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Global demographic projections: Future trajectories and associated uncertainty
March 4, 2015World Bank, J-Building - Room J B1-075

Demographic projections depict future trends in population size and its distribution by age and sex. Projections are derived using calculations that replicate plausible future changes in a population as a result of fertility, mortality and migration.

Demographic projections depict future trends in population size and its distribution by age and sex.  Projections are derived using calculations that replicate plausible future changes in a population as a result of fertility, mortality and migration.  A central, or middle, scenario depicts a trajectory of change that seems plausible and, overall, more likely than other scenarios. 

Traditionally, population projections have included two or more alternative scenarios, both to acknowledge the intrinsic uncertainty of the middle scenario and to offer an assessment of the sensitivity of projected trends to changes in underlying assumptions, in particular with regard to fertility. 

In recent years, statistical models have been used to derive a large number (10,000 or more) of demographic trajectories, each consisting of a series of probabilistic changes over time and, therefore, unique.  Typically, for a given outcome or indicator, the median value of the stochastic projection scenarios is chosen to serve as the middle scenario, and the spread around the median provides a probabilistic assessment of the uncertainty of the central forecast.  This presentation will examine the most recent set of global population projections from the United Nations (World Population Projects, 2012 Revision) and will review the state of knowledge about their uncertainty.

Light lunch will be served.

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Participants who are not World Bank/IMF staff, please contact Gloria Butron (email: gbutron@worldbank.org  tel (202) 473-7711) to RSVP and request a visitor pass.

  • Speaker: John Wilmoth
    John Wilmoth has been Director of the United Nations Population Division, within the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, since January 2013. He worked previously for the Population Division as Chief of its Mortality Section from 2005 to 2007. With a distinguished academic background, Mr. Wilmoth has been Professor at the University of California at Berkeley and a researcher in Berkeley’s Center on the Economics and Demography of Ageing. He is the author or co-author of more than 50 scientific papers on various aspects of population dynamics. From 2009 to 2012, he held consultancy positions at the World Health Organization and the World Bank, serving as the lead consultant for the development of new maternal mortality estimates used for the monitoring of MDG 5. He is currently a member of the Committee on Population of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
  • Chair: Dilip Ratha
    Dilip Ratha is Manager, Migration and Remittances Unit, and Head of the Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD), in the Development Prospects Group of the World Bank.
  • When: March 4th, 2015, 12:30 - 2:00 PM
  • Where: World Bank, J-Building - Room J B1-075
  • CONTACT: KNOMAD 
  • knomad@worldbank.org