Global population projections: is the UN getting it wrong?*

Date

2004

Authors

Duncan, Ron
Wilson, Chris

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Abstract

This paper traces the major changes in the global population over the past half-century and examines the reasons for the very rapid growth, particularly in the poorer countries. It discusses why the projections of population growth by the body with responsibility for such projections have at times been misleading. The paper also discusses current projections, looking at recent trends in fertility rates and life expectancies and what these are likely to mean for global population growth and growth in particular regions and major countries. Of particular concern is that the UN appears to be underestimating the future decline in fertility rates, despite all evidence to the contrary. As a result the latest long-run global population projections appear to be much too high.

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Keywords

United Nations, UN, demographic transition, fertility rates, global population projections

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Working/Technical Paper

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