Asia-Pacific Population Journal

For over two decades, the Asia-Pacific Population Journal (APPJ) has been taking the pulse of population and social issues unfolding in the region. Published by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), APPJ brings out high quality, evidence-based and forward-looking articles relevant for population policies and programmes in Asia and the Pacific. Prominent population experts, award-winning demographers, as well as lesser known researchers have been contributing articles, documenting over the years the evolution of thinking in this important sphere.


The emergence of low fertility as a policy issue

In the 1960s, demographers projected that the world’s population would reach 16 billion people by 2050, if the then very high fertility rates in most countries were not brought under control. Today, the projected population in 2050 is around 9 billion. This reduction of the world’s population by 7 billion people from what might have been is one of the most remarkable but least heralded achievements of humankind. Most of the success, in numerical terms, can be attributed to falls in birth rates in Asian countries. In China alone, if fertility had remained at its late 1970s, relatively low level of 2.6 births per woman, the Chinese population in 2050 would be 1 billion more than is now projected.


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