Population Matters



Some key population data is displayed in the graphs below.

World population projections

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2015).
World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision.
Probabilistic projections for total world population. Source: UN World Population Prospects 2015
These population projections are based on the probabilistic projections of total fertility and life expectancy at birth, based on estimates of the UN’s 2015 Revision of the World Population Prospects. These probabilistic projections of total fertility and life expectancy at birth were carried out with a Bayesian Hierarchical Model. The figures display the probabilistic median, and the 80 and 95 per cent prediction intervals of the probabilistic population projections, as well as the (deterministic) high and low variant (+/- 0.5 child).

UK population projections

Source: Office for National Statistics
Estimated and projected population of the UK, mid-1981 to mid-2039. Source: ONS
HP = High fertility, high life expectancy, high migration; YP = High fertility, low life expectancy, high migration; HM = High migration; HF = High fertility; HL = High life expectancy
P = Principal projection; LL = Low life expectancy; LF = Low fertility; LM = Low migration; OP = Low fertility, high life expectancy, low migration; LP = Low fertility, low life expectancy, low migration

Family size trend in England and Wales

Source: Office for National Statistics
Estimated family size distribution in England and Wales. Source: ONS
The traditional two-child family remains the most common family type in England and Wales, with 37 per cent of women born in 1967 having two children. Childlessness is the second most common family size for the 1967 cohort. This is a recent development first encountered among the 1964 cohort, whereas for those born between the late 1930s and early 1960s, three children was the second most common family size. A woman born in 1940 was more likely to have one, three, or ‘four or more’ children than not to have any. Only one in ten women born in 1967 had four or more children, compared with nearly one in five in the 1940 cohort.

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