Consider the following countries:

  1. Italy
  2. Japan
  3. Nigeria
  4. South Korea
  5. South Africa

Which of the above countries are frequently mentioned in the media for their low birth rates, or ageing population or declining population?

(a) 1, 2 and 4
(b) 1, 3 and 5
(c) 2 and 4 only
(d) 3 and 5 only

Correct Answer: (a) 1, 2 and 4


  • Italy:
    • Italy is frequently mentioned in the media for its low birth rates and ageing population. The country’s fertility rate has fallen to 1.2 in 2023, and almost one in four residents are above the age of 65.
  • Japan:
    • Japan is well-known for its declining birth rate and ageing population. The fertility rate hit a record low of 1.26 in 2022, and the population is projected to fall significantly by 2070.
  • Nigeria:
    • Nigeria is not frequently mentioned for low birth rates or ageing population. Instead, it has a high birth rate and a young population structure.
  • South Korea:
    • South Korea is frequently highlighted for its record-low fertility rate and ageing population. The fertility rate dropped to 0.72 in 2023, the lowest in the world.
  • South Africa:
    • South Africa is not commonly mentioned in the context of low birth rates or ageing population. It has a relatively young population and higher fertility rates compared to countries like Italy, Japan, and South Korea.

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  • Italy:
    • Italy’s fertility rate has been declining for years, reaching a historic low of 1.2 in 2023. The country faces a significant ageing population issue, with 24% of its residents aged 65 or older. The population is projected to decrease to 48 million by 2070 if current trends continue.
  • Japan:
    • Japan’s fertility rate has been declining for decades, hitting a record low of 1.26 in 2022. The population is expected to fall from over 125 million to 87 million by 2070. The ageing population, with a high percentage of elderly, poses economic and social challenges.
  • South Korea:
    • South Korea has the world’s lowest fertility rate, which dropped to 0.72 in 2023. The country faces a severe ageing population issue, with projections indicating that the working-age population will be less than the elderly population by 2067. Efforts to reverse the trend have included significant financial incentives and policy changes.

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