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  1. 1

    World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, Highlights and Advance Tables.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division, 2012. 118 p. (Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP.228)

    The 2012 Revision is the twenty-third round of official United Nations population estimates and projections, prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. The 2012 Revision builds on the previous revision by incorporating the results of the 2010 round of national population censuses as well as findings from recent specialized demographic surveys that have been carried out around the world. These sources provide both demographic and other information to assess the progress made in achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The comprehensive review of past worldwide demographic trends and future prospects presented in the 2012 Revision provides the population basis for the assessment of those goals. The results of the 2012 Revision incorporate the findings of the most recent national population censuses, including from the 2010 round of censuses, and of numerous specialized population surveys carried out around the world. The 2012 Revision provides the demographic data and indicators to assess trends at the global, regional and national levels and to calculate many other key indicators commonly used by the United Nations system.
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  2. 2
    Peer Reviewed

    The United Nations 2012 population projections.

    United Nations. Population Division

    Population and Development Review. 2013 Sep; 39(3):551-555.

    The latest biennial series of population estimates and projections issued by the United Nations Population Division -- known as the 2012 Revision -- was released in June 2013. The series is the most widely used statistical source for international demographic comparisons. The new estimates are advertised as taking into account the results of the 2010 round of censuses, resulting in some adjustments to the 2010 Revision’s baseline figures on total populations and vital rates and, in turn, changes in projection assumptions and projection outputs. Selected results of this exercise, taken from the publication World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables (and from the press release announcing it), are reprinted by permission. (Excerpt)
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  3. 3
    Peer Reviewed

    Population bomb: the UN responds.

    Zlotnik H

    Nature. 2011 Jun 30; 474(7353):579.

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  4. 4
    Peer Reviewed

    The Spectrum projection package: improvements in estimating mortality, ART needs, PMTCT impact and uncertainty bounds.

    Stover J; Johnson P; Zaba B; Zwahlen M; Dabis F; Ekpini RE

    Sexually Transmitted Infections. 2008; 84(Suppl 1):i24-i30.

    The approach to national and global estimates of HIV/AIDS used by UNAIDS starts with estimates of adult HIV prevalence prepared from surveillance data using either the Estimation and Projection Package (EPP) or the Workbook. Time trends of prevalence are transferred to Spectrum to estimate the consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, including the number of people living with HIV, new infections, AIDS deaths, AIDS orphans, treatment needs and the impact of treatment on survival. The UNAIDS Reference Group on Estimates, Modelling and Projections regularly reviews new data and information needs and recommends updates to the methodology and assumptions used in Spectrum. The latest update to Spectrum was used in the 2007 round of global estimates. Several new features have been added to Spectrum in the past two years. The structure of the population was reorganised to track populations by HIV status and treatment status. Mortality estimates were improved by the adoption of new approaches to estimating non-AIDS mortality by single age, and the use of new information on survival with HIV in non-treated cohorts and on the survival of patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART). A more detailed treatment of mother-to-child transmission of HIV now provides more prophylaxis and infant feeding options. New procedures were implemented to estimate the uncertainty around each of the key outputs. The latest update to the Spectrum program is intended to incorporate the latest research findings and provide new outputs needed by national and international planners.
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  5. 5

    World population prospects: the 2006 revision. Highlights.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, 2007. [118] p. (ESA/P/WP.202)

    The 2006 Revision is the twentieth round of official United Nations population estimates and projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. These are used throughout the United Nations system as the basis for activities requiring population information. The 2006 Revision builds on the 2004 Revision and incorporates both the results of the 2000 round of national population censuses and of recent specialized surveys carried around the world. These sources provide both demographic and other information to assess the progress made in achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The comprehensive review of past worldwide demographic trends and future prospects presented in the 2006 Revision provides the population basis for the assessment of those goals. According to the 2006 Revision, the world population will likely increase by 2.5 billion over the next 43years, passing from the current 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion in 2050. This increase is equivalent to the size the world population had in 1950 and it will be absorbed mostly by the less developed regions, whose population is projected to rise from 5.4 billion in 2007 to 7.9 billion in 2050. In contrast, the population of the more developed regions is expected to remain largely unchanged at 1.2 billion and would have declined were it not for the projected net migration from developing to developed countries, which is expected to average 2.3 million persons annually. (excerpt)
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  6. 6

    The world population over the next three centuries: explosion, implosion or equilibrium?

    Heran F

    Population and Societies. 2005 Jan; (408):1-4.

    The United Nations has just published projections of the world population until 2300. The population is expected to increase for fifty years then stabilize… or explode or implode, depending on whether fertility remains durably above or below replacement level. But how much value should we place on projections so far into the future? François Héran explains that this exercise in demography-fiction is useful if it teaches us how to avoid the disaster scenarios of population explosion or implosion. (excerpt)
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  7. 7

    Population trends since 1954.

    Zlotnik H

    Genus. 2005 Jul-Dec; 61(3-4):111-140.

    At the end of 1951, in the first issue of the Population Bulletin, the United Nations published an article on the past and future growth of world population (United Nations, 1951). The article provided a "long-term view" of future population growth by projecting the population by groups of countries from 1950 to 1980. According to this first set of estimates and projections issued by the United Nations, the world population, which was estimated to be 2.4 billion in mid-1950, would increase by at least half a billion and at most 1.2 billion over the next 30 years, producing for 1980 a range of 3 billion to 3.6 billion people, with a "medium" value of 3.3 billion. A further scenario obtained by maintaining constant the vital rates estimated for the late 1940s produced a world population of 3.5 billion (table 1), The proceedings of the 1954 World Population Conference held in Rome included another set of population projections, updating the work published in 1951. The major difference between the two sets lies on an upward adjustment of the 1950 population of Asia that resulted in a world total closer to 2.5 billion and led to a larger population in 1980 (3.6 billion in the medium variant). Today, with the benefit of hindsight, we estimate that the world's population in 1950 was slightly over 2.5 billion and that it increased by 1.9 billion over the next 30 years, to reach 4.4 billion by 1980, a value higher than the highest projected at the time of the 1954 Conference. In reviewing past demographic trends, this paper will compare them with those expected by United Nations demographers in the 1950s and 1960s in order to understand better their assessment of how the demographic transition would proceed. (excerpt)
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  8. 8

    Fertility rates and population projections: why the United Nations low population projection is best. Draft.

    Seckler D; Cox G

    [Unpublished] 1994 Mar 23. [28] p.

    This paper stems from study on world food needs in the next century. Of course in a study of this nature population projections are essential. The writer used the United Nations medium population projections, illustrated in figure 1, as an authoritative source. Like everyone else of whom we are aware, the author assumed that the United Nations "medium" projection is the best estimate, in the sense of highest probability, in the opinion of the United Nations population experts. Since the medium projection closely corresponds to the World Bank's population projection (they provide only one) through to 2025 the assumption is further justified--and, apparently, supported by the independent opinion of the World Bank experts. (excerpt)
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  9. 9
    Peer Reviewed

    The demographic revolution and our common future.

    Diczfalusy E

    Maturitas. 2001 Feb 28; 38(1):5-15.

    The global population reached two billion people in 1927 and six billion in 1999. If the medium variant projection of the United Nations were to materialize, the Earth's population would reach nine billion in 2054. However, such a brave new world will be inhabited by a brave old humankind; in 2050, 16.4% of the world population and 27.6% of the European population are projected to be 65 years and above, and in 14 countries, including nine European ones, more than 10% of the total population will be 80 years or older. The United Nations also project a world-wide decline in the number of children and in total fertility, and by 2050, there will be more elderly than children in several parts of the world, particularly in Europe. It seems likely that many of our classical institutions, for instance healthcare -- unless reformed -- will cater increasingly for the needs of a population structure that no longer exists. The World Health Organization projects that by the year 2020, global health trends will be dominated by the ageing of the world population, the HIV:AIDS epidemic, tobacco-related mortality and declining child mortality. Furthermore, the leading causes of disease burden will be heart disease, depression and traffic accidents. How can we meet the giant challenges of the 21st century? In the view of the author, the most rational remedy must be a quantum leap in research in general and in medical research in particular. (author's)
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  10. 10

    Investing in people - eliminating poverty - includes related articles on Preparatory Committee's progress report and social development - World Summit for Social Development.

    UN Chronicle. 1994 Dec; 31(4):[5] p..

    A fifth of the world's population live in absolute poverty, earning scarcely 2 per cent of the world's income. The ill-effects of this economic deprivation are often compounded by ethnic tensions and warfare, which can lead to the local displacement of people and large refugee movements. There are some 17 million refugees and 20 million displaced persons in the world today, deprived of home, health and education, their lives and livelihoods destroyed. These people add not to their nations' productivity but to their overall economic burdens. "In the worst of instances, the survival of an entire society or nation is threatened because the essentials of life are beyond the reach of its people", concluded participants in the 46th Annual DPI/NGO Conference. (excerpt)
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  11. 11

    WHO predicts dramatic rise in global AIDS toll - World Health Organization.

    d'Adesky A

    UN Chronicle. 1990 Dec; 27(4):[4] p..

    An estimated 8 to 10 million people globally will contract the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) that causes the acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the next 10 years, a new study by the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts. That figure marks a significant and alarming rise of 2 million more people than WHO's projections last year. Equally dramatic are statistics showing that HIV is spreading fast among women and children in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. An estimated 3 million women will develop AIDS in the 1990s and at least 80 per cent are in sub-Saharan Africa, WHO suggested. By the end of 1992, there will be 1 million HIV-infected children born to these women. AIDS will become the leading cause of death of women aged 20 to 40 in some cities of central Africa. "It's obvious that HIV infection is continuing to spread very rapidly in parts of the world like central Africa, where AIDS is having a devastating impact on individual countries", said Dr. Michael H. Merson, Director of WHO's Global Programme on AIDS (GPA), in a recent interview. (excerpt)
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  12. 12

    Population 2050: 9.4 billion.

    UN Chronicle. 1997 Fall; 34(3):[2] p..

    In the middle of 1996, world population stood at 5.77 trillion persons. Between 1990 and 1995, it grew at the rate of 1.48 per cent per annum, with an average of 81 million persons added each year. This is below the 1.72 per cent per annum at which population had keen growing between 1975 and 1990, and much below the 87 million added each year between 1985 and 1990, which now stands as the peak period in the history of world population growth. These figures are from the recently released 1996 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections, prepared by the Population Division of the Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis. The report indicates that currently 4.59 billion persons--80 per cent of the world's population--live in the less developed regions and 1.18 billion live in the more developed regions. The average annual growth rate is about 1.8 per cent in the less developed and 0.4 per cent in other regions. (excerpt)
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  13. 13

    Commission gives high priority to monitoring global trends - UN Population Commission meeting, Mar 28-31, 1994 - includes information on preparation of action program to be recommended at the Sep 5-13, 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, Cairo, Egypt.

    UN Chronicle. 1994 Jun; 31(2):[3] p..

    The effect of population growth on the environment, the role and status of women, and the demographic implications of development Policies were among major topics discussed by the Population Commission at its twenty-seventh session (28-31 March, New York). "The most important lesson we have learned is that population growth and other demographic trends can only be affected by investing in people and by promoting equality between women and men", Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Secretary-General of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, told the 26-member body. In the single text approved during the session, for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, the Commission asked that high priority be given to monitoring world population trends and policies, and to strengthening multilateral technical cooperation to address population concerns. (excerpt)
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  14. 14

    Urban population trends.

    Oucho JO

    Habitat Debate. 2001 Jun; 7(2):[4] p..

    It is projected that the world population will rise from 5.7 billion in 1995 to 8.9 billion in 2050, growing at the rate of 1.3 per cent per annum in the period 1995- 2000 to 0.3 per cent per annum in the period 2045-2050. The assumption is that there will be a massive fertility decline in the majority of countries, a scenario expected to produce ageing populations, i.e. populations in which the proportion of children is declining and that of older persons is increasing. Voluntary and Forced Migration The world is polarized between the net-immigration in more developed countries and the net-emigration in the developing world. The developed world receives immigrants mainly from Asia and Latin America, and to a certain extent, Africa. Immigration patterns suggest that countries in Europe and North America are becoming less homogenous in terms of race and culture. (excerpt)
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  15. 15

    Household projections under the current AIDS pandemic.

    Springer S

    Habitat Debate. 2001 Jun; 7(2):[3] p..

    Population and household projections are of crucial importance to both policy makers and researchers who depend on timely and reliable projections to make informed decisions and to produce quality research studies. Currently, one of the most problematic areas regarding projections is the demographic impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in countries with high prevalence rates i.e. how the epidemic is influencing population and household projections. At the end of the year 2000, 36.1 million people were estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, of which 1.4 million were children. 47 per cent of the infected adults were women. 5.3 million people will be newly infected during this year. The pandemic does not spread homogeneously. The number of infections, the risk of dying, the access to medication and the principal transmission ways vary worldwide, and so does the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on population structure and on household formation. In countries where the epidemic is endemic in the general population, the impact on the age and gender structure of the population is significant, and changes in the social context and behaviour are certain. (excerpt)
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  16. 16

    70 million will die of AIDS in 20 years, U.N. report says.

    Population 2005. 2002 Sep-Oct; 4(3):1, 8.

    AIDS will spread five times faster over the next 20 years than it has over the past two decades and will kill nearly 70 million people in 45 of the most affected countries, according to a recent U.N. report. Having swept Africa, the disease is expected to overwhelm China and India, the world’s two most populous countries, says the Report on Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic 2002 released during the U.N. Conference on HIV/AIDS in Barcelona, Spain, in July. The number of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS has risen threefold in six years and reached an all-time high of 13.4 million. India has the largest number of AIDS orphans anywhere in the world, standing at 1.2 million in 2001, and predicted to rise to 2 million in five years and 2.7 million in 10 years. (excerpt)
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  17. 17

    UN projects world population at 9 billion by 2300.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    Population 2005. 2004 Dec; 6(4):7-8.

    In a report issued in November, the Population Division of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs has estimated that the world’s population may stabilize at about 9 billion by the year 2300. The document, World Population 2300, provides extensive data showing low, medium and high projections for each country of the world. All projected scenarios share the same assumptions about steady decline of mortality after 2050, increase in life expectancy, and zero international migration after 2050. The scenarios are based on assumptions for 2050, which were set out in the UN’s World Population Prospects: The 2002 Revision, Volumes I and II. The following major findings are excerpted from the report. (excerpt)
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  18. 18
    Peer Reviewed

    Population futures for the next three hundred years: Soft landing or surprises to come?

    Demeny P

    Population and Development Review. 2004 Sep; 30(3):507-517.

    World Population in 2300 (United Nations 2003b), reporting on the proceedings of a December 2003 expert group meeting on long-range population projections and presenting the results of a new set of United Nations population projections, bears out Hajnal's argument. Among his three propositions, the validity of the second is the most obvious. There has been a veritable outpouring of demographic projections during the last 50 years, prepared by various international organizations and national agencies, as well as by independent analysts. Among these, the United Nations Population Division's now biennially revised projections are by far the most detailed, best known, and most widely used. This well-deserved prominence reflects the Division's unparalleled access to national data, its in-house analytic experience and resources, and its willingness to draw on outside expertise whenever that might usefully complement its own. The most recent of the biennial projections, the 2002 Revision (United Nations 2003a), is the immediate predecessor of World Population in 2300, and indeed the former provides the year 2000 to 2050 component for the new set of long-term projections covering the next 300 years. This new set is not just one among the many. It is distinguished from the routine by an exceptionally brave ambition: to draw a picture of plausible demographic futures up to the year 2300 and to do so in extraordinary detail: country-by-country according to the political map of the early twenty-first century. (excerpt)
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  19. 19
    Peer Reviewed

    Population and development -- shifting paradigms, setting goals.

    Rosenfield A; Schwartz K

    New England Journal of Medicine. 2005 Feb 17; 352(7):647-649.

    At the first United Nations–sponsored international conference on population — held in Bucharest, Romania, in 1974 — the United States and other Western nations advocated the implementation of programs aimed at controlling the high rates of population growth then prevalent in resource- poor countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Most leaders from these countries, however, saw this as an inappropriate, imperialist goal to be imposed on their countries, when the real problems were related to poverty. Ten years later, at the second international conference in Mexico City, representatives of the Reagan administration argued that population growth was not a key issue and that, instead, the expansion of free-market systems was the key to development in poor countries. But by that time, many leaders of developing countries had reached the opposite conclusion — namely, that high rates of population growth were indeed hindering both economic and social development. At the meeting, there was also much debate about abortion-related issues, with the U.S. government and the Vatican highlighting an antichoice agenda. (excerpt)
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  20. 20

    World population ageing: 1950-2050.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, 2001. [48] p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/207)

    The Population Division of the United Nations has a long tradition of studying population ageing, including estimating and projecting older populations, and examining the determinants and consequences of population ageing. From the groundbreaking report on population ageing in 1956, which focused mainly on population ageing in the more developed countries, to the first United Nations wallchart on population ageing issues published in 1999, the Population Division has consistently sought to bring population ageing to the attention of the international community. The present report is intended to provide a solid demographic foundation for the debates and follow-up activities of the Second World Assembly on Ageing. The report considers the process of population ageing for the world as a whole, for more and less developed regions, major areas and regions, and individual countries. Demographic profiles covering the period 1950 to 2050 are provided for each country, highlighting the relevant indicators of population ageing. (excerpt)
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  21. 21

    UN projects slower population growth.

    Haaga J

    Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau [PRB], 2003 Mar. [2] p.

    The newly released 2002 revision of the United Nations World Population Prospects shows that, by the year 2050, 75 percent of all countries in the less developed regions of the world will experience below-replacement fertility — that is, a fertility rate lower than 2.1 children per woman. This estimate is the UN's medium variant and highlights a lower world population in 2050 than the UN's 2000 Revision did: 8.9 billion instead of 9.3 billion. About half of the 400 million difference in these projected populations results from an increase in the number of projected deaths, the majority stemming from higher projected levels of HIV prevalence. The other half of the difference reflects a reduction in the projected number of births, primarily as a result of lower expected future fertility levels. World population, now at 6.3 billion, is growing at a rate of 1.2 percent annually, meaning an additional 77 million people each year. This is considerably slower than the peak annual growth rate of over 2 percent, reached in the early 1970s. (excerpt)
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  22. 22

    Fertility down, but population decline still not in sight.

    Haub C

    Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau [PRB], 2002 May-Jun. [3] p.

    A March meeting of demographers at the United Nations captured headlines proclaiming "Population Decline in Sight," "Shrinking World," and "Population Boom a Bust." Although more attention to population trends is welcome news, the media's focus on a single aspect of the UN's deliberations produced stories at odds with what many participants took away from the meeting. What happened at the Expert Group Meeting on Completing the Fertility Transition, the third in a series on future fertility trends, was that population experts endorsed a proposal by the UN Population Division to accommodate fertility levels below the two-child- per-couple replacement level in the division's 2002 revision of its world population estimates and projections. Endorsement came after examination of the fertility prospects for a large group of less developed countries, those with a total fertility rate less than 5 children per woman, but more than 2.1, or the "intermediate-fertility" countries. This group includes Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, and Vietnam. This step means the UN will consider fine-tuning its assumptions. It is also considering projecting to 2075. (excerpt)
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  23. 23

    World population in 2300. Proceedings of the United Nations Expert Meeting on World Population in 2300, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Population Division

    New York, New York, United Nations, 2004 Mar 24 x, 36 p. (ESA/P/WP.187/Rev.1)

    In order to address the technical and substantive challenges posed by the preparation of long-range projections at the national level, the Population Division convened two meetings of experts. The first meeting, the Technical Working Group on Long-Range Population Projections, was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 30 June 2003 and provided consultation on the proposed assumptions and methodology for the projection exercise. The second meeting, the Expert Meeting on World Population in 2300, was held at United Nations Headquarters on 9 December 2003. Its purpose was to examine the results of the long-range projections and to discuss lessons learned and policy implications. The Expert Group consisted of 30 invited experts participating in their personal capacity. Also attending were staff members of the Population Division and the Statistics Division, both part of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. This document presents the report of the meeting of the Expert Group on World Population in 2300, along with the background paper prepared by the Population Division and the questions addressed by the meeting. The Population Division drew valuable guidance from the deliberations at the meeting as well as from comments submitted in writing by the experts. All of these inputs will be taken into consideration in preparing the final report on the long-range projections, as well as in future projection exercises. The Population Division extends its appreciation to all the experts for their suggestions and contributions to the preparation of the long-range projections. (excerpt)
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  24. 24
    Peer Reviewed

    The Johannesburg summit on health and sustainable development.

    Population and Development Review. 2002 Dec; 28(4):817-820.

    The Plan of Implementation, a 27,000-word document, was the main product of the Johannesburg meeting. Apart from a mention of the Cairo conference on Population and Development, the Plan's treatment of population issues is confined to health. The relevant section--section VI, titled Health and sustainable development--is reproduced below in full. (Paragraph numbers have been retained.) It presents a statement of goals couched in general exhortative terms (“integrate," “promote," "provide," “improve," “develop”), and specifies some quantitative targets, notably to reduce "by the year 2015, mortality rates for infants and children under 5 by two thirds, and maternal mortality rates by three quarters,” and “reduction of HIV prevalence among young men and women aged 15-24 by 25 per cent in the most affected countries by 2005 and globally by 2010.” (excerpt)
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  25. 25

    Fornos says curbing growth is challenge for 'our generation'.

    Burdett H

    POPLINE. 2003 May-Jun; 25:1, 2.

    If we are serious about a more equitable balance between population, environment and resources, Fornos said, " the industrialized world must commit itself to the provision of the necessary population assistance to the developing world." He stressed that solving the problem of rapid population growth is "a burden sharing exercise, with all of us - governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organizations - working together for the common goal of improving the human condition." Fornos pointed out that throughout the world forests are declining, topsoil is eroding, deserts are expanding, temperatures are rising, and there remains the constant threat of unprecedented food and water shortages. (excerpt)
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