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March 16, 2021 Tuesday 01:28:41 PM IST

Record international number of twin births

Parent Interventions

The number of twins being born in the world has reached an all-time high, with 1.6 million twins now delivered each year, according to new research from Oxford, which shows most are now being born in the global south. According to the study, over 40 years, the twinning rate increased by a third, from nine to 12 births per 1,000. One in every 42 babies is now born a twin. Professor Christiaan Monden, from the Leverhulme Centre of Demographic Science is lead author of the report in Human Reproduction, which explains that the rise is driven by fertility treatments in combination with households delaying childbearing.

The study found big increases in twinning rates in many European countries in North America and Asia. But 80% of all twin deliveries are now in Africa and Asia, with Africa having the highest twinning rates of all. Researchers looked at twinning rates in the years 2010-15 in 165 countries, which represent 99% of the world’s population. They also collected information on twinning rates during 1980-1985 from 112 countries. In three quarters of the 112 countries, 10% more twins were born.

The study was conducted by Oxford, the French Museum of Natural History, and Radboud University in the Netherlands.