World population policies 2013

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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.



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.


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