natural rate of increase

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A measure of the population growth rate, i.e., the difference between birth rates and death rates. In most nations throughout most of history this rate has been a positive number, but in several European nations since the 1950s, birth rates have fallen below death rates, so populations are declining in numbers or would be if there were no migration of newcomers to sustain the population, especially its working-age members who contribute to pension funds and old age security benefits. See also zero population growth.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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