Brazil has undergone a demographic shift so dramatic that it has astonished social scientists. Over the past 50 years, the fertility rate has tumbled from six children per woman on average to fewer than two — and is now lower than in the United States.
Demographers say the fertility rate is declining because the country is richer and more urban, but they also point to Brazil's hugely popular soap operas and their portrayal of small, glamorous families.
People who escaped ethnic violence in Jonglei state wait for food rations at a World Food Program distribution center on Thursday. South Sudan gained independence just six months ago, and already ethnic tensions inside the new country have forced tens of thousands to flee their homes.
Credit Michael Onyiego / AP
Food aid from the U.S. is delivered Thursday as part of efforts by the World Food Program to assist people displaced by fighting in the South Sudan state of Jonglei.
One of the nation's least densely populated states has hit a major milestone. Montana's population crossed over the 1 million person mark around the first of the year. While the governor says that's a good sign for the future, some residents say the state's already too crowded.
Fewer than 2,000 people live in Townsend, Mont., a small farming community surrounded by national forests and just south of the gigantic Canyon Ferry Reservoir.
At Penny's Breakfast Station, cook Amber Burchett fries up hash browns in the early afternoon.
People gather around a car as it is removed by a mobile crane in Tehran, Iran. The car was being driven by Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan when it was targeted by a bomb Wednesday. Roshan was killed in the blast.
Earlier this week, 32-year-old nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was killed by a bomb blast on his way to work in Tehran, Iran.
The attack, carried out with a magnetic bomb placed on Roshan's car by a man on a motorcycle, was like something out of a spy novel. In Iran, however, it's very much a reality. Assassins have targeted five Iranian nuclear scientists in the past two years; four of the attacks have succeeded.
The captain of the Italian cruise ship which ran aground off the coast of Tuscany last night has been arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter. The majority of the ship's 4,000 passengers reached land by lifeboat, but three people are confirmed dead. About 30 are reportedly injured and some 50 are still unaccounted for. It is still unclear what caused the ship to come so close to the rocky shore.
One upon a time, the largest glass telescope mirror was 100 inches in diameter. Today, scientists are casting a mirror 27 feet in diameter that will be part of one of the most powerful telescopes on Earth. NPR's Joe Palca speaks with weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz from the mirror laboratory, located under the football stadium at the University of Arizona.
Occupy Wall Street members stage a protest march near Wall Street in New York in October. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center says the movement has "crystallized" the idea of economic disparity.
Credit Emmanuel Dunand / AFP/Getty Images
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney addresses a primary night victory rally in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Romney has accused President Obama of engaging in the "politics of envy" by focusing on income inequality.
The widening gulf between the rich and everyone else is a growing source of tension in America.
A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds the income gap is now seen as a bigger source of conflict in the U.S. than race, age or national origin. That's why some believe the issue could matter in the presidential campaign, and others worry it could warp the national debate.
Two out of three Americans now perceive strong social conflicts over the income gap — up sharply from two years ago. Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center has an idea what's behind the increase.
Late Friday the U.S. credit rating agency Standard & Poors downgraded nine European countries. S&P suggested Europe's single-minded focus on austerity to solve its sovereign debt problem is just not working. Host Scott Simon speaks with NPR's John Ydstie about the downgrades.
The Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as the big winner in Egypt's parliamentary elections. Long oppressed under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the Islamist party is now the most important power broker in the country. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports that the question on everyone's lips now is what does the Brotherhood really represent and how will it govern?