FERTILITY

U.N.: Women Key to Controlling Population

As the world welcomed its 7 billionth member Monday, the United Nations says the empowerment of women will be the key to the world’s stability as population continues to grow. The U.N.’s Population Fund said educating women and girls is the one thing that could best stabilize fertility rates and control the number of children born—a key to managing population growth. Judith Bruce, a senior associate at the Population Council, said fewer children born later in the mother’s life leads to better-cared-for kids. The council’s data show that delaying marriage and childbearing just five years in the least developed countries would lead to 224 million fewer children born by 2050—a 39 percent drop in the expected population growth.