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  1. 1

    Current projection assumptions for the United Nations demographic projections.

    United Nations. Secretariat

    In: United Nations. Department of International Economic and Social Affairs. Population projections: methodology of the United Nations. New York, N.Y., United Nations, 1984. 25-32. (Population Studies, No. 83; ST/ESA/SER.A/83)

    The United Nations population projection assumptions are statements of expected trends in fertility, mortality and migration in the world. In every assessment, each of the 3 demographic components is unambiguously specified at the national level for each of the 5-year periods during the population interval (1950-2025). The approach used by the UN in preparing its projections is briefly summarized. At the general level, the analyst relies on available information of past events and current demographic levels and differentials, the demographic trends and experiences of similar countries in the region and his or her informed interpretations of what is likely to occur in the future. One common feature of the UN population projections that guides the analyst in preparing the assumptions is the general conceptual scheme of the demographic transition, or the socio-economic threshold hypothesis of fertility decline. As can be observed from the projected demographic trends reported in this paper, population stabilization at low levels of fertility, mortality and migration is the expected future for each country, with the only important differences being the timing of the stabilization. Irrespective of whether the country is developed, with very low fertility (for example, the Federal Republic of Germany or Japan), or developing with high fertility (such as, Bangladesh or the Syrian Arab Republic), it is assumed that fertility will arrive at replacement levels in the not too distant future. Serious alternative theories or hypotheses of population change, such as declining population size, are not only very few in number, but they tend to be somewhat more unacceptable and inconvenient to the demographic analyst as well as being considerably less palatable to goverments.
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  2. 2

    Mortality change and slowed population growth in developing countries.

    Gwatkin DR

    Intercom. 1981 Jun; 9(6):8-9.

    A modest decline in the growth rates of developing countries has occurred in recent years. The principal reason for this has been a decline in fertility. Recently, reported changes in mortality trends have been noted, particularly mortality declines in many parts of the 3rd world. As indicated in a United Nations table of projected and reported crude birth, crude death, and population growth rates in the less developed countries (1960-1965 and 1970-1975), the United Nations foresaw a decline from 42.0/1000 to 39.0/1000--a decline of 3.0 points--between the 1960-1965 and 1970-1975 crude birth rates. However, by 1978 the reported 1960-1965 birth rate was actually 40/100 rather than 42.0/1000 and the 1960-1965 to 1970-1975 decline was 4.5 rather than 3.0 points. The United Nations projected the crude death rate to be around 18.8/1000 for 1960-1965. The expectation was that it would decline by 4.5 points to 14.3/1000 for 1970-1975. Instead, by 1978 the death rate decline had been only 3.6 points, from 16.8/1000 as then observed for 1960-1965 to 13.2/1000 in 1970-1975. This was 0.9 points less of a decrease than projected in 1968. As a result of these 2 influences working together, the 3rd world's population growth rate fell by 0.9 points between 1960-1965 and 1970-1975 instead of rising by the 1.5 points earlier foreseen. 37.5% of the divergence between the projected and realized population growth rates was attributable to the fact that the crude death rate declined less rapidly than anticipated. It is of considerable interest that the figures from the most widely used set of population estimates point to mortality in addition to fertility as a significant cause of the unexpected slow rate of population growth between the early 1960s and the early 1970s. Had it not been for the shower than expected mortality decline, there would have been no reduction in developing country population growth between 1960-1965 and 1970-1975.
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