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Reiner Schulz (2007)

World Population Development according to the United Nations Population Prospects*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 32, 1-2/2007, p. 333-351, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

The United Nations carry out revisions of their World Population Prospects regularly at two-yearly intervals. These differ in their presumptions as to life expectancy and birth rates (the presumptions on migration are not taken into account here since they cancel one another out at global level), and thus naturally also in their results. This article investigates how the presumptions were modified in each set of Population Prospects from 1982 until the 2004 Revision (as the reference development), and how these modifications were explained. In conclusion, the presumptions concerning developments in mortality, which had been highly optimistic until the 1990 Revision, had to be corrected downwards in the later Revisions as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and of the negative development in mortality in some successor states of the Soviet Union, and presumptions on TFR, which until the 1998 Revision contained falling values from one Revision to the next, had to be corrected upwards. The United Nations Population Prospects do not permit one to identify any politically-motivated manipulations as to their presumptions or results.

* Original title: Die Weltbevölkerungsentwicklung nach den Bevölkerungsvorausberechnungen der Vereinten Nationen (full text in German only)

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