include the degree of participation of women in societal labor, the availability of child-care facilities, the cultural level of the population, the level of development of public health, the average age of individuals at marriage, and intrafamily regulation of births.
The birthrate has been falling in economically developed countries since the beginning of the 20th century. However, high birthrates continue to characterize developing countries. In 1972 the average birthrate per thousand population was 18.9 in developed countries (for example, 15.9 in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, 17.2 in the Polish People’s Republic, 16.5 in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, 16.2 in Great Britain, 17.3 in the United States, 14.1 in Sweden, and 19.2 in Japan) and 39.0 in developing countries (for example, 48.0 in Syria). The high birthrate in developing countries is explained by the demographic explosion (see DEMOGRAPHY).
|Table 1. Dynamics of birthrate in the USSR (per thousand population)|
Table 1 shows the dynamics of the birthrate in the USSR. In the republics of the USSR the birthrate per thousand population varies from 14 in the Baltic countries to 35 in Middle Asia. The source of data on birthrates in the USSR is birth registrations, which are compiled on the basis of information provided by medical institutions.
REFERENCESBatkis, G. A., and L. G. Lekarev. Sotsial’naia gigiena i organizatsiia zdravookhraneniia. Moscow, 1969.
Belitskaia, E. Ia. Problemy sotsial’noi gigieny. Leningrad, 1970.
Lisitsyn, Iu. P Sotsial’naia gigiena i organizatsiia zdravookhraneniia. Moscow, 1973.
O. G. FROLOVA