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Data quality and accuracy of United Nations population projections, 1950-95

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Between 1951 and 1998, the United Nations (UN) published 16 sets of population projections for the world, its major regions, and countries. This paper reports the accuracy of the projection results. I analyse the quality of the historical data used for the base populations of the projections, and for extrapolating fertility and mortality. I study also the impact this quality has had on the accuracy of the projection results. Results and assumptions for the sets of projections are compared with corresponding estimates from the UN 1998 Revision for total fertility and life expectancy at birth, total population, and the projected age structures. The report covers seven major regions (Africa, Asia, the former USSR, Europe, Northern America, Latin America, and Oceania) and the largest ten countries of the world as of 1998 (China, India, the USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Russia, Japan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria).
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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