Total population - outlook from UNSTAT
Published (reviewed and quality assured)
Justification for indicator selection
Demographic patterns play a key role in how environmental challenges unfold since they govern consumption and determine the demand for resources, goods and environmental services. Generally speaking, population sizes and densities within a region give a first indication of pressures on environmental resources, such as air pollution, freshwater use, land use and soil degradation, as well as biodiversity loss. The age structure of populations also inevitably shapes their consumption patterns and demands for environmental services. The current trend across Europe towards an 'ageing society' may further alter the susceptibility to adverse environmental changes and health risks, both positively and negatively.
The outlook can help decision makers to understand a plausible future of our society and assist in development of necessary for more sustainable development policies and measures.
- No rationale references available
Population includes all residents regardless of legal status and citizenships.Time horizon: 2005 to 2100
Geographical coverage: Western Europe (WEU): Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom; Central Europe (CEU): Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro; EECCA: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan;
US; Canada; India; China
The indicator is measured in 1000 inhabitants.
Policy context and targets
There are no pan-European, EU and EECCA policies regulating total population. However, several of demographical strategies and policies exist at regional and national levels as well as migration legislations. Across the pan-European region, countries are seeking to halt immigration: the Russian Federation has proposed restrictive immigration laws, while the EU has stepped up the control of illegal immigration across its borders and partial restrictions across some EU Member States.
There are no pan-Euroepan, EU and EECCA objectives and target relating to certain amount of total population.
Related policy documents
No related policy documents have been specified
Key policy question
What are the population trends in the pan-European region?
Methodology for indicator calculation
Total population indicator shows changing trends in amount total population at global and country untill 2050. The indicator is derived from the 2006 Revision (UN).
The 2006 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections, the Population Division is considered the most recent demographic data available for each and every country or area of the world. Standard demographic techniques were used to estimate the population by age and sex for the base year (2005) as well as trends in total fertility, life expectancy at birth, infant mortality and international migration up to 2006. The resulting estimates provided the basis from which the population projections follow.
Finally, in preparing the 2006 Revision, demographic information as produced by other United Nations agencies or bodies, such as: the Economic and Social Commissions for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC/CELADE) and for Western Asia (ESCWA), as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), was also used or considered. Data from regional organizations such as the Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT) and the Council of Europe, the Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE) and the Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche sur la Population et le Developpement (CERPOD), have also been consulted.
For more detailed information see methodology reference.
Assumptions underlying the results of the model
The preparation of each new revision of the official estimates and projections of the United Nations involves two distinct processes: (a) the incorporation of all new and relevant information regarding the past demographic dynamics of the population of each country or area of the world; and (b) the formulation of detailed assumptions about the future paths of fertility, mortality and international migration. The data sources used and the methods applied in revising past estimates of demographic indicators (i.e., those referring to 1950-2005) are presented in volume III of World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision (forthcoming).
The future population of each country is projected from an estimated population for 1 July 2005. Because actual population data is not necessarily available at this date, the 2005 estimate is based upon the most recent population data available for each country, derived usually from a census or population register, updated to 2005 using all available data on fertility, mortality and international migration. In cases where very recent data are not available, estimated demographic trends are short term projections from the most recent available data. Population data from all sources are evaluated for completeness, accuracy and consistency, and adjusted where necessary.
To project population until 2050, the United Nations Population Division applies assumptions regarding future trends in fertility, mortality, and migration. Because future trends cannot be known with certainty, a number of projection variants are produced. This note presents the assumptions underlying the derivation of demographic indicators for the period starting in 2005 and ending in 2050. The 2006 Revision includes seven projection variants and three AIDS scenarios. The seven variants are: low, medium, high, constant-fertility, instant-replacement-fertility, constant-mortality, and zero-migration. The World Population Prospects Highlights focus on the medium variant of the 2006 Revision, and results from the first four variants are available on-line and traditionally published in volume I of World Population Prospects (forthcoming). The full set of results for all variants and scenarios are available only on CD-ROM.
The first five variants, namely, low, medium, high, constant-fertility and instant-replacement-fertility, differ among themselves exclusively in the assumptions made regarding the future path of fertility. The sixth variant, named constant-mortality, differs from the medium variant only with regard to the path followed by future mortality. The seventh variant, named zero-migration, differs from the medium variant only with regard to the path followed by future international migration. Variants differ from each other only for the period 2005-2050.
In addition, the 2006 Revision includes three AIDS scenarios named No-AIDS, high-AIDS and AIDS-vaccine. These scenarios are variations of the medium variant and differ from each other and from that variant on the path of mortality because they are based on different assumptions regarding the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Note that only 62 countries are considered to be significantly affected by the epidemic. Consequently, the AIDS scenarios produce different projections only for those countries.
To describe the different projection variants and scenarios, the various assumptions made regarding fertility, mortality and international migration are presented below.
Methodology for gap filling
Often the source for the most recent demographic information for developing countries is a range of different surveys. For the calculation of the indicator data from following survey programs was used additionaly:
- The Demographic and Health Survey Programme (DHS).
- The Pan Arab Project for Child Development (PARCHILD) of the League of Arab States. The Pan Arab Project for Family Health (PARFAM) and Gulf Family Health Survey (GFHS) continue the task initiated by the PARCHILD programme.
- During the 1990s, UNICEF embarked on a process of helping countries assess progress for children at end-decade in relation to the World Summit for Children goals, held in 1990 (see UNICEF, 1991). By 2005, Multiply Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS-2005) has been carried out, that collected and estimated, inter alia, information on infant and child mortality.
- United Nation Population Division (UN) World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision
- Chapter VI. Methodology of the United Nations population estimates and projections (pp. 100-104) in World Population Prospects: The 2004 Revision, Volume III: Analytical Report .
EEA data references
- No datasets have been specified here.
External data references
- Inout to UN population model - data from national statistics
- Output from UN popualtion model - total population projections
Data sources in latest figures
Data sets uncertaintyn/a
No uncertainty has been specified
Short term work
Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.
Long term work
Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.
Responsibility and ownership
EEA Contact InfoTobias Dominik Lung
Frequency of updates
ClassificationDPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)