Current Demographic Trends and Future Projections

World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision – Key Findings and Advance Tables
Published by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, this revision provides a comprehensive look at global demographic trends and prospects for the future. This information is essential to guide policies aimed at achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals.

Pew Research Center  The Changing Global Religious Landscape (2017)
The Pew Research Center on Religion and Public Life is a leading producer of survey data and methodologically rigorous analysis with a focus on the USA but a global scope. This report includes data on births by religion of mother in each country, and combined with age structure, death rates, and estimates of adult switching between religions, they provide forecasts of the number of people affiliated to each religion up to 2060.

Pew Research Center – Europe’s Growing Muslim Population (2017)
To see how the size of Europe’s Muslim population may change in the coming decades, Pew Research Center has modeled three scenarios that vary depending on future levels of migration. These are not efforts to predict what will happen in the future, but rather a set of projections about what could happen under different circumstances. As a result, Muslims are projected to increase as a share of Europe’s population – even with no future migration.

Korotayev et al. (2016) – Explaining current fertility dynamics in tropical Africa from an anthropological perspective: A cross-cultural investigation
What mechanisms are sustaining tropical Africa’s high fertility? Which anthropological factors provide both social and economic foundations for the observed fertility? This cross-cultural investigation shows the four most important factors, and as well as their utility in policy recommendations aimed to reduce fertility.

Burger and DeLong (2016) – What if fertility decline is not permanent? The need for an evolutionarily informed approach to understanding low fertility
Is the demographical transition theory wrong, and fertility decline not irreversible? This paper suggests that the assumption of irreversibility is ill-founded, at least without considerable development in theory that incorporates evolutionary and ecological processes. It offers general propositions for how fertility could increase in the future, including natural selection on high fertility variants, and the escalating resource demands of modernization.

Warren (2015)  Can human populations be stabilized?
Warren argues the United Nations population projections are wrong because they assume, in spite of the absence of necessary feedbacks, that all nations will converge rapidly to replacement-level fertility and thereafter remain at that level. He shows that global average fertility rate could rise even if each country’s fertility rate is falling, and that small populations with high fertility, and migration can undermine stabilization.

Gerland et al. (2014)  World population stabilization unlikely this century
Analysis of the UN’s recently released population projections using a Bayesian probabilistic methodology reveals, contrary to previous literature, that world population is unlikely to stop growing this century. There is an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion by 2100.

Myrskylä et al. (2009) – Advances in development reverse fertility declines
Is the trend towards low fertility in highly developed countries really irreversible? Does high Human Development Index (HDI) always indicate low fertility? Myrskylä et al. shows that although development continues to promote fertility decline at low and medium HDI levels, at advanced HDI levels, further development can reverse the declining trend in fertility.