An Insight into the Top Ten Countries with the Most Children: Family Size and Percentage Breakdown

June 27, 2023 | 


Joanna Newman


As the world continues to evolve demographically, certain countries stand out due to their higher-than-average children population. These nations often feature larger families and the percentage of children within the total population is significantly higher. This article will delve into the top 10 countries with the most children, explore the average number of children per family, and examine the percentage of children within the population.

1. India

With a population exceeding 1.3 billion, India ranks first in the number of children. Approximately 29% of its population comprises individuals under the age of 14, equating to around 377 million children. The fertility rate in India has decreased over the years due to increased education and family planning efforts, but the average family still has about 2.2 children.

2. China

Despite the one-child policy that was in effect for many years, China ranks second with around 253 million children, making up about 18% of the total population. The average family size remains small, around 1.6 children, even after the relaxation of the one-child policy in 2016.

3. Nigeria

Nigeria ranks third with nearly 90 million children, representing about 44% of the total population. The average family size in Nigeria is quite large with approximately 5.4 children. Nigeria´s high fertility rate can be attributed to a combination of cultural, religious, and socio-economic factors.

4. Pakistan

With about 64 million children, making up 31% of its population, Pakistan ranks fourth. The average number of children per family in Pakistan is around 3.6. The larger family size is often attributed to cultural norms and the relatively lower levels of female education.

5. Indonesia

Indonesia has around 63 million children, which constitutes about 23% of its population. The average family in Indonesia has about 2.4 children. Although Indonesia has been working on family planning programs, the relatively high fertility rate remains, particularly in rural areas.

6. Brazil

Brazil, the largest country in South America, has about 46 million children, comprising 21% of the total population. The average number of children per family in Brazil is around 1.8, reflecting the influence of urbanization and increased access to education.

7. Bangladesh

With 40 million children, representing 24% of its population, Bangladesh ranks seventh. The average family size is about 2.1 children, thanks to successful national family planning programs initiated in the 1970s.

8. Ethiopia

Ethiopia is home to 39 million children, which constitutes about 35% of the population. The average family size is relatively large, with about 4.6 children per family. This can be attributed to the country´s rural agrarian society and cultural norms.

9. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

With approximately 36 million children, which is 47% of its population, the DRC comes in ninth. The average family size is quite large, with about 6 children per family. The high fertility rate in DRC can be attributed to factors such as lack of education and family planning, as well as cultural and religious beliefs.

10. Mexico

Rounding out the top ten is Mexico, with 32 million children, constituting 25% of the population. The average family size is about 2.1 children. Mexico´s decreasing fertility rates over the years can be linked to increased education, urbanization, and access to family planning services.


These countries show a broad spectrum of family sizes, from large families in African countries like Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the DRC, to smaller family sizes in China and Brazil. It´s important to note that while larger families can contribute to overpopulation and strain on resources, they can also enrich a country´s social fabric and ensure the continuity of cultural traditions. Conversely, smaller families are often associated with higher levels of education and economic stability, but they also raise concerns about aging populations and the imbalance between working adults and dependent seniors.

The composition of a country´s population, particularly the proportion of children, impacts its socio-economic landscape significantly. Future trends will be dictated by factors such as government policies, access to education and healthcare, urbanization, cultural norms, and economic development.

Through this analysis, we can appreciate the rich tapestry of global population demographics and the role children play in shaping our world. As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by population dynamics, it becomes more vital than ever to prioritize education and healthcare, particularly for our younger generations.