The size and growth of a country's population are both
causes and effects of economic and social developments. The pace of population growth
has slowed in all OECD countries.
Population projections, which give
indications of likely changes in the future population size and structure, are a
common demographic tool. They provide a basis for other statistical projections
(e.g. service provision, employment) and as such,
they are a very valuable tool for helping governments in their decision making.
Data refer to the resident population, that is, they
are a measure of the population that usually lives in an area. For countries with
overseas colonies, protectorates or other territorial possessions, their populations
are generally excluded. Growth rates are the annual changes resulting from births,
deaths and net migration during the year. Working age population is those aged 15 to
For most OECD countries, population data are based on
regular, ten-yearly censuses, with estimates for intercensal years derived from
administrative data. In several European countries, population estimates are based
entirely on administrative records. Population data are fairly comparable.
For some countries the population
figures shown here differ from those used for calculating GDP and other economic
statistics on a per capita basis, although differences are normally small.
Population projections are taken
from national sources where these are available, but for some countries they are based
on United Nations or Eurostat projections; the projection for the world comes from the
UN. All population projections require assumptions about future trends in life
expectancy, fertility rates and migration. Often, a range of projections is produced
using different assumptions about these future trends. The estimates shown here
correspond to the median or central variant, that is; there is an estimated 50 percent
chance the population could be lower, and a 50 percent chance it could be higher.
It should be noted that in the case
of Mexico, the population according to the Population and Household Census taken in
2010 was 112.3 million compared with the previous estimate of 108.4 million presented
in the table. The time series with the results of the Population and Housing Census for Mexico is underway by the Ministry of
Interior. As soon as data is available, it will be updated in the digital version of
the OECD Factbook, available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/factbook-data-en.
In 2010, OECD countries accounted for 18% of the
world's population of 6.9 billion. China accounted for 19% and India for 18%.
Within the OECD, in 2010, the United States accounted for 25% of the OECD total,
followed by Japan (10%), Mexico (9%), Germany (7%) and Turkey (6%).
In the three years to 2010,
growth rates above the OECD population average (0.6% per year) were recorded in
Israel, Mexico and Turkey (high birth rate countries) and in Australia, Canada,
Chile, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United
States (high net immigration). New Zealand and Ireland also recorded population
growth rates above the OECD total which can be attributed to both a birth rate
equal to the replacement fertility rate (a total fertility rate of 2.1 children
per woman) and a positive net migration rate.
In Hungary and Germany,
populations declined mostly due to low birth rates. Growth rates were also
negative in Estonia while they were very low, although still positive, in Japan,
Poland, Portugal and the Slovak Republic. The population of OECD countries is
expected to grow by less than 0.2% per year until 2050.
For OECD member countries: national sources,
United Nations and Eurostat.