Toward Structural and Argument-Based Probabilistic Population Projections in Asia: Endogenizing the Education-Fertility Links

Lutz, W. ORCID: & Scherbov, S. ORCID: (2003). Toward Structural and Argument-Based Probabilistic Population Projections in Asia: Endogenizing the Education-Fertility Links. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-03-014

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Among the different sources of uncertainty in population forecasting, uncertain changes in the structure of heterogeneous populations have received little attention so far, although they can have significant impacts. Here we focus on the effect of changes in the educational composition on the overall fertility of the population in the presence of strong fertility differentials. With data from India we show that alternative paths of future female enrollment in education result in significantly different total fertility rates (TFR) for the country over the coming decades, even assuming identical fertility trends within each education group. These results from multi-state population projections by education are then translated into a fully probabilistic population projection for India in which the results of alternative education scenarios are assumed to expand the uncertainty range of the future TFR in the total population.

This first attempt to endogenize structural change with respect to education - which is the greatest measurable source of fertility heterogeneity in Asia - has resulted from a larger exercise of the Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis to collect empirical information, scientific arguments as well as personal, informed opinions about likely future population trends in Asia from a large number of population experts in the region. The paper summarizes this exercise, in which individual experts were also asked to give their views on the uncertainty ranges of future demographic rates. The paper also describes the errors of past population projections in the region and summarizes the main findings from in-depth interviews of these experts, resulting in the conclusion that education trends are a main determinant of future fertility, thus providing the reason for this attempt to endogenize the education-fertility link in probabilistic population forecasts.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:15
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2023 05:00

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