The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nation's Fertility Rate At Five Children Per Woman

Kenya's fertility rate has increased to 5.6 percent as the world population hit 7 billion people.

According to a World Bank report released on Friday to mark World Population Day, Kenya's total fertility rate increased by one per cent from 4.6 per cent in 2008 to 5.6 per cent in 2009 which is very high compared to the world's average of 2.49 percent in 2010.

This means that on average a Kenyan woman gives birth to five children.

The report puts the number of children ever born to women aged between 40-49 at 5.6.

United Nations now puts the overall world's population at seven billion people by 2013. Although this is the highest number ever, the population is declining in part due to declining fertility rates in other parts of the world.

Previous reports put the world's population at five billion in 1987, three billion in 1959 and one billion in 1804.

The UN has encouraged more focus on the burgeoning number of the world's youth. UN said that today's young people number 1.8 billion of the population and are shaping social and economic realities while challenging norms and values , and building the foundation of the world's future.

However, too many young people continue to grapple with poverty inequality and human rights violations that prevent them from reaching their personal and collective potential.

"Safeguarding the rights of adolescents and youth and investing in their future is essential to their development and that of their families, communities and countries. Providing quality education, decent employment, effective livelihood skills and access to sexual and reproductive health, including comprehensive sexuality education, will ensure that every young person's potential is fulfilled," the UN said.

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