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Revue Tiers Monde. 1983 Apr-Jun; 24(94):305-24.This article discusses methodologies for arriving at population projections and predictions and their limitations, and presents short-term predictions for 1980-2000, longterm projections for 2000-2025, and very longterm projections for 2025-2100, which are highly speculative. The UN population projections for 210 countries and territories are provided by age and sex and by rural or urban status. The UN projections are prepared in 3 phases: 1) analysis of the quality of the basic data in different regions; 2) development of hypotheses concerning the evolution of fertility, mortality, and migration; and 3) separate projection of each component of growth. 4 variants, the medium, high, low, and constant fertility versions are usually prepared, of which the medium projection is considered most likely and that of constant fertility is included only for comparisons. The world crude reproduction rate fell from 2.41 in 1950 to 1.96 in 1975-80, and is expected to fall to 1.34 during 2000-2010 and to almost unity in the mid 21st century. Only Africa and Latin America are expected to have crude reproduction rates above replacement level in 2025. According to the medium projection, the world population will each 6.2 billion in 2000 and 10.4 billion in 2075, when it will be nearly stationary. Future growth in already developed countries will be minimal, but Third World countries, which had a population of 1.7 billion in 1950 and 3.3 billion in 1980, will have nearly 5 billion by 2000 and will stabilize at about 9.1 billion, representing 87% of total world population. About 40% will live in South Asia. The population in 2075 will be 1.2 billion in Latin America, 2.2 billion in Africa, and 1.7 billion in East Asia. The age structure of the future population will undergo considerable aging and the trend toward urbanization will accelerate.