top-rated free essay


By Simson Riken-Kaye Apr 20, 2014 8148 Words
BY J A S O N B R E M N E R , A S H L E Y F R O S T, C A R L H A U B ,
M A R K M AT H E R , K A R I N R I N G H E I M , A N D E R I C Z U E H L K E

Vol. 65, No. 2
JULY 2010

Population Reference Bureau

Population Reference Bureau
The Population Reference Bureau informs people around
the world about population, health, and the environment,
and empowers them to use that information to advance
the well-being of current and future generations.
Funding for this Population Bulletin was provided through
the generosity of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

About the Authors
is program director, Population, Health, and
Environment program; ASHLEY FROST is senior policy analyst,
International Programs; CARL HAUB is senior demographer;
MARK MATHER is associate vice president, Domestic Programs;
KARIN RINGHEIM is senior policy adviser, International Programs; and ERIC ZUEHLKE is editor at PRB.

Faith Mitchell, Chair of the Board
Vice President for Program and Strategy, Grantmakers in Health, Washington, D.C.
Martin Vaessen, Vice Chair of the Board
Director, Demographic and Health Research Division, ICF Macro, Calverton, Maryland
Stanley Smith, Secretary of the Board
Professor and Director, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, University of Florida, Gainesville
Richard F. Hokenson, Treasurer of the Board
Director, Hokenson and Company, Lawrenceville, New Jersey
William P. Butz, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Population Reference Bureau, Washington, D.C.

George Alleyne, Director Emeritus, Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization, Washington, D.C.
Wendy Baldwin, Vice President, Poverty, Gender, and Youth Program, The Population Council, New York
Felicity Barringer, National Correspondent, Environment,
The New York Times, San Francisco
Marcia Carlson, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Elizabeth Chacko, Associate Professor of Geography and International Affairs, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

The Population Bulletin is published twice a year and distributed to members of the Population Reference Bureau. Population
Bulletins are also available for $7 each (discounts for bulk orders). To become a PRB member or to order PRB materials, contact
PRB, 1875 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC
20009-5728; Tel.: 800-877-9881; Fax: 202-328-3937;
E-mail:; Website:
The suggested citation, if you quote from this publication, is: PRB staff, “World Population Highlights: Key Findings From PRB’s 2010 World Population Data Sheet,” Population Bulletin 65, no. 2 (2010). For permission to reproduce portions from the Population Bulletin, write to PRB, Attn: Permissions; or e-mail: Cover photo: © 2007 Sudip Roychoudhury, Courtesy of Photoshare © 2010 Population Reference Bureau. All rights reserved. ISSN 0032-468X

Bert T. Edwards, Executive Director, Office of Historical Trust Accounting, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
Margaret Neuse, Independent Consultant, Washington, D.C.
Francis L. Price, President and Chief Executive Officer, Q3 Stamped Metal, Inc., and Q3 JMC Inc., Columbus, Ohio
Michael Wright, Managing Director for Coastal East Africa,
World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C.
Montague Yudelman, Former Director, Agriculture and Rural
Development, World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Population Bulletin
BY J A S O N B R E M N E R , A S H L E Y F R O S T,
C A R L H A U B , M A R K M AT H E R ,

Table of Contents
WORLD POPULATION.......................................................................................................................................... 2

Figure 1. The Fall in Total Fertility Rates Has Varied
Dramatically Among Countries......................................................................................................... 3 Case in Point. U.S. Population Growth................................................................................... 3 YOUTH DEPENDENCY......................................................................................................................................... 4

Figure 2. The Number of Working-Age Adults per Dependent
Child Will Increase at Different Rates............................................................................................. 5 Case in Point. Free Primary Education in Kenya.............................................................. 5 OLD-AGE DEPENDENCY .................................................................................................................................. 6

Figure 3. The Number of Working-Age Adults per Older Adult Will Decrease in All Regions Between 2010 and 2050............................................................ 7 Case in Point. South Korea’s Aging and Policy Response..................................... 7 Gender, Employment, and Dependency............................................................................... 8

Figure 4. Global Labor Force Participation Is Lower for
Women in All Age Groups..................................................................................................................... 9 Case in Point. Female Employment in the Middle East............................................. 9 improved Sanitation ............................................................................................................................... 10

Figure 5. Percent of Population With Improved Access to
Sanitation Is Higher in Urban Areas in All Regions....................................................... 11 Case in Point. Defining Improved Sanitation.................................................................. 11 sources.................................................................................................................................................................... 12

Population Reference Bureau
Vol. 65, No. 2
JULY 2010

Population bulletin 65.2 2010


World Population
A number of developed
countries are likely to
decline in size and see
the proportion of their
elderly populations rise to
unprecedented levels.


The largest percentage
increase in population
by 2050 will be in Africa,
whose population is
expected at least double.


World population has reached a transition point: The rapid growth of the second half of the 20th century has slowed. But factors such as continuously improving mortality and slower-than-expected declines in birth rates guarantee continued growth for decades. The questions remain: how fast, how much, and where?

The declines in birth rates and increased
longevity have led to a concern in more
developed countries and one that will soon
spread to less developed countries: The
proportion of the elderly population has been
rising and will continue. The pressure on
national pension plans and long-term health
care has increased as the support ratio, the
number of those ages 15 to 64 compared with
those ages 65 and over, decreases.


The TFR in developing
countries declined from
about 6.0 in the early 1950s
to about 2.5 today, much
more rapidly than Europe
and North America.

Much of Asia’s future
population growth will be
determined by what
happens in China and
India—two countries
that account for about 60
percent of the region’s


The population size of the world’s more
developed countries has essentially peaked.
What little growth remains will mostly come
from immigration from less developed
countries. A number of more developed
countries are likely to decline in size and see
the proportion of their elderly populations rise to
unprecedented levels.
The outlook for less developed countries
is quite different. The increase in world
population from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 6.1 billion
in 2000 was almost entirely due to population
growth in those countries. The 20th-century
population “explosion” was a direct result
of the rapid decline in mortality rates in less
developed countries. Achievements in rising
life expectancy that had taken centuries in
Europe took mere decades in many less
developed countries. As less developed
countries’ growth rates rose to levels never
experienced in the more developed countries,
many adopted policies to lower the birth rate

to keep pace with rapidly declining death
rates. In the decades that followed, there
were dramatic declines in birth rates in some
less developed countries, somewhat more
gradual declines in others, and almost no
decline in still others (see Figure 1, page 3).
Nonetheless, the total fertility rate (TFR) in less
developed countries declined from about 6.0
in the early 1950s to about 2.5 today, a much
more rapid decrease than that of Europe and
North America. As impressive as that decline
may be, there is still a long way to go. Global
population is at an important crossroad. Will
the world continue on to “zero population
growth” or not?

Population Projections
Projections of world population in 2050
currently range from 9.15 billion to 9.51 billion.
Considering the 40-year timespan and the
uncertainty of demographic trends, those
projections are all actually quite close, and for a
reason: World population projections have long
made the assumption that the TFR will decline
to two children or less in developing countries
much as it did in the developed countries
and that the decline will be continuous and
uninterrupted. It is recognized, however, that
such a tidy pattern of TFR decline will not take
place everywhere and that projections will
have to be adjusted. TFR declines have stalled
in some countries and have barely begun in

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

The assumption of continuous TFR decline is largely dependent on the spread of women’s desire to use family planning to space their births or limit childbearing altogether. The ability to do so, in turn, is dependent upon government policies to provide family planning services where they are needed and upon sufficient

funds and infrastructure to do so.
The TFR has in fact declined to two children or less in developing countries such as Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Iran, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and Uruguay. China and Vietnam have also seen sharp
declines due to strict government policies. For many other
countries, however, TFR decline has been elusive. And within countries, regional variations can be obscured by national

Regional Population Trends
The largest percentage increase by 2050 will be in Africa,
whose population is expected to at least double to 2.1 billion. That projection depends on the assumption that sub-Saharan
Africa’s TFR will decline from 5.2 to approximately 2.5 by 2050. This implies that the use of family planning will rise significantly. Presently, 17 percent of married women in sub-Saharan Africa use a modern form of family planning, by far the lowest rate in the world.

Asia, with 4.2 billion people, will likely experience a much smaller proportional increase than Africa but still add the largest number of people by 2050–1.3 billion. Much of Asia’s future population growth will be determined by what happens in China and India, two countries that account for about 60 percent of the region’s population; adding the populations of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan brings the total to 75 percent. There has been

much speculation about China’s possible relaxation of its
stringent one-child policy as the number of women entering the childbearing ages begins to decline. Currently, the TFR stands at

Figure 1

The Fall in Total Fertility Rates Has Varied Dramatically
Among Countries
Children per Woman















2.2 in Asia and at 2.6 when the large statistical effect of China is removed. Excluding China, 47 percent of women in Asia use a
modern form of contraception.
Latin America and the Caribbean is the developing region with the smallest proportional growth expected by mid-century,
largely due to fertility declines in several of its largest countries such as Brazil and Mexico. The regional TFR is currently about 2.3 and the use of modern contraception, at 67 percent, rivals that of developed countries.

Europe is likely to be the first region in history to see long-term population decline as a result of low fertility, largely due to the countries of Eastern Europe and Russia. The population of the European Union (EU), for example, should roughly maintain its current population size although experiencing large increases in its elderly populations compared with younger age groups. Currently, there are about four people of working age (ages 15 to 64) in the EU per person age 65 or older. By 2050, that ratio is likely to drop to 2-to-1. Outside Europe, other countries such as Japan and South Korea will be in the same predicament. Raising fertility has become a priority for many governments. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States will continue to

grow from higher births and continuing immigration.
The eventual end of population growth in developing countries is a real prospect. But such an end requires an average of two

Case in Point

U.S. Population Growth
The U.S. population’s rate of increase over the next four
decades depends largely on future trends in international
migration. The U.S. population is currently 310 million, but could increase to 399 million, 423 million, or 458 million by 2050 depending on immigration trends over the next 40
years. U.S. Census Bureau projections are based on three
immigration scenarios, each with different implications for
growth. Low immigration assumes that net international
migration will range from 1.1 million to 1.8 million per year. Constant immigration assumes immigration levels will
remain at current levels (just under 1 million per year). High immigration assumes immigration levels will range from
1.5 million to 2.4 million per year.
The new projections also show the effect of immigration
on population aging. Under the three scenerios, older
Americans are projected to make up between 20 percent
and 21 percent of the U.S. population by 2050. The
zero-migration model projects more rapid aging, with the
elderly accounting for 24 percent of the population in 2050. Regardless of future immigration levels, baby boomers—
who have started reaching retirement age—are going to
contribute to rapid population aging in the coming decades.
—By Mark Mather

Sources: United Nations Population Division, Demographic and Health Surveys, and PRB estimates.

Population bulletin 65.2 2010


Youth Dependency
High youth dependency
can create new
opportunities for economic
growth in countries that
increase contraceptive
use and reduce fertility.

In sub-Saharan Africa,
there is almost a 1-to-1
ratio between workingage adults and children
under 14.

In developed countries,
children under 14 make
up an increasingly smaller
share of the population.

To capitalize on the
demographic dividend,
countries with high youth
dependency must provide
high-quality and accessible
education, health services,
and jobs for young people.


BY ashley frost

In most of the world, falling fertility has led to changes in the age structure of the population. There are 2.4 adults of working age (15 to 64 years) for every child under age 14. By 2050, the United Nations estimates that there will be 3.3 adults of working age for every child. But there are large differences between the age

structure of populations in more developed and
less developed countries. In more developed
countries, children under 14 make up only
17 percent of the total population, and there
are 4.1 adults of working age for every child
under 14. As a result, youth dependency—the
number of children economically dependent on
the working-age population—is relatively low.
The cost of providing for the needs of young
people, particularly education and health care,
is distributed over a large number of working
However, in less developed countries where
child survival has improved and fertility remains
high, youth dependency is significantly greater.
In sub-Saharan Africa, young people make up
more than 42 percent of the total population,
and there are only 1.3 working-age adults
for every child under 14. In countries such
as Uganda, where a woman has on average
more than six children, there is a 1-to-1 ratio of
working-age adults and children under 14. This
high youth dependency burdens governments,
communities, and families as they try to meet
the needs of large, young populations.

The Demographic Dividend
High youth dependency can create opportunities
for economic growth in countries that increase
contraceptive use and reduce fertility. As young
populations grow into adulthood and have fewer
children than earlier generations, the number
of working-age adults increases and youth

dependency declines. This phenomenon is
known as the “demographic dividend” because
countries can benefit from the large bulge
of economically active adults who enter the
workforce when youth dependency falls. In fact,
the accelerated economic prosperity of East Asia
over the past few decades is often attributed
to this demographic dividend. Countries that
significantly reduced fertility in recent decades
may also benefit from the demographic dividend
in coming years. As Figure 2 (page 5) illustrates,
Bangladesh and Brazil will likely experience a
large increase in the number of working-age
adults for each dependent child by 2030 due to
falling fertility. Between the 1970s and 1990s,
fertility fell from 6.9 to 3.3 births per woman
in Bangladesh and from 4.7 to 2.5 births per
woman in Brazil. Conversely, in countries such
as Uganda and Mali, where fertility remains
persistently high—women in Mali have an
average of 5.5 births each, and women in
Uganda have an average of 6.4—the number
of working-age adults for each child will likely
increase only slightly.
Increasing contraceptive use and reducing high
fertility are necessary to harness the potential of
the demographic dividend. Over time, the pace
of fertility decline dramatically affects the number
of working-age adults per child, reducing youth
dependency. Using UN projections for fertility
in Ghana, the number of working-age adults
for each child under 14 increases faster when
fertility falls faster. The low-fertility scenario (2.0
births per women) has a greater impact on youth
dependency than the medium-fertility scenario

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

(2.5 births) and the high-fertility scenario (3.0 births). The constant fertility projection shows that without falling fertility, high youth dependency will likely remain relatively constant over the next two decades.

Necessary Investments
To capitalize on the demographic dividend, countries with high youth dependency must also provide high-quality and accessible education and health services to their large numbers of young people. Without these investments, children are less likely to grow into healthy and productive adults. But the significant financial costs of meeting children’s health and educational needs are prohibitive for many developing countries. In the

world’s poorest regions, education is often out of reach. There are 72 million children worldwide who are out of school, and poor children, girls, and children who live in rural areas are particularly disadvantaged. Even in countries that are able to improve access to education, other challenges remain daunting. In Madagascar, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Togo, for

example, increased school enrollment and shortages of trained teachers have led to student-teacher ratios of more than 80-to1. UNESCO estimates suggest that there is currently an annual US$80 billion deficit in sub-Saharan Africa that prevents all children from receiving high-quality basic education.

Shortfalls in child health and nutrition need to be met before countries with high youth dependency can benefit from a larger working-age population. One-quarter of children under age 5 in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are underweight. Poor nutrition has long-term impacts for the health and productivity of countries. For example, iron deficiency is linked to impaired cognitive development, and the UN estimates that countries lose as much as 8 percent of national GDP because of lower educational

attainment and reduced economic potential from iron deficiency. In addition, hundreds of millions of children suffer from povertyrelated diseases that affect their health and future opportunities. The demographic dividend can only be realized if young people have economic opportunities when they reach adulthood.

While unemployment in many developing countries is difficult to measure because many people have informal jobs such
as selling in local markets that are not government regulated, unemployment for both men and women in sub-Saharan
Africa averages just below 10 percent, with some countries
such as Burkina Faso, Zambia, and Liberia reporting 50
percent unemployment among their working-age populations.
An even larger percentage of the population in the region is underemployed and not earning a liveable wage. In Nigeria, while estimates of unemployment are only 5 percent, 70 percent of the population lives below the poverty line.

Figure 2

The Number of Working-Age Adults per Dependent Child
Will Increase at Different Rates
Number of Working-Age Adults per Child













Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects, The 2008 Revision.

Case in Point

Free Primary Education in Kenya
During the 1990s, school enrollment declined significantly
in Kenya. Mandatory school fees placed an impossible
burden on many families already affected by growing
poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS. In 2002, the national
government abolished primary school fees to reinvigorate
national commitment to education, and the response was
overwhelming. Within a few weeks, according to the World
Bank, an additional 1 million children enrolled, many of
whom had never before attended school. But in many
areas classroom size doubled, placing stress on teachers,
resources, and facilities.
The sheer size of Kenya’s young population—children
under 14 make up 43 percent of Kenya’s population—has
threatened the feasibility of high-quality and free education for all Kenyan children. Even with strong government
commitment, financial assistance from international donors
was essential to meeting minimum educational standards in
the early years of the initiative. In 2006, education received 28 percent of the government budget, the largest share
of any sector. However, resources are still insufficient to
eliminate school fees for secondary school and, as a result, 43 percent of children do not attend the later years of school, essential for preparing youth for jobs in adulthood.

For developing countries with high youth dependency to
fully benefit from the demographic dividend, fertility must fall, investments in child health and education must improve, and
economic opportunities for adults must expand. If countries
achieve these goals, the demographic dividend will provide a strong catalyst for economic growth and development.

Population bulletin 65.2 2010


Old-Age Dependency
BY eric zuehlke

People ages 80 and
older are the most rapidly
growing age group


the number of workingage people per person 65
and older will decrease by
over 50 percent worldwide.

The population of older
people worldwide is
growing at more than
double the annual rate of
the population as a whole.

Older adults in developing
countries increasingly
must care for themselves,
without the support of
traditional family networks
or social safety nets.


Improved health, increased access to education, and economic growth have led to lower fertility rates and longer life expectancy in every region and across socioeconomic groups. The world’s population is growing older.

While this shift represents a major global
success story, aging populations also
present challenges to families, communities,
and countries. This demographic shift is
unprecedented in world history, and is most
likely irreversible.
Not only is the world’s population becoming
older, the older are living longer. Those ages
80 and older are the most rapidly growing age
group worldwide. To maintain current standards
of living in more developed countries and to
improve prospects for those in less developed
countries, countries must include and involve
older populations as productive and active
contributors to society.
The populations of more developed countries
have become progressively older for more
than a century. Advances in public health and
expanded social safety nets enabled people
to live longer. But as fertility rates have fallen
to below replacement level in much of the
developed world, new challenges are emerging.
Over the next 50 years, the number of elderly
persons will continue to rise and the number
of people of working age will decrease; the
number of retiring workers each year will
eventually exceed the number of new workers
into the labor market. Those in older ages
(ages 65 and older) made up 21 percent of
the population in more developed countries
in 2009. By 2050, that proportion is projected
to increase to 33 percent. But while the
populations of more developed countries have
been growing older for decades, retirement

ages have gone down, at least until recently.
According to the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD), barring
any change in work and retirement patterns,
the ratio of older nonworking people per worker
will almost double by 2050, putting a strain on
government social support and public finances.
The percentage of people ages 65 and older
is increasing in less developed countries as
well: 66 percent of older people in the world
live in low- and middle-income countries, and
the percentage will rise to 80 percent by 2050.
The rate of increase will accelerate much faster
than in more developed countries, which took
decades to age from the industrial revolution
through the medical advances in public health
in the early to mid-20th century. Although
fertility decline started relatively late in less
developed countries, it has proceeded faster
than in more developed countries.
For most older adults in less developed
countries, retirement is an unaffordable luxury.
Four out of five older adults worldwide have no
retirement income from pensions or government
programs. These adults must continue to work
to support themselves and their families. Many
work in the informal economy, selling goods on
the street, or work on farms with no benefits
or social protection. Without public support,
people have traditionally relied on family support
networks in their older ages. However, as more
young people move to urban areas for work, as
many adult children die from AIDS in hard-hit
countries, and with persistent poverty, many

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

older people are left to fend for themselves. The responsibility of grandparents as the primary caregivers for their grandchildren compounds the challenge in less developed countries that are especially affected by the AIDS epidemic.

Figure 3

The Number of Working-Age Adults per Older Adult Will
Decrease in All Regions Between 2010 and 2050

Measuring the Burden
The old-age dependency ratio measures the ratio of the
population age 65 or older to the population ages 15 to 64
(considered to be working age). As a larger proportion of the population enters older ages, there are fewer working-age
people to support them. A higher ratio means that there are
more older people vis-à-vis those in working ages. Although some older people will have retirement income or savings, the higher dependency ratio strains working-age populations—
potentially requiring higher taxes and other financial costs. Lower fertility rates and increasing life expectancy will cause the world’s old-age dependency ratio to more than double between 2010
and 2050, with larger increases in some regions. In Asia the ratio will almost triple, and will more than triple in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the United States, the dependency ratio is projected to rise from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030 as baby boomers retire and the proportion of older people rises concurrently with the decline of those in working ages.

The inverse of the dependency ratio, the support ratio, examines how many working-age people there are per person 65 or
older. This number is expected to drop by over half by 2050
worldwide, affecting every region of the world (see Figure 3). The ratio is projected to continue to decline to 3.9 by 2050. A smaller number of workers will have to support an increasing number of older people.

Policy and Program Responses
The recent global economic recession has highlighted the
vulnerability of older populations and their impact on public expenditures and budgets—many lost retirement savings and
pensions, requiring more government support. The key to
lessening this burden on society is to view older populations less as a problem and more as a resource. Alternative employment
opportunities need to be expanded to older people. Less
than 60 percent of 50-to-64-year-olds in OECD countries are
employed, compared with 76 percent of 24-to-49-year-olds.
In response, OECD countries have developed policies to
address work disincentives (taxing older workers who work)
and to increase flexibility in work-retirement decisions such as raising retirement ages and changing pensions systems
to encourage later retirement. However, these policies alone may not be enough to keep up with the speed of demographic
change. Employers have a special responsibility to ensure that older workers have the needed skills, access to employment
services, and working conditions necessary to stay employed. Many low-fertility countries in Europe and East Asia have been trying to increase fertility rates by providing a more supportive environment for raising children, with mixed results.

Population bulletin 65.2 2010











Note: The support ratio measures how many working-age people there are per person 65 or older.
Source: Carl Haub, 2010 World Population Data Sheet.

Case in Point

South Korea’s Aging and Policy
In South Korea, fertility is so far below the “two-child” replacement level that severe population aging and decline
in population size is a very real prospect. In 2002, the
government announced that its pension fund would soon be
wiped out because of a decline in the working-age population vis-à-vis the number of retirees. The government also realized that the number of women of childbearing age was declining
and that the trend would only accelerate. South Korea’s total fertility rate reached the historic global low of 1.08 in 2005. The South Korean government responded with a plan that
included provisions for a more favorable environment for
childbearing—tax incentives, priority for the purchase of a new apartment, support for child care (including a 30 percent increase in facilities), child care facilities at work, support for education, and assistance for infertile couples.

—By Carl Haub

Developing countries face other challenges from the growing
population of older workers because pensions and public
social protection are less common than in developed
countries. Increasing access to small loans to create business opportunities through microcredit programs, implementing age discrimination policies to prevent exploitation, expanding health care, and increasing training programs can help older workers contribute to society in new ways.


Women tend to work in
lower-wage jobs. Despite
some narrowing of the
gender wage gap,
differences in male and
female pay remain across
all occupations and skill

Gender, Employment,
and Dependency
BY karin ringheim

Women are essential to a demographic dividend—the potential

BY 60,
women are less than half
as likely to be employed
as men of the same age.

of a large cohort of youth to provide a boost to economic growth. The advantage of a larger working-age population supporting a smaller proportion of dependent children and the elderly can only be realized if a greater supply of labor is productively employed.

Among the Asian “tigers” such as Hong
Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan,
high levels of female educational attainment
and rapidly increasing female labor force
participation contributed to rapid economic
growth. According to the International Labour
Organisation (ILO), while women in these
countries were subjected to poor working
conditions and lower wages, the economic
expansion ultimately lifted most households out
of poverty.


Nearly half of the global
productive potential of
women is unutilized.

In less developed
countries, only 58 girls per
100 boys are enrolled in
tertiary education,
including colleges and
postsecondary skills


Despite the youthful age structure of many
developing countries, a demographic dividend
is unlikely to occur for a variety of factors,
including poor educational preparation of the
workforce and a lack of decent employment
options. In a majority of countries, women are
more likely to be unemployed than men. In
addition, the effect of an imbalanced sex ratio
resulting from son preference, as seen in a
number of Asian countries including China, may
portend a shortage of women for jobs typically
occupied by women.

Higher Education for Girls
The differences in education and preparation
for skilled employment between boys and girls
remain substantial and have implications for
their economic futures. With rising demand
for skilled labor, girls are disadvantaged by
their low levels of educational attainment.
Despite considerable progress made in recent

years, the gender gap in education continues
in many developing countries, particularly at
the secondary and tertiary levels. Globally,
96 girls are enrolled for every 100 boys in
primary school, but among least developed
countries, there are 81 girls per 100 boys in
secondary schools and only 58 girls per 100
boys in tertiary education, including colleges
and postsecondary skills training. Girls from
poor households are far less likely than boys to
complete even primary schooling. Furthermore,
girls are far more likely than boys to become
parents at an early age, which not only curtails
opportunities for further schooling but keeps
girls out of the paid labor market.
Whether girls succeed in school and advance
to higher levels of education also depends on
their ability to do their homework—time that is
strongly influenced by how much responsibility
they have for household chores. For example,
research conducted in Bangladesh shows that
boys have about 30 minutes more discretionary
study time per day than girls. These differences
are attributed to parental decisions that girls
do a greater share of household chores. Girls
on average spend about an hour a day more
than boys on tasks such as fetching water
and firewood, cleaning, cooking, and caring
for younger siblings. Girls who cannot keep up
with their homework are more likely to drop out
of school. Because secondary schooling has a
greater impact on future income than primary
schooling, girls who fail to complete secondary

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

schooling are less prepared for skilled employment and have lower lifetime earnings.

Women in Global Labor Markets
The UN’s Millennium Development Goal 1 calls for “full
productive employment and decent work for all, including
women and youth.” While some progress has been made over
the past decade in women’s labor force participation, nearly half of the global productive potential of women is still unutilized: 52 percent of women were employed in 2009, compared with
nearly 78 percent of men.
Ten years ago, the majority of women worldwide worked in
agriculture. Today, most women (47 percent) work in the services sector, while 37 percent work in agriculture. Women have made some progress in moving out of “vulnerable” informal work arrangements that lack benefits and social protection programs like health insurance and retirement plans, and where women face greater risk of sexual and economic exploitation. The percentage of women employed in these vulnerable occupations declined

from nearly 56 percent in 1999 to 51 percent in 2009, yet nearly 25 percent of working women are classified as “contributing family workers” who receive no direct pay for their efforts. According to the ILO, while nearly half of employed women globally are now engaged in wage and salaried work, there remains a “clear segregation” of women into jobs that have low pay, long hours, and few opportunities to rise in the ranks to managerial positions. Women tend to work in lower-wage jobs and to have less access to managerial and other top-level positions. They are also paid less than men for doing the same or equivalent work. Despite some narrowing of the gender wage gap, differences in male and female pay remain across all occupations and skill levels. The difference is lowest among occupations dominated by women,

such as primary-level teaching, and highest for occupations
requiring a university degree, such as computer programming
and accounting. Even for mid-level sales positions, men are paid 10 percent to 30 percent more than women in most countries for equivalent work at the same number of hours. The gender gap in pay for occupations dominated by men is as great as 25 percent even in developed countries like the United Kingdom and Australia.

Gender, Employment, and Aging
While the youthful age structures of less developed countries necessitate a focus on the employment prospects of youth,
globally, the population is aging. The gender discrimination experienced by women in the workforce may be particularly
detrimental to older women, who live on average four years longer than men. Retirement may not be an option for these long-lived individuals. In fact, 80 percent of the world’s population is not protected by a social security and health plan, with few options other than to rely on family support or to continue working. Women have lower labor force participation rates than men at all ages, but the ratio of working women to working men falls off rapidly beginning at age 50 (see Figure 4). Globally, women over age 60 outnumber men by 70 million. By age 60, women

are less than half as likely to be employed as men of the same age. Some countries have lower mandatory retirement ages
for women than for men. Older women are also more often
the victims of age discrimination in employment. Because
women are disproportionately represented in unpaid, lowpaying, and part-time work, even women who are covered by a social protection plan are entitled to less compensation on average than men. Furthermore, many widowed women are

not protected by inheritance rights. These factors contribute to women’s higher rates of poverty in old age.

Figure 4

Global Labor Force Participation Is Lower for Women in All
Age Groups
Case in Point


Female Employment in the
Middle East


15-19 20-24 25-29 30-34 35-39 40-44 45-49 50-54 55-59 60-64 65+ Age Group


The Middle East has the lowest female employment rate in
the world: nearly 8 out of 10 women in the region are not
employed, and labor markets remain largely closed to them.
The gender gap in male and female employment is highest in
Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Women with secondary and higher
levels of education are more likely than men with the same
level of education to be unemployed. Access to employment
is an essential step to achieving gender justice and equality. If women have the chance to participate in paid labor, they
can economically better themselves and their families, and
bring benefits to all areas of development.

Source: International Labour Organisation (ILO), Economically Active Population Estimates and Projections, 1980-2020.

Population bulletin 65.2 2010


Improved Sanitation
BY jason bremner

Lack of basic sanitation
results in diarrhea, which
is the second leading
cause of death for children
under 5.

people still do not use
improved sanitation.

An estimated 1.5 million deaths are caused by diarrhea each year, largely due to a lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and poor nutrition and health. Improving sanitation is just one of a comprehensive set of solutions needed to reduce diarrhea deaths, but it is a proven method that should remain part of diarrheaprevention strategies.


people without improved
sanitation live in rural

At the current pace,
the world will miss the
MDG target for improved
sanitation by 2015.


Recognizing the importance of basic sanitation,
world leaders committed to the Millennium
Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the
percentage of the world’s population without
access to basic sanitation from 46 percent in
1990 to 23 percent in 2015. The most recent
data from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring
Programme for Supply and Sanitation (JMP)
indicate that progress in meeting this goal is
insufficient, and today more than 2.6 billion
people, or approximately 39 percent of the
world’s population, still do not use improved
sanitation facilities.

Geographic Disparities
The global numbers mask vast regional
differences in the use of improved sanitation
(see Figure 5, page 11). In less developed
countries, 48 percent of the population still
does not use improved sanitation, compared
with less than 1 percent in more developed
countries. Nearly all of the 2.6 billion people
who do not use improved sanitation facilities
live in less developed countries, with 72
percent, or 1.8 billion, living in Asia (more than
1 billion of whom are in India, Pakistan, and
Bangladesh); 21 percent, or 565 million, in
sub-Saharan Africa; and 4 percent, or 117
million, in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Sanitation is poorest in sub-Saharan Africa

where 69 percent of people do not use
improved sanitation, and in South-Central
Asia and East Asia where 62 percent and 41
percent, respectively, still do not use improved
These regional comparisons, however, obscure
common urban-rural differentials. In all regions,
the use of improved sanitation in urban areas
is higher than in rural areas. In developing
countries, 68 percent of urban residents and
40 percent of rural residents use improved
sanitation. Seven out of 10 people without
improved sanitation live in rural areas, which
explains some of the regional disparities since
the bulk of the populations of South-Central
Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia are still
rural. However, the use of improved sanitation
is particularly low in some urban environments
as well. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 44 percent
of urban residents use improved sanitation; in
East Asia, 61 percent of urban residents use
improved sanitation.

Meeting the MDG Target
Since 2000 the world has made small
improvements in the percentage without
improved sanitation (declining from 42 percent
to 39 percent). This small decrease means
that 1.3 billion people have gained access to
improved sanitation since 1990. However,

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

Figure 5
Case in Point

The Percent of Population With Access to Improved
Sanitation Is Higher in Urban Areas in All Regions
Sub-Saharan Africa


South-Central Asia


Latin America & The Caribbean



Southeast Asia


Western Asia


More Developed Countries



The Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) provides the most
complete global assessment of country-level access to
sanitation and drinking water for urban and rural areas, but because definitions vary widely among countries and regions, JMP has had to develop sets of categories of “improved” and “unimproved” in order to compare data across countries and assess trends over time (see table). JMP defines an improved sanitation facility as one that hygienically separates sewage from human contact.



East Asia

Defining Improved Sanitation




Source: Regional estimates calculated by PRB based on the data from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, accessed at datamining/tables.html, on June 15, 2010.

at the current pace the world will miss the MDG target by 13 percentage points, or approximately 1 billion people who were targeted for improvement will still lack improved sanitation. Furthermore, progress has varied between rural and urban

areas: 64 percent of those who have gained access since 1990 live in urban areas.
While the overall sanitation improvements are falling short of the MDG target, great progress has been made in reducing rates of open defecation, or the percentage of the population that uses no facilities. Since 1990, the use of any facility for defecation in less developed countries has decreased from 32 percent

to 21 percent. Nonetheless, 1.1 billion people still do not use a sanitation facility for defecating, 640 million of whom live in India where the practice is particularly prevalent. An even larger number of people use unimproved and shared facilities.

Population Growth and Urbanization
The progress being made in sanitation is undermined by
continued population growth and urbanization. The world’s
urban population has grown by approximately 1.1 billion since 1990, but urban use of improved sanitation only increased for 813 million people. The number of urban people practicing
open defecation has actually increased from 188 million to 224 million since 1990, primarily because of urban growth in areas with limited sanitation facilities. In addition, sharing sanitation facilities is particularly prevalent in urban areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, use of shared sanitation in urban areas is high. In Ghana, Uganda, and Kenya, more than 50 percent of the urban

population uses shared sanitation facilities.

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

A debated aspect of the definition of unimproved facilities
is the inclusion of shared facilities regardless of type. All sanitation efforts aimed at building or improving school or
community latrines will not be captured by current definitions and thus require a closer examination of specific facility types. IMPROVED SANITATION
• Flush or pour-flush piped to
sewer system or septic tank
• Pit latrine
• Ventilated improved pit
• Pit latrine with slab
• Composting toilet

• Flush or pour-flush to
• Pit latrine without slab/open pit
• Bucket
• Shared facilities of any type
• No facilities, bush, or field

Poor sanitation in densely populated urban areas exposes many people to the pathogens that cause diarrheal disease, which
remains the second leading cause of mortality among children under 5 worldwide. Furthermore, because urbanization is being driven largely by the expansion of small and medium-sized
cities, the urban sanitation needs are widely dispersed among urban environments that already suffer from little planning, poor infrastructure, and underinvestment. At the same time,
existing urban-rural disparities and vast rural needs mean that rural sanitation efforts need to be scaled up. The world faces two major but characteristically different challenges in meeting the needs for improved sanitation: a vastly underserved rural population, and rapidly expanding urban areas in developing

countries. 11

World Population
United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision (New York: United Nations Population Division, 2009). U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base, accessed at www.census. gov/ipc/www/idb/index.php, on June 3, 2010.

CIA, The World Factbook 2009 (Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2009).
UNAIDS, 2008 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic (Geneva: UNAIDS, 2009).
UNESCO, EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010 (Paris: UNESCO, 2010). UN-HABITAT, State of the World’s Cities 2008-2009 (Nairobi: UN-HABITAT, 2008).

HelpAge International, Unreported Lives: The Truth About Older People’s Work (London: HelpAge International, 2010).
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Live Longer Work Longer (Paris: OECD, 2006).
United Nations Population Division, World Population Ageing 2009 (New York: United Nations Population Division, 2010).

Amada Ritchie, Cynthia Lloyd, and Monica Grant, “Gender Differences in Time Use Among Adolescents in Developing Countries: The Implications of Rising School Enrollment Rates,” Population Council Working Paper 193, accessed at, on June 4, 2010. International Labour Organisation, Women in Labour Markets: Measuring Progress and Identifying Challenges (Geneva: ILO, 2010).

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and African Union, Economic Report on Africa 2009 (Addis Ababa: Economic Commission for Africa, 2009).

International Labour Organisation, Rights, Jobs and Social Security: New Visions for Older Women and Men (Geneva: ILO, 2009).

United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision Population Database, accessed at, on June 1, 2010.

Stephanie Seguino, “The Great Equalizer? Globalization Effects on Gender Equality in Latin America and the Caribbean,” World Development 28, no. 5 (2006): 861-78.

United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, Fifth Report on the World Nutrition Situation (Geneva: SCN Secretariat, 2004).

World Bank, World Development Report, 2007: Development and the Next Generation (Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/World Bank, 2006).

World Bank and UNICEF, Abolishing School Fees in Africa, 2009 (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2009).


World Health Organization, Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, accessed at, on June 27, 2010; and supplemental data from national surveys.

UNICEF and WHO, Diarrhoea: Why Children are Still Dying and
What Can Be Done?, accessed at
publications/2009/9789241598415_eng.pdf, on June 4, 2010.
WHO and UNICEF, Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water: 2010 Update, accessed at, on June 1, 2010.


Population bulletin 65.2 2010

Visit to Find:

Become a Member of PRB

Articles and Reports. New data and analysis on topics as diverse as gender, reproductive health, environment, and race/ethnicity.

With new perspectives shaping public policies every day, you need to be well informed. As a member of the Population Reference Bureau, you will receive reliable information on United States and world population trends—properly analyzed and clearly presented in readable language. Each year you will receive two Population Bulletins, the annual World Population Data Sheet, and complimentary copies of special publications. We welcome you to join PRB today.

Graphics Bank. PowerPoint slides of population-related information, ready for use in presentations or in the classroom.
PRB Discuss Online. Available at Join online discussions with experts on newsworthy population, health, and environment topics, trends, and issues. Transcripts of each discussion are archived on PRB’s website.

DataFinder. Search a world database of 133 population, health, and environment variables for 210 countries, 27 world regions and subregions, and the world. A separate U.S. database includes 579 social, economic, and demographic variables for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

For Educators.

Access online lesson plans, maps, and resources.

For Journalists.

Highlights news releases, webcasts, and a
dictionary of population terms.
“PRB News” and “Events & Training.” Announces monthly policy seminars, intern and fellowship applications, and workshops, as well as news about PRB’s programs.
E-Mail This.

Send e-mails to others with links to PRB content.







Lifetime Membership$5,000

Population Reference Bureau

Circulation Dept., P.O. Box 96152
Washington, DC 20077-7553
For faster service, call 800-877-9881
Or visit
Or e-mail
Or fax 202-328-3937

Country Pages. Scan up-to-date population, health, and environment data for any of 210 countries, and find links to related PRB articles and reports and organizations’ websites.
WebUpdate. Sign up to receive e-mail announcements about new web content and PRB-sponsored seminars and briefings.

Recent Population Bulletins
Volume 65 (2010)

No. 1 U.S. Economic and Social Trends Since 2000
by Linda Jacobsen and Mark Mather
Volume 64 (2009)

No. 1 20th-Century U.S. Generations
by Elwood Carlson
No. 2 Urban Poverty and Health in Developing Countries
by Mark R. Montgomery

No. 3 World Population Highlights: Key Findings From PRB’s 2008 World Population Data Sheet
by Population Reference Bureau staff
No. 4 Rethinking Age and Aging
by Warren Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov
Volume 62 (2007)

No. 1 Population: A Lively Introduction, 5th ed.
by Joseph A. McFalls Jr.

No. 3 World Population Highlights: Key Findings From PRB’s 2009 World Population Data Sheet
by Population Reference Bureau staff

No. 2 Challenges and Opportunities—The Population of the Middle East and North Africa
by Farzaneh Roudi-Fahimi and Mary Mederios Kent

Volume 63 (2008)

No. 1 Managing Migration: The Global Challenge
by Philip Martin and Gottfried Zürcher

No. 3 World Population Highlights: Key Findings From PRB’s 2007 World Population Data Sheet
by Population Reference Bureau staff

No. 2 U.S. Labor Force Trends
by Marlene A. Lee and Mark Mather

No. 4 Immigration and America’s Black Population
by Mary Mederios Kent

Population bulletin 65.2 2010

World Population
World population has reached a transition point: The rapid growth of the second half of the 20th century has slowed. But factors such as continuously improving mortality and slower than expected declines in birth rates guarantee continued growth.

Youth Dependency
There are large differences between the age structure of populations in developed and developing countries and the demands they place on societies. Youth dependency is relatively low in developed countries and significantly greater in developing countries.

Old-Age Dependency
Improved health and living standards, increased access to education, and economic growth have led to lower fertility rates and longer life expectancy in every region and across socioeconomic groups. While this shift represents a major global success story, aging populations also present challenges. Gender, Employment, and Dependency

Women are essential to the demographic dividend—the potential of a large cohort of youth to provide a boost to economic growth. But in a majority of countries, women are more likely to be unemployed than men. Sanitation

An estimated 1.5 million deaths are caused by diarrhea each year, largely due to lack of clean drinking water, poor sanitation and hygiene, and poor nutrition and health status. Improving sanitation reduces diarrhea deaths. The most recent data indicate that progress in meeting the Millennium Development Goal target on sanitation is insufficient.

Population Reference Bureau
1875 Connecticut Avenue., NW
Ave., NW
Suite 520
Washington, DC 20009 USA

202 483 1100 Phone
202 328 3937 Fax email

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Spanish Demography 2050

    ...INTRODUCTION: 1 THE FUTURE OF THE SPANISH POPULATION: 1-8 * A preliminary matter: the starting population: 2-3 * Scenarios of future developments in fertility: 3 * Evolution and projecting mortality: 3-5 * Evolution and projected movements of migrants abroad: 5-7 * Results of the projection: 7-8 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL ASPECTS...

    Read More
  • Demography

    ...Demography Demography can be defined as scientific, mathematical, statistical study of population in reference to population density, population density, population distribution, population size and structure, population composition. The word Demography was first coined by a Greek Mathematician, Achelle Guillard. What means Population? P...

    Read More
  • Importance of Demography

    ...Demography Demography is the statistical study of human populations and sub-populations. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space. It encompasses the study of the size, structure, and distribution of these populations, and spatial and/or temporal c...

    Read More
  • Demography and Demographic Transition Phase

    ...* Define demographic transition. * Describe the 4 phases of demographic transition, including if the population is stable, growing, or declining in each. · * According to demographers, what factors lead to a decline in the crude birth rates (CBR) and crude death rates (CDR) in the epidemiologic and fertility phases of the demographic ...

    Read More
  • Overpopulation: Demography and Urban Areas

    ...ASSIGNMENT NAME AND TITLE: EXPOSITORY WRITING: ANALYSIS BY DIVISION Topic: What are the characteristics for determining overpopulation iN a named country or environment? Analysis by Division Topic: What are the characteristics for determining overpopulation in a named country or environment? Thesis Statement: In the Republic of Trini...

    Read More
  • Showing Demography Through Human Populations

    ...Showing Demography through Human Populations Both Pre- and Post-1950 OR I See Trends in Dead People I. Purpose: Is there a correlation between age of death before 1950 and after 1950 due to underlying factors? Between both sexes before and after 1950 from discriminating factors? What types of factors, and why? II. Hypotheses Within de...

    Read More
  • Demography and Population Key Issue

    ...Chapter 2: Population Key Issue 3: Why Is Population Increasing at Different Rates in Different Countries? Rubenstein, pp. 57-69 THE DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION 1. The demographic transition is a process with several stages and every country is in one of them. 2. Fill in the chart below with characteristics describing each stage in th...

    Read More
  • Economic Development and Demography

    ...Economic development’s effect on demography Demographic behaviour is a measure of a combination of figures in which indicates how a country’s or region’s population is distributed. The effect of demographic behaviour is that it reflects a country’s stage of economic development to a great extent, allowing indication of how far alo...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.