Birth Rate

What is the birth rate?

The birth rate, gross birth rate or birth rate is the number of births that occurs in a territory per thousand inhabitants in a period of one year.

The birth rate is used to calculate population growth in a given territory. This indicator makes it possible to project over time the necessary policies for the distribution of the population and economic resources.

For example,

Refering to birth rate in the worldIn 2018, an index of 18.2 births per thousand inhabitants was registered. Let’s see the behavior of this figure over time:

Year 2011 2012 2013 2014 2016 2017 2018
19.15 19.14 18.9 18.7 18.5 18.4 18.2

birth rate

Graph of the global birth rate between 2000 and 2018. Source: IndexMundi.

Refering to birth rate in mexico, in 2018 this stood at 18.1‰. The graph and table below allow us to evaluate the behavior of the birth rate in that country over time.

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2016 2018
19.39 19.13 18.87 18.61 19.02 18.5 18.1

birth rateGraph of the birth rate in Mexico between 2000 and 2018. Source: IndexMundi.

The birth rate alone does not allow an understanding of the population structure, since it does not discriminate variables such as age and sex, which are essential to truly understand demographic projections. For this reason, any comparative analysis requires that the information on the birth rate be complemented with other indicators.

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You may also be interested in: Population growth.


The birth rate is calculated by dividing the number of births that occur annually in a territory by the total number of its population; After this, the result is multiplied by a thousand. The formula for the birth rate is as follows:

Tn = (n/p) x 1000


  • Tn = Birth rate;
  • n = total number of births in a year;
  • p = total population.

For example,

If in a region with a total population of 5,783 people, 241 births are recorded, what is the birth rate?

  • Tn = (241/5783) x 1000
  • T = 0.0416 x 1000
  • T = 41.63

It can also be calculated as follows: Tn = number of births x 1000 / total population.

Birth and death rate

The mortality rate It refers to the number of deaths that occurs in a territory per thousand inhabitants in a period of one year. The relationship between the birth rate and mortality is important, since both indicators together allow us to understand the pace of demographic or population growth.

These, together with other indicators such as the fertility rate, GDP, morbidity and life expectancy, are necessary to calculate the human development index with better precision.

See also:

  • Human development Index.
  • Morbidity.
  • Mortality.

fertility rate

The birth rate should not be confused with the fertility rate. The fertility rate refers to the hypothetical number of births that would occur in a given period and territory, taking into account the number of women of reproductive age. The fertility rate is used to make projections of future population growth.