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How Brazil's Fertility Fell
The number of children a woman bears on average is falling worldwide; it's the speed of Brazil's drop that intrigues demographers. Increased education for girls is a factor, as elsewhere, but there are decidedly Brazilian twists, including the spread of electricity and wildly popular evening TV soap operas called novelas, which usually feature small families. With fewer children, women are playing a stronger role in the workforce.
JOHN TOMANIO AND WILLIAM E. MCNULTY, NGM STAFF
SOURCES: BARRO-LEE EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT DATASET; BRAZILIAN INSTITUTE OF GEOGRAPHY AND STATISTICS (IBGE); SUZANA M. CAVENAGHI, IBGE; ALBERTO CHONG AND SUZANNE DURYEA, INTER-AMERICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK; CARL P. SCHMERTMANN, FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY