In Cool Findings of the Day: Feminist Countries Have Higher Fertility Rates

Take that, patriarchy.

Finger, Child, Neck, Taste, Kitchen utensil, Toddler, Eyelash, Spoon, Nail, Baby,
(Image credit: Archives)

Countries that are more "feminist"—AKA the ones who have more women working to support the economy and with control over their reproductive choices—actually have much higher fertility rates than other countries. (That's right—more babies for those who let women choose to have them or not. Do you hear that, anti-fems?)

This largely unnoticed but dramatic change is documented in new research by the National Institute of Demographic Studies in France (opens in new tab), which shows that those countries focusing on "family values" are actually experiencing the lowest rates of reproduction. The largest family sizes are all clustered in places such as Britain, France, Belgium and the U.S., where more than 70% of women are working and where child care, birth control, and maternity leave are available.

Ironically enough (and to the chagrin of many conservatives, probably), places with available and legal abortion correlate with a higher reproduction rate. Countries that permit same-sex marriage also have some of the highest fertility rates.

This research is backed by another study (opens in new tab), which essentially shows that those countries with a more male breadwinner model of a family have actually very low fertility, with those countries that have higher levels of gender equity in the family and workplace actually having higher, "sustainable" fertility.

We'll just be over here doing a happy dance.

You should also check out:

15 States Get an "F" in Reproductive Health (opens in new tab)

Lena Dunham and Other Celebs Are Taking a Stand for Reproductive Rights (opens in new tab)

The History of Abortion Laws (opens in new tab)

Samantha Leal
Samantha Leal

Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.