Fertility Rate in Mexico 1950-2015

This post contains a Bokeh app showing the rapid change in Fertility Rate that took place in Mexico during the last 50 years. The idea is to illustrate how simple data visualisation tools can help to communicate a story.

Fertility rate in Mexico was close to 7 children during the 50s and 60s. It reached its peak of 6.83 children per woman in 1970. In contrast, the global average at that time was 4.73 and just above 2.2 for the UK and US. However, as data shows, something happened in the early 70s.

This is the story behind the chart:

  • In 1968, UN the United Nations declared family planning as a human right. Mexico voted in favour of the resolution with deep conviction, in the hopes that women could achieve full equality under the law and in every facet of life.
  • In 1974 Mexico amended its Constitution (Article 4) to give people the right to decide when and if they want children and how many they want.
  • In 1977, a governmental coordinating body was made responsible for getting family planning services to all couples in need of them, and for reducing the growth rate to 2.5% annually by 1982.
  • By December 1978 an estimated 1.7 million active contraceptive users were enrolled in government sponsored family planning programs — 19% of all married women of reproductive age. Another estimated 17% were obtaining modern contraceptive services and supplies through nongovernment channels, and a further 4% were using rhythm, withdrawal or folk methods.
  • Fertility rate decreased steadily until the point of becoming smaller than the global average in 2003 and reaching its current level of around 2.2 children per woman (comparable to developed countries like US and UK).

You can find the Python code here:

View this gist on GitHub

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