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In the last three decades sub-replacement fertility has spread around the world. One half of the global population today lives in countries where the period Total Fertility Rate is below 2.1 births per woman.

East Asia, Southern Europe and parts of Central, Eastern and South-eastern Europe reached “ultra-low” fertility rates, with the period Total Fertility at 1.0-1.4 and family size at 1.4-1.6 births per woman born in the mid-1970s. This working paper aims to summarize the available evidence on the effects of family policies on fertility, combining literature review with empirical illustrations for selected countries and policy interventions. It also discusses the complexity of the policy-fertility links.

This is part of a series of a UNFPA technical working paper series.