Stake logo

by Stella Ong


Global productivity growth is projected to slow in the coming decades. To tackle this issue, some countries are embracing a costly solution expected to become a new normal.

There are two predicaments raising concerns all over the world: the declining fertility rate and the ageing population. The global fertility rate currently stands at 2.3 births per woman – over 50% down from 4.7 in 1960 and just above the generational replacement rate of 2.1. Meanwhile, advancements in healthcare have dramatically increased the average life expectancy by 21 years over the last six decades. 

Economists know the implications all too well. Projections now indicate current pension and end-of-life-care programmes to be unsustainable unless taxes are raised and/or benefits are reduced. The two factors combined signal lower productivity growth in the near future; global GDP growth per capita has already slowed 1.5% between 2006 and 2014.

To mitigate the problem and increase the size of their working populations, several governments are implementing ‘family policies’ that incentivise having children, including parental leave support and childcare subsidies. But countries experiencing the slowest population growth – like Israel, China and Armenia – are going one step further: free IVF.

IVF, or in-vitro fertilisation, is how at least 12 million humans have been conceived. While it initially struggled with success rates across multiple age groups and costs in the tens of thousands, investments into the IVF industry have grown exponentially in the last decade. Valued at approximately US$16b in 2016, the global fertility market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16% to US$91b by 2031. Both Vitrolife and Jinxin Fertility Group, market leaders in their respective regions, have already doubled revenues over the last two years.

And as the technology has improved, governments have started to rely on it. More countries are beginning to offer partial subsidies for IVF, including Australia and the UK. But perhaps they, too, should consider making it free. Not only will these governments be providing a valuable and important service to many, but they also stand to benefit themselves financially, with the amount of tax paid by one person over a lifetime apparently returning up to as much as 954% of the cost of an IVF procedure.

Portrait photo of Stella Ong, Markets Analyst at Stake.

Stella Ong

Markets Analyst

Stella is a markets analyst and writer with almost a decade of investing experience. With a Masters in Accounting from the University of Sydney, she specialises in financial statement analysis and financial modelling. Previously, she worked as an equity analyst at Australian finance start-up, Simply Wall St, where she took charge of the market insights newsletter sent out to over a million subscribers. At Stake, Stella has been key to producing the weekly Wrap articles and social media content.


Want more?

You know what to do

Insights, trends and company deep dives delivered straight to your inbox.

Stake logo
Over 7,000 5-star reviews
App Store logoGoogle Play logo

Subscribe to our free newsletters

By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

Stakeshop Pty Ltd, trading as Stake, ACN 610105505, is an authorised representative (Authorised Representative No. 1241398) of Sanlam Private Wealth Pty Ltd (Australian Financial Services Licence No. 337927) ('Sanlam') and an authorised representative (Authorised Representative No. 1241398) of Airwallex Pty Ltd (Australian Financial Services Licence No. 487221) ('Airwallex'). Stake is not authorised by Airwallex under Airwallex’s AFSL to arrange for clients to be issued with securities as Airwallex is not authorised under its AFSL for this purpose. Stake is not authorised by Sanlam under Sanlam’s AFSL to arrange for clients to be issued with a non-cash payment facility as Sanlam is not authorised under its AFSL for this purpose. Stake SMSF Pty Ltd (‘Stake Super’) is not licensed to provide financial product advice under the Corporations Act. This specifically applies to any financial products which are established if you instruct Stake Super to set up a self managed super fund (‘SMSF’). When you sign up to Stake Super, you are contracting with Stake SMSF Pty Ltd who will assist in the establishment of a SMSF under a ‘no advice model’. You will also be referred to Stakeshop Pty Ltd to enable your trading account and bank account to be set up in order to use the Stake Website and/or App. Stakeshop Pty Ltd will also run marketing and promotions to you under. For more information about SMSFs, see our SMSF Risks page.The information on our website or our mobile application is not intended to be an inducement, offer or solicitation to anyone in any jurisdiction in which Stake is not regulated or able to market its services. At Stake and Stake Super, we’re focused on giving you a better investing experience but we don’t take into account your personal objectives, circumstances or financial needs. Any advice given by Stake is of a general nature only. As investments carry risk, before making any investment decision, please consider if it’s right for you and seek appropriate taxation and legal advice. Please view our Financial Services GuideTerms & ConditionsPrivacy Policy and Disclaimers  before deciding to invest on or use Stake or Stake Super. By using our website or service in any way, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions. All financial products involve risk and you should ensure you understand the risks involved as certain financial products may not be suitable to everyone. Past performance of any product described on this website is not a reliable indication of future performance. Stake and Stake Super are registered trademarks in Australia.

Copyright © 2024 Stake. All rights reserved.