December 2023

Population projections and the assumptions demographers make in order to formulate them take center stage in this issue. Dr. Jane O’Sullivan, a researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia, gave an informative interview on the shortfalls of the most commonly cited projections and advocated on behalf of funding strong family planning programs in order to achieve the fertility decline top demographers assume will happen soon.

Cover image: Nepalese customers visit the market in Kathmandu on October 14, 2023, to select gifts for family members for the upcoming Dashain festival. (Photo by Sanjit Pariyar/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“People need to be given license to question cultural norms, and moral support to resist them. Voluntary family planning programs have been very effective in shifting these norms.” Dr. Jane O'Sullivan
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There are several leading agencies that calculate population projections, based on various assumptions made about the main determinants of population change: fertility, mortality, and migration. This chart includes projections from the UN Population Division, the Wittgenstein Centre (SSP), the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and Earth4All (E4A).