In the charts below I intended to explore the relationship between women’s participation in global labor force and fertility rate. This is often a conversation topic between women my age (33) and their friends, so I wanted to dig into more deeply. I used Tableau to aggregate and filter information from my online data research, group data and edit numbers into percentage and numerals. I also read several articles online that approach the subject in a similar way I intended to reproduce through my graphs and express the correlations.
Generally, we can observe the international decrease in birth rates from the 1960s to today. There is a general inverse correlation between income and total fertility rate within nations. The higher the education and GDP, the fewer children are born in any developed country. In developing countries children are needed as a labour force and to provide care for their parents in old age. In these countries, fertility rates are higher due to the lack of access to contraceptives and generally lower levels of female education. The social structure, religious beliefs, economic prosperity and urbanization within each country are likely to affect birth rates. In the chart below, I wanted to highlight the decrease in fertility rate by utilizing high contrasting temperature colors (warm for high rates and cold for low rates) along the years.
Click here for full chart visualization.
In the line chart below we can observe the increase in percentage of women in labor force in the U.S. from 1948 to nowadays. The trend is clear and proves how much women have been prioritizing their careers and independence amongst other factors and opting for delaying marriage or giving birth. Developed countries tend to have a lower fertility rate due to lifestyle choices associated with economic affluence where mortality rates are low, birth control is easily accessible and children often can become an economic drain caused by housing, education cost and other cost involved in bringing up children. If you are interested in the topic, this article explains it very well.
My last visual representation (below) illustrates how women have been giving birth later and later every year. I opted for contrasting colors to highlight the areas/shapes and facilitate pinpointing age range. As I mentioned before, higher education and professional careers often mean that women have children late in life. This can result in a demographic economic paradox. There are several socio-economic factors that have led to women and couples delaying having children. Lack of affordable housing, flexible and part-time career posts for women and affordable and publicly funded (free) child care have contributed to the current low fertility/birth rates. Couples/women are delaying starting a family which has led to a true decline in their fertility levels due to ovarian aging and related reasons leading to reduced chance of conception.