Statistical Papers - United Nations (Ser. A), Population and Vital Statistics Report

2412-138X (online)
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The Population and Vital Statistics Report series presents data for countries or areas on population size (total, male, and female) from the latest available census, estimated total population size for the later available year, and the number and rate of vital events (live births, deaths, and infant deaths) for the latest available year within the past 15 years. These data are presented as reported by national statistical authorities to the Demographic Yearbook of the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
World population policies 2013

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31 Dec 2013
9789210564267 (PDF)

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This report provides a comprehensive overview of key aspects of population policies and dynamics for 197 countries since the mid-1970s. Updated biennially, it documents changes in key aspects of Government views and policies related to population size and growth, population age structure, fertility, reproductive health and family planning, health and mortality, spatial distribution and internal migration, and international migration. The report also includes two-page country profiles, with the first page containing information on changes in the Government views and policies and the second page containing data on selected population indicators corresponding to 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2013, the most recent revision year.
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  • Preface
    The World Population Policies 2013 report delineates Governments’ views and policies concerning population and development for 197 countries, including all 193 Member States, two Observer States (the Holy See and the State of Palestine) and two non-member States (Niue and Cook Islands). In particular, it itemizes policies in the areas of population size and growth, population age structure, fertility, reproductive health and family planning, health and mortality, spatial distribution and internal migration, and international migration. The World Population Policies report has been published biennially since 2003. Prior to 2003, the report was published as National Population Policies in 2001 and 1998. Before 1998, the world population policies data were published in a series of monitoring reports and biennial revisions of the Global Review and Inventory of Population Policies (GRIPP) database.
  • Contributors and acknowledgements
    This report was prepared by Mr. Vinod Mishra, Mr. Victor Gaigbe-Togbe, Ms. Yumiko Kamiya and Ms. Julia Ferre. Mr. John Kanakos provided programming and data analysis support and Ms. Theresa Nguyen provided formatting and editorial support.
  • Highlights
    In the two decades since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), as the world has made progress in addressing population and development issues, new population patterns and trends have emerged that require renewed, differentiated policies and programme efforts at both national and international levels. Using information on Government views and policies on population issues gathered in the World Population Policies Database, the current report documents changes in population policies and related indicators between 1976 and 2013 for all 193 Member States, two Observer States and two non-member States of the United Nations. Following are the highlights of the report
  • Definitions of population policy variables
  • Data availability for policy variables
  • Definitions of population indicators
    Population size: Estimated midyear population indicated in thousands, according to the 2012 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections, medium variant.
  • Data sources for population indicators
    In the country profiles, data on selected demographic and socio-economic indicators are presented for 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2013, or the closest years. For period indicators such as annual growth rate, total fertility, infant mortality rate and net migration rate, average annual rates for corresponding periods 1980–1985, 1990–1995, 2000–2005 and 2010–2015 are presented. Data on population indicators were compiled during October and November 2013 from the following sources
  • Explanatory notes
    World Population Policies 2013 provides information on 197 countries, including all 193 Member States, two Observer States (the Holy See and the State of Palestine) and two nonmember States (Cook Islands and Niue) of the United Nations.
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    • Introduction
      Population dynamics—including changes in population growth rates, age structures and distributions of people—are closely linked to national and global developmental challenges and their solutions. In the years ahead, Governments and the international community will need to address the development consequences of population dynamics before they unfold by adopting forward-looking and proactive policies based on foreseeable demographic trends. In these efforts, it will be critical to assess and monitor key Government policies and programmes related to population dynamics and their consequences.
    • Population size, growth and age structure
      In late 2011, the world’s population surpassed the 7 billion mark and is currently growing by an additional 82 million persons every year (United Nations, 2013a). By 2050, the world’s population is likely to reach an unprecedented size between 8.3 billion and 10.9 billion people. Most of the future population growth will occur in developing countries, particularly in least developed countries. Presently, many developing countries still have population growth rates that, if sustained, would undermine their development and put pressure on future generations. Consequently, stabilizing population growth is a goal in many of these countries that must be achieved in order to preserve the options for the future and ensure sustainable development. In contrast, developed countries and some middle income countries are experiencing belowreplacement fertility levels (less than 2.1 children per woman), declining population growth rates, and in some cases, declining population size. These countries are facing shrinking working-age populations, rapid population ageing and associated implications for renewability of the labour force and sustainability of social security and health care systems.
    • Fertility, reproductive health and family planning
      The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) broadly defined reproductive health to include all matters relating to the well-being of the reproductive system and its functions and processes. The ICPD Programme of Action envisioned that every sex act should be free of coercion and infection, every pregnancy should be intended, and every delivery and childbirth should be healthy (United Nations, 1995; Tsui, Wasserheit and Haaga, 1997). It emphasized the rights of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children, the right to information and access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice, as well as the right of access to appropriate health-care services that ensured safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth. The Programme of Action considered human rights, gender equality, empowerment of women and elimination of all forms of violence against women among the key principles in promoting reproductive health (United Nations, 1995).
    • Health and mortality
      Increased longevity with better health and well-being has been one of the greatest human achievements of all times. Life expectancy at birth for the world’s population has increased from 47 years in 1950–1955 to 70 years in 2010–2015, which together with fertility, has contributed to an increase in the world’s population from about 2.5 billion in 1950 to more than 7 billion today (United Nations, 2013c). A major contributor to the increase in longevity has been the decline of child mortality. Worldwide, mortality under age five has declined dramatically from an estimated 214 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1950–1955 to 52 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2010–2015 (United Nations, 2013c). These improvements in child mortality and longevity are associated with the “epidemiological transition”, where the pattern of morbidity and mortality shifts from predominately infectious and parasitic diseases towards a pattern with a growing burden of chronic and degenerative diseases.
    • Migration
      Migration has occurred throughout human history, but it has been increasing over the past decades, with changes in its size, direction and complexity both within and between countries. When properly managed, migration can contribute to the development of both places of origin and destination, as well as to the well-being of migrants and their families. In places of origin, migration can relieve the pressures associated with unemployment and underemployment and foster development through remittances and transfer of knowledge. Migration can also contribute to the economic growth in places of destination through alleviation of labour demands of the economy, transfer of skills and foreign innovation. Successful migration policies need to take such complexities and opportunities into consideration and carefully analyse the impact of migration flows on places of origin and destination, as well as on migrants themselves and their families, in order to maximize the contribution of this phenomenon to human development (United Nations, 2013e).
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