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World Population Prospects

The 2010 Revision, Volume I - Comprehensive Tables

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This report presents the 2010 Revision of the population estimates and projections prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. The 2010 Revision constitutes the twenty second round of the global population estimates and projections produced by the Population Division since 1951 and it breaks new ground in the production of population projections. For the first time, projections are carried out up to 2100, instead of 2050 as previously. In order to extend the projection period to 2100, a new method for the projection of fertility was developed. The method used in the 2010 Revision is based on the advances made in projecting fertility since the 2000 Revision, advances that have been combined with a probabilistic approach to yield the future paths of fertility used in producing the medium variant of the 2010 Revision. The full results of the 2010 Revision are presented in two volumes. The first volume provides comprehensive tables displaying key demographic indicators for each development group, major area, region and country for selected periods or dates within 1950-2100. The second volume contains demographic profiles presenting time series and plots covering the period from 1950 to 2100 for selected indicators for each country with at least 100,000 inhabitants in 2010 as well as for development groups, major areas and regions.

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Fertility

According to the 2010 Revision, total fertility—that is, the average number of children a woman would bear if fertility rates remained unchanged during her lifetime—is 2.52 children per woman in 2005-2010 at the world level (table II.1). This average masks the heterogeneity of fertility levels among countries and regions (figure 2). In 2005-2010, 75 countries or areas (44 of them located in the more developed regions) have fertility levels below 2.1 children per woman, that is, below replacement level1, whereas 121 countries or areas (all of which are located in the less developed regions) have total fertility levels at or above 2.1 children per woman. Among these 121 countries, 26 have total fertility levels at or above 5 children per woman, 25 of which are least developed countries (table II.2).

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