The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says Nigeria’s population has hit a new high of 201 million.
In its 2019 state of the world population report, UNFPA said Nigeria’s growth rate has been at an average of 2.6 percent from 2010 to 2019.
The fertility rate among Nigerian women has dropped from 6.4 in 1969 to 5.3 in 2019; this means an average Nigerian woman gives birth to at least five children.
Global fertility rate, or the average number of births per woman stood at 4.8 in 1969; 2.9 in 1994; and 2.5 in 2019.
The report says contraceptive prevalence rate among Nigerian women aged 15-49 is only 19 percent, adding that decision making on sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights among these women has averaged at 51 percent between 2007 to 2018.
This means 49 percent of Nigerian women still do not have the power to decide on their sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.
The UN agency estimated that Nigeria’s population has grown from 54.7 million in 1969 to 105.4 million in 1994 and 201.0 million in 2019.
Of this 201 million, 44 percent or 88.44 million are between the ages of 0 and 14, while 32 percent, 64.32 are within the ages of 10 and 24.
The reports revealed that “reproductive rights are still out of reach for too many women, including the more than 200 million women who want to prevent a pregnancy but cannot access modern contraceptive information and services”.
“Ultimately, almost all of the 4.3 billion people of reproductive age around the world today will have had inadequate access to sexual and reproductive health services at some point
In 1969 world population reached 3.6 billion, up about 1 billion from only 17 years earlier, leading to the establishment of UNFPA.
The UN agency has succeeded in reducing fertility rates worldwide by about 50 percent.
In the least developed countries, fertility was about six births per woman in 1969.