How has children per woman changed over time? We used code to find out.

In this short video, Professor Hans Rosling describes how fertility rates have dropped over time (from 6 children per women in 1800 to 2.5 children per women now). We can use Processing to recreate the chart that Professor Rosling showed. In our version of the chart, we rendered each country’s total fertility rate (TFR) separately and grouped the countries by region.

Click to cycle through different regions in the chart below:

Some interesting conclusions can be made from this version of the chart:

  • Europe started with a lower TFR than other regions.
  • In addition, European countries have less variability in TFR values, especially recently.
  • TFR in the Americas and Asia began to decline in the 1960s.
  • In contrast, the TFR in Africa began to drop in the 2000s.

The data files used to create this chart are available for you to play with in KTBYTE Coder. The TFR data file looks like this:

You can access the lines of this file with the following Processing code:

We’ve made a second data file available that contains information about countries, which looks like this:

You can access that file like so:

Data used:

Here is the code for the above visualization:

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