Demographics - General Information

Last updated: 01/02/01

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National Library for the Environment

For introductory demographic and background information on every country in the world:

The U.S. Census Bureau International Data Base: A computerized data bank containing statistical tables of demographic, and socio-economic data for all countries of the world. Data updated 12-28-98. Includes:
  1. Summary Demographic Data Display data for selected countries.
  2. Online Access Display data for selected tables, countries, and years.
  3. Online Demographic Aggregation Display demographic data for user-selected regions and/or countries.
  4. Population Pyramids Display graphs of the population, by age and sex.
  5. Countries Ranked by Total Population Find the largest countries for any year 1950 to 2050.
  6. Download International Data Base Program and Data to your PC
  7. World Population Information (including [1] the latest published compendium and analysis of data on population, fertility, mortality, contraceptive use and related demographic topics by the U.S. Census Bureau; [2] an up to the second simulation of the current world population. [3] world births, deaths, and natural increase for the current year expressed per year,month, day, hour, minute, and second; and [4] the latest estimates and projections of world population from the U.S. Census Bureau.)

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Fact Book provides a brief overview of political, social and demographic information for each country in the world.

Both organizations are part of the government of the United States. Review process: Unknown.

For detailed data on the demographics of the United States see Regional Information

Type of Resource Report (pdf format)
Title World Population Profile: 1998
Author Thomas M. McDevitt, Karen A. Stanecki and Peter O. Way
Affiliation U.S. Census Bureau
Url http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/wp98.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Full Document in pdf format. March, 1999 report includes:
  • Contents
  • Highlights
  • Introduction
  • Population Size and Growth and the Components of Change
  • Population Composition and Distribution
  • Contraceptive Prevalence
  • Focus on HIV/AIDS in the Developing World
  • Appendix A. Detailed Tables
  • Appendix B. Population Projections and Availability of Data
    Making Population Projections
    Population Projections Incorporating AIDS
    Recency of Base Data for the Projections
    Recency of Information on Contraceptive Use
    How Bureau of the Census Estimates Differ from Those of the United Nations
  • Appendix C. References
  • Appendix D. Glossary

This report is summarized in International Brief No. 98-4
World Population at a Glance: 1998 and Beyond (pdf format)

Type of Resource Report
Title 1998 Revision of the World Population Estimates and Projections
Author Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Affiliation United Nations Secretariat
Url http://www.popin.org/pop1998/
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract October, 1998 report includes:
1.World population nearing 6 billion, projected close to 9 billion by 2050
2.Population of all countries in 1998
3.Population of all countries in 2050
4.World population growth from year 0 to 2050
5.Countries with a population of 50 million or more (1950, 1998 and 2050)
6.Demographic impact of HIV/AIDS
7.Below-replacement fertility
9.The oldest-old
10.World population estimates and projections

Type of Resource Report Executive Summary
Title World Population Projections to 2150
Author Population Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Affiliation United Nations Secretariat
Url http://www.undp.org/popin/wdtrends/execsum.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract February 1998 report contains long-range population projections, prepared by the United Nations Population Division, for "the period from 1950 to 2150. . . The variants are distinguished by their assumptions regarding future scenarios in total fertility rates." Among the main conclusions from these long-range population projections are:
  1. medium-fertility scenario: the world population will grow to 9.4 billion in 2050, 10.4 billion in 2100, and 10.8 billion by 2150, and will stabilize at slightly under 11 billion persons around 2200.
  2. high and low fertility scenarios: give the size of the world population in 2150 would range from 3.6 billion persons to 27.0 billion.
  3. Constant fertility rates at 1990-1995 levels would result in a world population of 296 billion persons in 2150.
  4. medium-fertility scenario: the share aged 60 years or above will increase from 10 to 31 per cent of the world population between 1995 and 2150.
  5. The ultimate world population size of nearly 11 billion persons, according to the medium fertility scenario of these projections, is 0.7 billion persons fewer than previously published by the United Nations in 1992, mainly due to larger-than-expected declines in fertility in many countries.

Type of Resource Article
Title 1998 World Population Overview And Outlook 1999
Author The Population Institute
Affiliation The Population Institute
Url http://www.populationinstitute.org/overview98.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract December 30, 1998 statement by a U.S. based advocacy group summarizes current status of world population growth  includes: Fertility Drops in More Countries, Family Planning Successes, Continuing Concerns, Diseases Spread, HIV / AIDS Epidemic, Infant and Child Mortality, Maternal Health, Aging Populations, Food and Water Security, Global Family Planning Assistance, and U.S. Funding

Type of Resource 19 Reports and Wallcharts
Title World Population Trends
Author United Nations Population Division
Affiliation United Nations
Url http://www.undp.org/popin/wdtrends/wdtrends.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Includes:
  1. About United Nations World Population Estimates and Projections
  2. Basic Social Services for All 1997 (Wallchart) produced under the auspices of the United Nations ACC Task Force on Basic Social Services for All
  3. Fertility Trends Among Low Fertility Countries: Expert Group Meeting on
  4. Below-Replacement Fertility, New York, 4-6 November 1997
  5. Future Expectations for Below-Replacement Fertility: Expert Group Meeting on Below-Replacement Fertility, New York, 4-6 November 1997
  6. Technical Meeting on the Demographic Impact of HIV/AIDS, New York, November 10, 1998
  7. The Third African Population Conference, December, 1999
  8. International Migration Policies 1995 (Wallchart)
  9. South to North Migration Flows, 1960-1989
  10. Urban Agglomerations 1996 (Wallchart)
  11. Urban and Rural Areas 1996
  12. World Abortion Policies, 1994
  13. World Fertility Patterns 1997 (Wallchart)
  14. World Population 1996 (Wallchart)
  15. World Population Projections to 2150
  16. World Population Would Stabilize at Nearly 11 Billion (Press Release, 30 January 1998)
  17. The World's Women 1995: Trends and Statistics
  18. Demographic Yearbook: Capital Cities and Cities of 100,000 and More Inhabitants

Type of Resource Treaty Text Chapter
Title International Conference on Population and Development: Programme of Action
Author United Nations
URL http://www.cnie.org/pop/icpd/
Peer Review Negotiation Review Process
Abstract This Programme of Action was the result of the 1992 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, Egypt.  The chapters of the Programme of Action address various aspects of the relationship between population and environment. Includes: Chapter 6: Population growth and structure

Type of Resource Report
Title World Population Prospects: Analyzing the 1996 UN Population Projections
Author Gerhard K. Heilig
Affiliation International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria
Url http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/Papers/gkh1/
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Analyzes the most recent UN population assessments and projections (the 1996 edition), conducted by the United Nations Population Division, New York. Its main objective is to cut through the maze of available data and identify ten demographic trends which are most relevant for studying global (land-use) change." Includes:
  • Introduction
  • Major Trends (World Pop. Growth, Annual Increase,Developing Countries, Asia's Pop. Growth, Increase by Country, Growth Rate by Country, India outgrows China, Nigeria / Pakistan,
    Global Pop. Balance, Worldwide Aging)
  • Methodology (Population Momentum, Accuracy of Projections,Method Improvements)
  • Problems Related to World Population Growth (Fertility Decline, Food Limits, Population Size, Population Density, AIDS)

Type of Resource Journal Article
Title Global And U.S. National Population Trends
Author Carl Haub
Affiliation Population Resource Bureau
Url http://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/summer95/population.html
Peer Review Independent Review Process
Abstract "An unprecedented 5.8 billion people now live on the Earth, and in about 10 more years there will be 6.8 billion, with almost all the growth in the less developed countries. The U.S. is the most populous and rapidly growing of the more developed nations, in part through immigration; each year it adds about 2.5 million people--the equivalent of another San Diego." 1995 article in the Journal Consequences.

Type of Resource Bibliography
Title Population Index 1986-1996 On-line
Author Office of Population Research
Affiliation Princeton University
Url http://popindex.princeton.edu/
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "Population Index, published since 1935, is the primary reference tool to the world's population literature. It presents an annotated bibliography of recently published books, journal articles, working papers, and other material on population topics. Population Index is provided free of charge on the Web as a public service."

Type of Resource 10 Articles + 15 Press Releases
Title Population Information Resources for Journalists, Educators, and Interested Individuals
Author Population Reference Bureau
Affiliation Population Reference Bureau
Url http://www.prb.org/media/index.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Includes "The Latest Demographic News" (short news items) and "Tip Sheets:"
No. 1 The Second Population Explosion
No. 2 The All-Important Birth Rate
No. 3 Has World Population Growth "Peaked?"
No. 4 Population facts for India's 50th Birthday
No. 5 Demographic Background Facts for Israel and Palestine
No. 6 Population Growth Fastest in World’s Poorest Countries
No. 7 Population Density and Poverty Intensify Natural Disasters
No. 8 When Will India Become No. 1 in Population?
No. 9 African Motherhood Risky Business
No. 10 Is the World Population Explosion Really Over?

Population Reference Bureau Press Releases
  1. U.S. Data Sheet Charts Population's Environmental Impact
  2. Population, Consumption Trends Call for New Environmental Policies
  3. The World's Women: Making Gains but Still Widely Disadvantaged (with tables)
  4. A Demographer Looks at Who Really Won the 1998 Winter Olympics
  5. Black Migration to the South Reaches Record Highs in 1990s
  6. Population Reference Bureau launches Women's Edition 1998
  7. AIDS, Population Growth Shape Sub-Saharan Africa's Future
  8. Diverse Hispanic Population to Become Largest U.S. Minority
  9. Today's U.S. Population: Details and Definitions
  10. Infectious and Parasitic Diseases Continue to Threaten World Health, Report Finds
  11. Report Explores Links Among Women's Autonomy, Smaller Families, and Healthier Children
  12. Developing Nations Account for 98 Percent of World Population Growth
  13. Can We Feed the Future World Population?
  14. Russian Population Drop More Serious Than Thought
  15. Family Planning Saves the Lives of Millions of Women and Children Every Year

Type of Resource Data sets
Title Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program
Author Macro International Inc.
Affiliation Work carried out primarily for U.S. Agency for International Development
Url http://www.macroint.com/dhs/index.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Data sets result from surveys carried out in the developing world on issues of population, health and nutrition. "Data collected from the DHS and from other Macro International survey activities can be obtained in several ways. Data from DHS surveys is available via Direct Data File FTP or on regular storage media from the DHS data archive. In the future, users will be able to obtain data from the West Africa Spatial Analysis Prototype (WASAP) from this web site." Countries addressed include: Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African, Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar , Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Type of Resource Nontechnical Report
Title The State of World Population 1998: The New Generations
Author United Nations Population Fund
Affiliation United Nations
Url http://www.unfpa.org/swp/1998/thestate.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract 1998 annual report on World population with a focus on "young" and "old" people. Chapter summaries are html documents while full chapters are pdf format. "More young people than ever are entering their childbearing and working years. At the same time, the number and proportion of people over age 65 are increasing at an unprecedented rate. Our future will be shaped by how well families and societies meet the needs of these growing "new generations":education and health — including reproductive health — for the young, and social, medical and financial support for the elderly."

Type of Resource Data Sheet
Title 1998 World Population Data Sheet
Author Population Reference Bureau
Affiliation Population Reference Bureau
Url http://www.prb.org/prb/info/98wpds.htm
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "An annual publication, the 1998 Data Sheet contains the latest population estimates, projections and other key indicators all geographic entities with populations of 150, 000 or more and all members of the UN. These include sovereign states, dependencies, overseas departments and some territories whose status or boundaries may be undetermined or in dispute."

Type of Resource Maps, Datasets
Title Gridded Population of the World
Author National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis
Affiliation University of California at Santa Barbara
Url http://www.ciesin.org/datasets/gpw/globldem.doc.html
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract Maps and datasets of world population densities. Datasets can be downloaded by ftp. Smoothed Population Density map and Unsmoothed Population Density map available

Type of Resource Database, Maps
Title Global Population Distribution Database
Author Yi-Fan Li
Affiliation Canadian Global Emissions Inventory Centre, Environment Canada
Url http://grid2.cr.usgs.gov/globalpop/africa/
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract "The database consists of three datasets which have been compiled in dBase IV format." [1] Gridded global population distributions for 1990 with 1X1 latitude/longitude resolution; [2] The relationship between grid cells and countries; and [3] Rural population distribution factor for 1990 with 1X1 latitude/longitude resolution. Documentation includes: Acknowledgements; Introduction; Description of the Database; Download the Database; Methodology; Results and Discussion (includes maps); References

Type of Resource Article
Title Is the World's Population Explosion Over?
Author Carl Haub and Alene Gelbard
Affiliation Population Reference Bureau (U.S. Nongovernmental Organization)
Url http://www.prb.org/info/popexplo.htm         (Temporarily Unavailable)
Peer Review Unknown Review Process
Abstract 1998 article asserts "Today, there are two distinct "worlds" of population growth: those countries whose birth rates are at or below two children per couple and those that are not. The former group includes the world's rich nations, those in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan and a few rapidly industrializing countries such as South Korea and Thailand. China, because of its rigorous population control policy, also has a very low birth rate. The other world is one of rapid population growth and is composed of the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, where rapid growth is still underway."

Type of Resource 2 Opinion Editorial s
Title "The Population Explosion Is Over"
"Malthus was wrong -- until now"
Author Ben J. Wattenberg, Robert Cohen
Affiliation American Enterprise Institute (Wattenberg), Cohen refered to as "citizen-activist"
Url http://www.prb.org/info/popexplo.htm (Wattenberg)       (Temporarily Unavailable)
http://www.earthnet.net/~popnet/cohen.html (Cohen)    
(Temporarily Unavailable)
Peer Review No
Abstract Editorial appeared in New York Times Magazine on November 23, 1997 which concludes: "First the population was growing too fast. Now in many places it has sunk too low too quickly, with more to come. Is there cause for concern? Certainly, but not for despair. The demographers at the U.N. conference were not talking about a world where people can't control their destiny. Quite the opposite. We are in control, and are changing how we see ourselves and our world."

Reponse appeared in Boulder (Colorado) Sunday Camera on December 7, 1997 notes "Ben Wattenberg correctly reports that birth rates all over the world are declining and that global population is beginning to level off. He then implies that global population and its continued growth can hence be dismissed as no longer constituting a serious problem. However, merely focusing on the decline in fertility ignores an important dimension of the population issue; namely, the rising _per capita_ consumption of the developing world."

Temporarily unavailable:

  1. Additional Deaths Due to AIDS, 1985-2015
  2. Age-Specific Fertility Rates for Major Areas & Regions, 1990-1995
  3. Broadening and Deepening of Fertility Declines in Less Developing Regions
  4. Child Mortality Estimates, 1990-1995
  5. The Demography of Countries With Economies in Transition
  6. Diverging Demographic Trends in More Developed Regions
  7. Historical World Population Growth
  8. New Fertility Declines in Sub-Saharan Africa & South-Central Asia
  9. Population (in thousands) for Countries of the World:1996
  10. The 30 Largest Countries Ranked According to Population Size, 1950, 1996, 2050
  11. World Population Growing More Slowly
  12. World Population Milestones
  13. World Urbanization Prospects: The 1994 Revision