Consequences of a universal European demographic transition on regional and global population distributions

Skirbekk V, Stonawski M, & Alfani G (2015). Consequences of a universal European demographic transition on regional and global population distributions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 98: 271-289. DOI:10.1016/j.techfore.2015.05.003.

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Abstract

This study provides simulations showing what global and regional population sizes would be if the rest of the world would have experienced similar population growth patterns as what was observed in Europe during the demographic transition. In 1820-2010, slowed growth was observed in Europe & North America where population increased by 4.6 times to a level of 1088 million. The population of Asia increased from 70 million to 4165 million. However, the biggest change from 1820 to 2010 was observed in regions that had relatively small populations in 1820 - Latin America (which increased by 38 times to 597 million) and Africa (which increased by 14 times to 1031 million). Our simulations show that if the French pattern of population growth had been followed (French population size increasing by 2.5 from 1820-2010), the global population would have merely doubled during the demographic transition (increasing to 2.02 times its original size) over the 1820-2010 period. All regions would have had a significantly lower population size: Europe & North Amrica would have increased to 474 million and Asia to 1453 million, while Africa would have grown to 150 million, which is just 15% of its current population. Projections suggest that population implications of following the in the coming decades would have been much lower. While UN median variant projections suggest that it would reach 914 million people by 2100.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Population growth; demographic transition; Europe; simulations; demographic transition multiplier
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Bibliographic Reference: Technological Forecasting and Social Change; 98:271-289 [Septemeber 2015] (Published online 21 May 2015)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:53
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2016 09:09
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/11388

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