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Jakarta Post

Indonesia faces a struggle to keep birthrate down

  • Erwida Maulia

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, July 12 2008   /  11:41 am

About 3.5 million babies will be born in Indonesia every year if the current birthrate continues. But if the family planning program breaks down, the birthrate will at least double -- putting Indonesia on the verge of a baby boom. The population has now reached 225 million, according to the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN). BKKBN head Sugiri Syarief said Friday the country's birthrate had remained stable over the past five years, with the average number of children born to each Indonesian woman holding steady at 2.6 from 2002 and 2007 -- a remarkable decline from 5.6 children per woman in the early 1970s, when the birth control program was nonexistent. According to the World Bank's World Population Day report, globally birthrates have fallen the fastest in Asia. In East Asia fertility rates are at or below 2.1 children per woman, in Cent...